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4 Reasons Your Homegrown Inventory Management System Will Fail

Published by Emily Frazier at August 15, 2017 | Categories: Infographic

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your homegrown inventory management system. You built it because your district didn’t find existing software that met your unique needs. However, while the advantages of a custom-designed system can be alluring at first, the risks and costs over time exceed the initial benefits.

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5 Tips to Protect Your Inventory Management Program from the Summer Slide

Published by Jessica Zaleski at July 7, 2016 | Categories: Instructional Materials, IT Asset Management

Researchers have coined a term called the “summer slide” that describes the tendency for students to lose the achievement gains they made during the year if they don’t continue to stay engaged in stimulating educational activity. And it can happen to your inventory management program too if you don’t keep up your positive momentum throughout the season. Here are five tips to prevent your district from experiencing the “summer slide”.

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The Dangers of a Homegrown Inventory Management System at Your School District

Published by Jessica Zaleski at May 23, 2016 | Categories: Instructional Materials, IT Asset Management

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your homegrown inventory management system. You built it because your district didn’t find existing software that met your unique needs. However, while the advantages of a completely custom system can be significant, the risks and costs over time outweigh the benefits.

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Understanding California’s Williams Settlement Textbook Requirements

Published by Jessica Zaleski at March 28, 2016 | Categories: Instructional Materials

At Hayes, we understand how education laws affect your inventory management strategies. The Williams Settlement, a law passed in California back in 2004 helped to change the game for students and school districts, enabling more students to get access to textbooks. We review how the settlement applies to your inventory management strategies and what you need to know about meeting the requirements.   

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6 Tips for Creating an Instructional Material Procedure Manual at Your School District

Published by Jessica Zaleski at March 25, 2016 | Categories: Instructional Materials

We’ve enlisted Cherie Crews, the District Instructional Resources Specialist at Keller ISD for the past 11 years, to give her insight into how districts can develop a policy and procedure manual to reveal important information to district staff. Read on as Cherie shares the top six tips she’s learned while creating and updating Keller ISD’s manual for the past three years.

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6 Inventory System Integration Trends You Need to Know About - Part Three: Procurement Systems

Published by Jessica Zaleski at December 17, 2015 | Categories: Instructional Materials, IT Asset Management, Quick Tips

Welcome to part three of our six part series on inventory system integration trends, where we will discuss how your procurement system and inventory management system can complement each other and save your district time, effort, and money.

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3 Inventory Management Onboarding Best Practices From District Textbook Coordinators

Published by Jessica Zaleski at August 6, 2015 | Categories: Instructional Materials, Quick Tips

To start the year off on the right foot, we recommend you take another look at your onboarding process. A comprehensive onboarding program for employees will ensure your inventory management procedures are understood and correctly carried out by those new to the role this year (or those who need a refresher!). Here are some ideas you might consider including that other textbook coordinators have successfully implemented in their districts.

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5 End of School Year Tips for Successful Textbook Inventory Management

Published by Jessica Zaleski at May 12, 2015 | Categories: Instructional Materials, Quick Tips

As the semester winds down, school district instructional materials coordinators begin looking ahead to their end of year processes. With everything that your campuses need to complete this time of year, you may start to feel overwhelmed about getting your coordinators to quickly accomplish these processes. But fear not! We’ve compiled a list of best practices that will help you ensure campus staff know expectations and account for their materials as efficiently as possible.

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Barcodes: Necessary Feature or Textbook Inventory Management Roadblock?

Published by Jessica Zaleski at April 1, 2015 | Categories: Instructional Materials

There are important situations where barcode scanning is an important feature for your inventory management solution. In a school where textbooks are individually assigned to students or teachers, it is critical for accountability to have the capability to identify each individual book and its “owner” by the unique barcode number. But there are as many, if not more, scenarios where tracking instructional materials by a unique barcode is more of a hindrance than help.

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Instructional Material Contract Negotiations 101

Published by Jessica Zaleski at March 11, 2015 | Categories: Instructional Materials

Contract negotiations for new instructional material adoptions can have a huge impact on the inventory processes of a district, and with many districts depending on the Teaching & Learning Curriculum Department or Purchasing Department to handle contracts with vendors, it’s not uncommon for the district inventory manager to miss out on some important details of the contract negotiations they can have an impact on.

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5 Best Practices We’ve Learned From District Textbook Coordinators

Published by Jessica Zaleski at February 19, 2015 | Categories: Instructional Materials

We recently had the pleasure of joining a group of our clients for a user group meeting in Virginia. There was so much valuable information shared, that we couldn’t resist compiling some of the key takeaways and sharing them with you.

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Are You Prepared? School Districts to Invest More in 1:1 and Instructional Materials in 2015

Published by Jessica Zaleski at February 4, 2015 | Categories: 1:1 Initiatives, Instructional Materials, IT Asset Management

Even though 2014 is over, looking back on the year can give us some insight about what’s in store for U.S school districts in 2015. MDR’s state of the K-12 Market 2014 report, conducted by EdNET’s research team, found that when it comes to 2015 education trends, technology is in.

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6 Tips for a New Campus Instructional Material Coordinator

Published by Anna Maxin at October 10, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials, Quick Tips

Managing instructional materials for a campus is not an easy task, even for the most veteran inventory control specialists.  Campus coordinators wear many hats, working as a liaison between your school and parents, and meeting the needs of the principal and teachers, on top of managing thousands of dollars of instructional assets.  Keeping track of who has what material can sometimes be the least of your worries.

So when the responsibility of managing these assets has been thrust upon you, what do you do?  I recently sat down with both current and past instructional material managers and asked what advice they’d give a person new to this inventory management role at a school. 

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5 Questions to Evaluate Your District’s Inventory Management Capabilities

Published by Anna Maxin at August 9, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials, IT Asset Management

Transferring, assigning, auditing and budgeting for instructional initiatives is a district-wide, all building, all department challenge.  Think of a typical school day. Assets are moving from room to room, person to person, and even building to building – How do school and department inventory spreadsheets and district financial asset systems keep up? 

Districts across the country are turning to new processes to manage their items to reduce the inefficiencies and costs of inventory operations. Many are finding the answer to their problems by implementing a perpetual inventory management methodology supported by building-level inventory automation software.

Not sure how perpetual inventory management would benefit your district? Below are five questions to help evaluate your district’s current operational capabilities...

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Three Reasons Why Library Style Inventory Control Doesn’t Work for Textbooks

Published by Anna Maxin at June 27, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials

Providing the best possible learning environment for students is the primary objective of the 21st century classroom.  To accomplish this, schools must increase the effectiveness of every dollar spent on providing this educational experience.  Unfortunately, not all textbook inventory systems align with this goal and can unnecessarily increase the workload and cost for schools and districts.

An efficient textbook inventory process focuses on inventory transparency and accountability options designed to match the needs of school assignment and student/teacher obligations. Effectively accessing inventory data available across other schools prior to placing an order for materials focuses on meeting the real‐time and anticipated needs for instructional materials utilized in the district. 

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The Key to Effective Textbook Management? Clear Policies and Procedures

Published by Anna Maxin at April 24, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials

When it comes to managing instructional materials, it takes a team of people to keep everything running smoothly - especially with the many tasks this staff is responsible for. School districts are actively seeking opportunities to simplify processes, improve communication, and increase the accuracy of information used for decision making; all while being budget minded.  Furthermore, school systems are introducing technology into the curriculum and the classroom, making it even more important to reduce unnecessary and/or avoidable spending on textbooks.

As you plan for next school year, one opportunity that will result in improved instructional material management efficiency is to clearly define and communicate policies and procedures. Aligning these to the current goals of the organization will ensure program success.  

The following key areas are found in a comprehensive instructional material management program...

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4 Textbook Management Requirements Every District Should Have

Published by Anna Maxin at February 21, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials

Let’s face it: managing district instructional materials isn't a one person job.

When every district is employing the motto “do more with less”, effectively managing your district instructional material purchases is crucial to both your bottom line and student success. Trying to accomplish that with your existing staff can be challenging without proper organization. It’s important to give your district and school level staff the tools and procedures necessary to get their job done efficiently and as cost effectively as possible.

A documented, communicated inventory management program that supports the initiatives of the district is key to the supervision of instructional resources like student and teacher textbooks and resource kits. These instructional purchases are one of the most costly assets at your school as well as the most undervalued. 

An effective program will be supported by an assistant superintendent or director level executive sponsor and communicated to all parties how interact with instructional materials. This ensures that district purchases are utilized effectively to cut unnecessary spending and ensure students have access to their required materials from day one. 

Read further to see which components are necessary for any instructional material management program.

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3 Decisions to Make before Implementing Inventory Automation Software

Published by Anna Maxin at January 17, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials, IT Asset Management

Automating your physical inventory processes utilizing an enterprise software solution can seem like a daunting task.  Although we make the process as painless as possible (see our Services Experience Infographic), inventory automation can require a significant amount of initial work.

In order to guarantee success there are six key decisions to make before you kick off the project.  It doesn't matter if you are tracking instructional materials, like textbooks or teacher kits, or more costly technology resources such as computers, classroom equipment or student devices.  We have found that automating inventory processes can often lead to road blocks that hinder a district's ability to meet implementation schedules because they fail to make a few critical decisions early on.

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5 Essential Policies to Make Sure Campuses Are Held Accountable for Instructional Materials

Published by Anna Maxin at November 14, 2012 | Categories: Quick Tips

We know there is a lot to keep track of when managing your campuses’ instructional materials.  Due to this, it can be easy to overlook policies that help hold both your campuses and individuals accountable, and try to stop issues before they arise.

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