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Schools in Memphis see savings from document management

Converting documents from paper to digital formats can bring benefits to anyone. From productivity and efficiency to, of course, bottom-line costs, utilizing a document management system can completely change the way an organization functions. According to the Commercial Appeal, that was exactly what the Memphis City Schools discovered when the district converted a large number of employee systems from paper to digital.

Suddenly, instead of printing out hundreds of pages for reports every week, school officials could access and use the information on the computer. Everything from systems dealing with staff absences to payroll was moved into the digital sphere.

Grand savings

Before digitizing documents, Memphis City Schools and the surrounding Shelby County routinely spent more than the majority of urban school districts in the United States when it comes to IT costs per student, at $235. The median is $141, indicating the there was likely some degree of inefficiency in southwestern Tennessee.

By changing up its document management strategy, Memphis will save $50,000 on paper alone during the next three years, eliminating approximately 15,000 reams of paper. Costs were saved across the board as well, from printing equipment and utilities to even time and opportunity regained that are nearly impossible to quantify. That is before even mentioning the efficiency benefits of using a digital system.

"Our customers love it," MCS senior systems administrator Glen Downing told the Commercial Appeal. "They don't have to come in and pick up reports. When they come into work, the reports are there."

Employee-driven movement

Downing and others in charge of implementing the changes at the school district took their cues from the very people who are realizing the benefits. The idea for deploying a digital document management system came directly from a customer. Although a similar process has been looked at in the past, the indications that it would have success made it a more viable option, and Downing went to work to make it happen.

"A lot of people see ways we can do these [processes] better," Rich Valerga, the district's CIO, told the Commercial Appeal. "We've asked every employee to come up with ideas. It's working."

Other school districts across the country are turning to document management as well. The cost savings of digital document management are secondary for the Pasadena Independent School district in Texas. Instead, the control and efficiency that officials will look to gain with the installation, in addition to numerous other upgrades, according to a press release, is paramount.

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