University of Tennessee Martin (UTM) Business Affairs department was faced with the challenge of taking student ID pictures and processing them during orientation. Each year, as incoming freshmen and transfers flood the campus, both excited and confused as to what happens next, the first thought in their minds isn’t usually “I should take care of necessary administrative tasks.”
In years past, the Bursar’s Office had set up six manned digital camera stations during orientation. Students would be directed to the photo stations during orientation registration, and the goal was to take about 300 ID photos within a short amount of time. The pictures would then be processed and uploaded to UTM’s ID card program, CBORD, and ID cards would be printed later that day.
Students would then go back to the orientation registration area, line up by the photo stations and wait for their cards to be handed out. One could imagine the students would prefer being able to explore campus or decorate their dorm rooms instead; it was an inconvenience for students and administrators.
Mike Abney, Process Improvement Facilitator, turned to PerfectApps, a no-code web application development platform to build a solution to address the student ID workflow process challenges. Using a custom, no-code solution built with PerfectApps, UTM did away with its process-heavy orientation system by creating and automating an online student ID request process. Instead of standing in line for hours on move-in day, now students can at the time they apply for orientation and upload a photo. Using this simplified system, with the entire process completed well before things get hectic on move-in day, students arrive on campus with their ID cards waiting for them in their orientation packets.
This saves time and hassle spent on herding students at several times during the day, and eliminates the cost of hiring photographers and staging photo booths. An added bonus – UTM has student assistants who supervise the card creation process, freeing regular staffers to focus on other projects.
Other processes he’s brought online with electronic signatures using PerfectApps include a dual enrollment wizard and form that facilitates admissions and registration, student vaccination forms, and purchasing forms. Though the web applications and reports the university has created remain on PerfectApps’ Cloud servers, they’re easily embedded within the university’s web pages with workflow notifications that can be routed by email.
PerfectApps doesn’t require application development skills, but successful use of the no-code platform does require a “process-driven mind-set”, according to Abney, something that he said most administrative staffers have. Abney considers PerfectApps to be the most user-friendly workflow management tool he’s come across with drag-and-drop interfaces to easily map out process flows.
“With PerfectApps, we took an entire department paperless – automating 20 processes in 2 weeks with just one resource!”
Process Improvement Facilitator (retired)
University of Tennessee Martin