How can software save time? What does that have to do with money?
In this post I will explain what we do and how it will benefit your business. Try to think of this as a guide to help you understand what bespoke software is and where you might use it.
I will use a real world example of a problem that could be familiar to any industry as processes are sometimes interchangeable in different contexts.
The example I will use is for the Discretionary Learner Support (DLS) fund which is for students that are on a further education course and facing financial hardship.
When I first met the client they explained their process;
- Collecting the students information on paper forms
- Typing those forms into a spreadsheet
- Making photocopies of the required evidence
- Cross referencing the students information with the student records system
- Creating new spreadsheets for financial payments
- Checking each application (2,000) for attendance and enrolment status every month
As you can imagine, this process took 3-4 people weeks/months just to enter the information from 2,000+ paper applications and just as long every month to check the details were still current before making payments at the end of every month.
And from a security prospective, the students bank account details were also on paper forms and stored on a spreadsheet, which is very bad practise.
So how did we help?
The first part of the solution was to create a digital online application form. However, what was different about this form was that it recognised the student filling it in and completed a proportion of the form automatically using information already held in the student records system. Why ask the student to fill their details in, if you already have them?
During the process of the student completing their application, we also included an upload function for scanning evidence documents and attaching them to the application. No longer would the team need to make photocopies of the evidence required.
Now it’s all digital it will be quicker to process
Now all the applications are entered instantly into the system, rather than having to type them into a spreadsheet, weeks of staff time have been saved. Applications can be reviewed and processed in seconds.
And monthly reviews are available at a click of a button with automated reporting and processing of payments. If a student is no longer enrolled then payments will be automatically stopped. If a students attendance is poor then reports and notifications will alert staff to look closer at the applications.
A full audit of application submissions, reviews and financial payments can be tracked, monitored and reported.
So how does this save money?
Time is money. With a defined process reimagined as an online service, staff are now free to preform other tasks within the business and in turn have time for other duties.
Simply put, if you have two staff members paid £10 an hour, working on a problem for 10 hours a week, and by using one of our services, it half’s the time needed to perform that task. You are already saving £100 of staff hours each week, or £400 each month, that could be used on other tasks.
Our software is a subscription based solution, that is paid for over the length of the contract. If, for example, your service was quoted at £3,000 for a 3 year contract, then you would pay less than £100 per month.
So it’s possible the software could pay for itself and even create some profit.