Automation expands university’s capacity to deliver services for student success

Laserfiche content services platform alleviates administrative burden to give staff more time for in-person engagements with students

Institutions looking to grow must actively empower staff to ensure that administrative services keep pace with the flood of new students. Implementing the Laserfiche content services platform significantly improved the way Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) does business, but the more important benefit has been for students, says Systems Administrator Lidija Bell.

“We were losing so many hours to filing documents, approving forms and moving papers,” Bell says of the administrative staff at OKWU. “Now, there is time for one-on-one relationships with students—to help them explore scheduling and create good academic plans so they graduate on time. Students also like how efficient and easy it is to complete forms and submit documents.”

Laserfiche integrates seamlessly with the school’s student information system, Ellucian PowerCampus, to streamline information exchange and student record compilation. Forms can be populated with stored information, saving time and improving accuracy. And because processes are automated, students no longer have to track down professors or administrators for approvals or signatures.

Improved student experience

“Students can even submit forms from their phones,” Bell says. “They can take a picture of a document and send it to us, and the appropriate department processes it. Laserfiche works with HTTPS and SSL protocols, so anything submitted through forms is securely saved to our database and repository.”

OKWU, a small evangelical Christian school with campuses in Bartlesville and Tulsa, has been using Laserfiche since 2011. Initially just in the registrar’s office, the system quickly expanded to financial aid and is currently used for student accounts, advising and more.

“We have about 80 processes that use Laserfiche, and each week we add more,” Bell says. “Plus, we have many workflows running in the background to help with speed and efficiency.”

Rapid ROI

The school saves about $20,000 per year in document storage and shredding costs, plus $2,000 per year—and two hours per week—from uploading documents instead of scanning, entering metadata and filing. And as enrollment steadily increases, the school has saved $100,000, which would have been the cost to hire three people to handle related paperwork the old way, Bell says.

“I manage five or six different systems, and none of those are as responsive from the development perspective as Laserfiche is,” Bell says. “Laserfiche actually listens and responds to our needs.”

This all adds up to better service that benefits students in the long term, she adds. “Without the paperwork intensity, our staff can do a better job at their actual assignments and be there for students,” Bell says. “In IT, for example, we have more time to work on student computers and improve technology around campus. It really comes down to improving the student experience and success.”

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