Developing Processes & Procedures for Asset Management: Get the most out of your software investment, accelerate the time to value, mitigate risk, and achieve better ROI
Successfully transforming your organization isn’t just about purchasing new software. You need the right people and processes in place to make sure that your new systems deliver the business value you need.
Set Your School District Up for Success
Having the right system, people, and processes is a crucial element when managing inventory. Working without a set process is equivalent to attempting to bake brownies without a recipe; things can get messy very quickly. Creating and maintaining a standardized written process gives you the ingredients you need to manage your assets and make improvements where certain steps are inefficient.
Processes and procedures regarding K-12 inventory management require ongoing adjustments to remain efficient, maintain accountability, and continuously reflect the district’s growing goals and shifting priorities.
When it comes to creating and implementing procedures, there can be “too many cooks in the kitchen.”
Roda Malco, Program Supervisor of Instructional Materials at Detroit Public Schools Community District, had some advice about who should be involved when developing processes and procedures. “Include the warehouse team as well as someone from procurement,” she says. “It’s also really helpful to have the people using these systems to have a say.”
Here are some of the benefits of creating processes with key stakeholders:
When a new hire is brought on and has no written system to guide them, it leads to discrepancies in what steps personnel will take. Putting a plan in place makes performance less subjective and more objective.
Without a written system in place, outcomes are inconsistent and unpredictable. Standard processes increase consistency and user adoption of software, improving staff efficiency and productivity. Creating a process ensures uniformity of the data, and adoption of the software.
Organizational change can be one of the most daunting challenges that districts face, especially when implementing new asset management software. Change requires buy-in from the top-down, and it’s imperative to successfully communicate a strategy and new mindsets to ensure a smooth user and project adoption.
Mitigate Risk of User Error
Documented procedures for managing and ordering instructional materials will aid school districts during audits.
“When we had an audit last year, auditors didn’t care what we said we were doing,” says Roda Malco. “They wanted to see our written, step-by-step procedures. If you have processes and procedures documented you don’t have to worry about forgetting them, because you always have something to reference. It takes some pressure off anyone at the campus level, because if they forget, they have something to go back to, to remember and go step by step.”
Continually Improve Processes
Continuous improvement is top-of-mind for all districts striving to grow. Over time, it’s important for administrators to continuously analyze district processes, identifying areas of success, risk, and improvement so that they can leverage best practices to increase productivity and balance accountability.
Important Questions to Ask When Creating Processes
When your school district sets out to create written processes regarding inventory best practices, there are some critical questions to ask yourself and your team.
How Often Should I Revise My Procedures?
Anytime there’s an update to an existing system or a new software adoption, it is important to go through your procedure documentation and make revisions. Creating a process to ensure documentation is updated will make your district run more efficiently.
It’s essential to evaluate solutions and prioritize long-term, actionable plans to address inventory control challenges. As your school district continuously improves, you want to get the most out of your software investments, so preparing for these obstacles is crucial.
What If Staff are Resistant to Change?
New software may replace a system with which people were already familiar, so you may encounter some who will struggle with the transition, even if the new inventory management software offers enhanced benefits and increased functionality. Overseeing changes helps avoid project interruptions and fosters better collaboration and trust.
“Evidence suggests that a purely technical approach to introducing new systems is significantly less likely to be successful than one that focuses on the people affected by change,” says John Mellios, Director of Client Services at Hayes Software Systems. “You can have the best software in the world, but if you don’t gain user-buy in from key stakeholders, morale will decrease, and inefficiency will increase. User buy is crucial when adopting new processes and systems.”
How Should I Communicate Change to Stakeholders?
“We first introduce products in a meeting with all of our principals and superintendents, and we get them excited for it,” shares Roda. “From there, the information and excitement trickle down. My one rule of thumb is to over-communicate. Create space with different campuses to communicate information and have frequent training sessions.”
Roda’s approach is spot-on: by communicating a clear vision and promoting the project’s goals, leaders can bring clarity with change and help staff understand what is necessary for success.
What are SLAs and Why are They Important?
An SLA, or a Service Level Agreement, is a defined agreement between the service team and the end-user to outline expectations. These include users of your school district’s help desk and ticketing services.
“SLAs in the K-12 help desk space means that your district administrators can create and assign priorities that outline how tickets are resolved,” says John Mellios. “Whether it is operational time, a level or priority, a problem type, or a rule for routing a ticket, SLAs help support school staff with quick ticket resolution SLAs help manage time and resources, and help school technology departments track valuable metrics.”
Creating consistencies in processes and ticket data will allow you to identify SLA compliance, product issues, technician efficiency, and much more.
About John Mellios
Director of Client Services for Hayes Software Systems
John works with districts of all sizes to understand their needs, goals, processes, and pain points to craft solutions that will allow them to better their inventory management programs. Before joining the Hayes team as Director of Client Services, John Mellios worked in education for 16 years.
John’s extensive background in K-12 education provides him insight into how Hayes can support schools and reduce costs. His experience managing technology for a large, urban school district means that he understands the challenges our customers face every day and works to make their jobs easier through the development of policies and procedures manuals.
About Roda Malco
Instructional Materials Supervisor at Detroit Public School
Roda joined the Curriculum and Instruction team at Detroit Public Schools Community District in 2019. There, she took on the responsibility of working with different publishers and vendors to manage orders, deliveries, and inventory.
Prior to joining the team in Detroit, she worked for a nationwide Reading Company based out of San Francisco, where she managed the operations and logistics for reading classes offered each summer across the country as related to teachers and students. This involved managing a team of 4-7 coordinators responsible for travel arrangements, materials shipments, and inventory tracking for all 300+ teachers and 90,000+ students each year.
When she is not training school-based staff on TIPWeb-IM and working with content area leaders and publishers on new materials purchases and deliveries, she enjoys reading, photography, and cooking.
Hayes Software Systems has been committed to supporting K-12 educators since 1990. Hayes was founded by an educator who believed in impacting the lives of students by supporting school staff. Used in over 9,000 schools, including over 35 of the largest 100 school systems in the country, Hayes’ solutions impact over 8,000,000 students. As the educational landscape shifts, we are constantly shifting, too.
We know that every school district manages its instructional resources differently, from each deployment of technology devices to instructional material accountability procedures.
Our consulting team members have extensive experience in navigating school district policy to provide insightful solutions to challenging circumstances. Hayes Software Systems is here to develop adoption initiatives, oversight structures, and communication capabilities you need to get the most out of your software investment, helping you accelerate the time to value, mitigate risk, and achieve better ROI.