With budget cuts, understaffing, and a constant influx of new students, many of today’s schools are struggling to stay afloat. To make matters worse, outdated infrastructure can severely undermine staff efforts to maintain campus efficiency and optimization.
Fortunately, many schools are beginning to acknowledge the advantages of school management systems. By implementing digital solutions to common infrastructural challenges, these schools are reducing their overhead costs, boosting student satisfaction rates, and improving their campus experiences for both current students and future generations to come.
Whether you’re a school administrator, principal, or staff member, here are six ways that school management systems can enhance and streamline your campus’s operations.
#6: Manage Queues with Ease
Without a centralized platform of control, the coordination and effectiveness of campus services can quickly fall into disarray.
Unfortunately, many schools rely on a mixture of digital and analog systems to manage a variety of tasks and departments, including student record keeping, student service queues, and staff accounts. In many cases, these systems aren’t congruent with one another, which can compromise efficiency and infrastructural stability. For example, a school might utilize a digital recordkeeping system for student grades, but their student files might be entirely paper-based.
Thankfully, school management systems offer a notable advantage in this department. With systems like QLess, schools can manage and customize a variety of services via a centralized web interface called the “Command Center.” The platform allows school staff and administrators to:
- Add, manage, and remove staff accounts
- Create and edit multiple school queues
- Manage, configure, and group queues by location
- View queue SMS messaging history
- Track configuration changes by action type, user, date, and IP address
With QLess’s Command Center, it’s easier than ever for schools to micro-manage their queues. Major changes can be implemented in just a few clicks, and with built-in digital recordkeeping, administrators can stay up-to-date with the latest occurrences. Due to the simplicity of the interface, staff can spend less time tinkering with settings and more time improving their services or attending to student needs.
#5: Collect Actionable Insights and Improve Queue Efficiency
Another apparent advantage of school management systems is the ease of access to powerful analytics. Because school management systems like QLess manage school queues digitally, valuable data from all queues is automatically collected and stored. At any point, school staff can review the stored data from the comfort of their web browser and gather valuable insights into the performance of their queues via a variety of real-world metrics.
With QLess, your queue data is always available and is never deleted, allowing you to compare queue data and observe trends across days, weeks, months, or years of service. Due to their digital architecture, school management systems also offer the advantage of allowing you to display queue data dynamically in a number of configurations, including graphical and tabular formats. When you’re finished surveying your queue data, exporting your reports as CSV or Microsoft Excel files is as simple as clicking a button.
QLess’s queue data metrics include:
- Student wait times
- The total number of students serviced within a queue or by a staff member
- The average duration of service
- Student service ratios (students serviced versus no-shows and queue abandoners)
- Queue length
- Student arrival times
Due to the simplicity of school management systems, queue data reporting features allow school staff to quickly identify weaknesses in queue performance and implement impactful solutions. As a result, reporting features can help schools bolster their queue efficiency and improve the quality of on-campus services.
#4: Promote Productive Student-Staff Communication
Functional communication lies at the core of any healthy schooling environment. When students have meaningful avenues of communication with staff, they’re more likely to succeed in their educational endeavors.
However, implementing platforms for productive discussion and feedback in schooling environments is often easier said than done. Thankfully, school management systems include the advantage of promoting two-way student-staff communication.
With systems like QLess, students in active queues have two methods of making their voices heard. Because QLess utilizes bi-directional SMS text to relay queue details and updates to queue participants, students can correspond with staff members by simply texting back. With this feature, students can notify staff of delays or remove themselves from the queue entirely from the palm of their hand.
Upon the completion of service, systems like QLess also include the option to send students follow-up surveys regarding their experience, which allows staff to collect meaningful feedback and assess queue performance. All surveys are sent to students as third-party links via SMS text, making them easily accessible and near-effortless to complete.
Staff also benefit from the advantages of school management systems. Because these platforms are built around SMS text messaging, systems like QLess can automatically inform students of delays and interruptions in service with built-in notifications.
#3: Harness the Power of Mobile Devices
In today’s digitally wired world, most students own highly-capable mobile devices or smartphones. While some schools have discouraged the use of these devices on campus due to the possibility of distraction, campuses can harness the power of mobile devices to improve their services and boost efficiency.
With the advantages offered by school management systems like QLess, students can join queues around campus directly from their mobile device via SMS text or a downloadable app (iOS and Android). When a student requests a service -- whether it's for a guidance counselor or the school nurse -- the system will automatically place that student into a digital queue. When a queued student’s position in line is approaching, they’ll be summoned via SMS text, affording them enough time to return to the premises for prompt service.
Many school management systems also offer similar mobile advantages to staff. With QLess’s free Concierge queue management app for iOS devices, staff can:
- Monitor queues across campus
- Manually add students to queues
- View student wait times and gauge average queue wait times
- Summon students when they’re next in line
Regardless of whether your students prefer iOS or Android devices, mobile tech has revolutionized communication and infrastructure. Schools that embrace these mobile solutions will reap the rewards of increased campus satisfaction and improved organizational efficiency.
#2: Accept Booked Appointments and Walk-in Visits Simultaneously
On most school campuses, time is both a valuable and limited resource. Most students are preoccupied with their studies and extracurricular activities, while staff members are often busy creating lesson plans and attending to the needs of their students.
Thankfully, one of the most significant advantages of school management systems is improved appointment flexibility. By reducing the burden of scheduling conflicts and optimizing overall efficiency, school management systems allow schools to make every second count.
For instance, with QLess’s FlexAppointments feature, schools can integrate both walk-in visits and appointments into their schedules simultaneously. Using the web-based interface, students can reserve timeslots online for a specific service, such as guidance counseling, course planning, or after-school tutoring. At the time of their appointments, QLess will automatically add pre-booked students to the applicable QLess queue and prioritize their timeslot above walk-in visitors. However, if a student is delayed or cancels their appointment, QLess will reassign the timeslot to another walk-in student.
With the advantage of school management system features like FlexAppointments, schools can provide more service to students in a shorter timeframe, ensuring that both pre-booked and walk-in students receive the assistance they need to excel in their educational pursuits.
#1: Boost School Morale
Although each of the school management system features that we’ve covered is capable of enhancing a school’s overall organizational efficiency individually, when combined, these features can dramatically improve a campus’s experience and greatly raise school morale.
Although digital queuing, data reporting, and flexible appointments might seem like simple quality-of-life improvements, they work synergistically to promote the values of efficiency, respect, and patience on campus, improving life on campus for everyone involved.
For instance, after implementing QLess, our clients have:
- Reduced the operational costs of student services by up to 45%
- Raised student satisfaction rates to 75%
- Lowered student attrition rates by 50%
However, the advantages of school management systems extend beyond campus walls, too. By encouraging productive staff-student interactions and boosting the quality of campus services, school management systems also improve a school’s reputation. When staff and students feel that their time is respected while on campus, they’re more likely to share positive experiences with friends, family members, and other students online. As a result, schools can build or strengthen a reputation of excellence within their respective communities.
Enhance Your Schooling Environment with QLess
If students are the future, why should we make them wait? Whether you work for an elementary, middle, or high school, QLess’s robust feature set is built to maximize the efficiency of your campus and promote sustainable operations for both students and staff.
To explore the advantages of school management systems for yourself, read our whitepaper, Campus Without Lines.