Tag: education forms

10 reasons to digitize approvals in 2015

Stop using paperIt’s no secret that paper or Word/Excel-based processes still power day-to-day approvals at most schools and businesses. How the heck are we still discussing this in 2015? As business and society becomes increasingly mobile, digitizing approval workflows is more important than ever before. Beyond the usual save time & money, here are 10 reasons to digitize your approval processes:

  1. Streamline the routine stuff
    It may be a routine day-to-day process but delays can be costly and paper/email are lousy solutions. Passing paper around or chasing emails wastes time and inhibits collaboration – both major no-nos in today’s world.
  2. Simplify Email
    There’s a reason for the hundreds of to-do list apps in the App Store. We’re bombarded with hundreds of emails every day. It’s hard to keep track and easy to forget about getting to things that need doing. When managers forget, employees have to waste time chasing them down to figure out where the approval is.
  3. Get with the Mobile Age
    Smart phones are ubiquitous. Practically everyone has one and we all know how rapidly usage is growing. Ditch the paper/Excel and let busy parents, employees & customers handle approvals on their phones anytime and from anywhere. Make life easier for everyone.
  4. Enough with the printing
    Approvals usually require signatures. You can fill everything else online but chances are the PDF or Excel is physically printed solely for getting the Manager or CFO’s signature. Eliminate it with electronic signatures. There’s no excuse for that in 2015 – we all know there are too few trees. It’s easy to do your part.
  5. Facilitate Self Service
    Automated workflows allow 24×7 access from any device. Today, most people prefer to engage with organizations via the web rather than calling or coming to your office. For everything from school permissions to sales orders, paperless forms make life easier for your customers – another potential game-changing initiative.
  6. Tracking and accountability
    Digital approvals are easy to track with the click of a button or swipe of a finger. Stop making employees search through email or chase down paper forms to figure out where approvals are.
  7. Reduce Errors
    It’s easy to make mistakes like using an older version of a Word document or a calculation error or simply forgetting to fill out parts of the form. Then, someone has to manually get them fixed. Digital versions eliminate these unnecessary and wasteful errors.
  8. Business Intelligence
    Digital processes can be integrated with your other business systems and services. It can really improve efficiency by, for example, eliminating duplicate data entry. More important, integration can extract essential information and dramatically improve business intelligence and give you insights on how better to operate – a potential game-changer.
  9. Resilience
    The Cloud now provides unlimited, affordable storage and access from anywhere with redundancy and disaster recovery that cannot be matched by most organizations. Use it and you can stop worrying about fires and floods and the like and operate a resilient organization that focuses on customers.
  10. Go Green
    ‘Nuff said!

It’s 2015 – why are you still printing and scanning and emailing? Contact frevvo today and learn how you can start implementing these game-changers today.

Are teachers dealing with too much paperwork?

School and college teachers, principals and administrators are extremely busy people. They’re dedicated to their students and would love to simply focus on teaching and helping students. Yet, they must deal with unnecessary paperwork for things like mileage reimbursements, conference travel expenses, leave approvals etc.

There’s a better way with Electronic Approval Workflows from frevvo. You can dramatically reduce this paperwork, free up time & resources to focus on students and help the environment. Watch this short video (less than 100 sec) to see how.

If you want to save money, help the environment and make life easier for everyone, visit our web site to learn more and get started for free.

Let parents give E-Consent

Is your school sending paper consent forms home for parents to sign? How often do parents forget to send them in? How much time to teachers spend chasing down missing permission slips? How many times do students miss out because of lack of consent forms?

There’s a better way with E-Consent solutions from frevvo. Check out this short video (less than 90 sec) to see how.

If you want to save money, help the environment and make life easier for everyone, visit our web site to learn more and get started for free.

Paperless Field Trips – Infographic

Paperless Field Trips
Click the image to enlarge

Field trips are an invaluable learning tool. But a positive learning experience takes significant planning and execution. One of the painful and expensive aspects is getting the necessary signatures from parents, collecting emergency information, medications and figuring out who can be chaperones.

This wastes paper, time & ultimately money. After getting the necessary approval from the principal/superintendent, teachers must hand out paper documents and forms to students (e.g. here’s Miami-Dade County’s packet of forms) and hope that students will take them home to parents, get them signed and bring them back. Of course, many students forget or they lose the form and teachers must follow up with students and parents.

Automating these parental permissions is easy with frevvo + Google Apps. It boils down to a few simple steps.

Teacher:

  1. Create a folder in Google Drive and a spreadsheet with student info.
  2. In the frevvo form, enter field trip details. frevvo will retrieve the list of students and automatically send an email to each parent with field trip details and a link to a permission form.

Parents:

  1. Click the link, review information, sign electronically and submit.
  2. If you would like to chaperone, check the box and verify information.

Teacher:

  1. The list of students and chaperones is in the spreadsheet. View it anytime!
  2. frevvo will send reminders to parents who have not yet signed. No need to chase students down.

It’s fast, easy & affordable. Check out the infographic at right and if you like what you see, visit our web site or contact us for more information.

Green Schools – what YOU can do today!!

There’s no doubt that green schools save taxpayers money. But green buildings and iPads are expensive, multi-year efforts.

Reducing paper use is one of the quickest and most budget-friendly paths to a green school. Electronic textbooks and assignments are important but schools also use mountains of paper for simple, day-to-day activities like parental consent, field trip chaperone lists and various staff approvals (conference, leave etc.). For example, Miami-Dade County has 2350 (!!) active forms. The majority of these need to be signed and will end up being printed on paper and stashed in filing cabinets for years. And, they’re not alone! The California Integrated Waste Management Board estimates that 47% of school waste is paper.

General Permission (Spanish)
General permissions form in Spanish – generates PDFs in English & Spanish and uploads them to Google Drive.

With frevvo, replacing these paper/PDF forms and workflows with fully electronic versions is fast, easy and affordable. We’ve already built many of these and they’re super easy to customize to fit your unique needs. They can be signed electronically, routed to the proper person(s) and used on mobile. When completed, they can generate documents that can be saved to Google Drive or to a document management system.

Reduce paper and save the trees – one form at a time. YOUR school can do it too. Contact us to learn how.

The Paperless School – how will YOU get there?

Schools are drowning in paper. Student work, parent communications and staff communications all involve paper, copying and scanning. For most schools, going paperless means 1:1 education, e-textbooks and electronic assignments. It’s a fantastic goal and deserves all the attention it gets. But, it’s expensive & takes time – how to pay for $500 gadgets for each student?

What about the other aspects of how schools operate? Parent & staff communications use an amazing amount of paper:

  • Consent forms for athletics, directory listing, emergency contact etc. (Miami-Dade County, Los Angeles USD). Typically, these require a parent/guardian to sign the form.
  • Travel reimbursement, field trip approval etc. (e.g. see New Haven USD, Cabrillo USD). Typically, these are routed to a supervisor for approval i.e. to sign the form.

This is low-hanging fruit ripe for automation. For most schools, frevvo already has pre-built forms and workflows that can be customized in next to no time and deployed online. They can all be signed online, routed to the proper person electronically, used on mobile devices, delivered in multiple languages, generate PDFs, work with Google Apps for Education and a whole host of advanced capabilities. Here are just a few examples and you can find many more on our web site.

Emergency Contact Form
52 sec video
General Permission (Spanish)
General Permission (Spanish)
California K-12 Case Study
California K-12 Case Study

 

 

 

 

 

The paperless school is an eco-friendly, productivity boosting goal. frevvo can help you get there in a budget-friendly way. Try it free or give us a shout for more information.

Using a Google Spreadsheet like a database

There are many cool and useful things you can do with Google Apps for Work like collaborative editing of documents, inexpensive storage and so on. But add frevvo to the mix, and you can take it to the next level and solve real business problems.

One example is dynamic web forms and approval workflows that treat the underlying spreadsheet as a database. The applications are endless – Sales Orders, Employee Records, Student Information and so on.

Check out the video below. It’s not even 2m long and shows you an example from Education. Teachers, administrators or parents can securely access student information stored in a Google Spreadsheet without actually having access to it. They’ll only see information relevant to their particular need, edits are controlled (e.g. data is validated, rules can perform computations etc.) and the user experience is so much nicer.

There’s much more you can do with frevvo + Google Apps such as signatures & workflow. Contact us to learn more or Try frevvo free for 30 days.

Automated approval workflow saves precious time for UC Davis students & faculty

Departments at the University of California, Davis offer several internships to students. At the Department of Animal Sciences, applying for one was a tedious and manual process:

  1. The Student gets a form from the Advising Center, fills it out and submits it to the Center.
  2. The Advising Associate checks it for accuracy.
  3. The student then gets it approved/signed by the Field Supervisor.
  4. The student then gets it approved/signed by the Faculty Sponsor.
  5. The student then gets it approved/signed by the Master Advisor.
  6. The student then returns it to the Advising Associate who issues a CRN number and sends it via email to the student.
  7. The student uses the CRN number to register for the internship

ucdavis-logoThe student has to track down multiple people and collect signatures/approvals – a time consuming and wasteful process. When any person is traveling, the approval gets delayed. The completed internship applications are paper documents stored in filing cabinets that are hard to locate and report on.

With frevvo, the Department now has all internship applications online. Check out this Case Study. The routing happens electronically freeing busy students from having to physically track down approvers. Field supervisors, faculty sponsors and advisors can instantly approve and sign online whether they are in Davis or anywhere in the world even using their mobile device. Documents are stored online as PDFs – they’re secure, easy to find and and report on.

It’s just one of many, many approval workflows that customers are automating with frevvo. Interested in learning more? Contact frevvo today.

K-12 School District automates 8 approval workflows in just 3 months

If you’re a parent with one or more children in school, you’ve probably received a packet of paper forms from your school to fill out. At frevvo, we’re already working with K-12 school districts to turn these into electronic versions (more on this later). But, that’s not all K-12 schools are doing with frevvo right now.

Check out this new CaCalifornia K-12 Case Studyse Study. Unfortunately, we can’t use the school district’s name yet (soon I hope) but it’s a large K-12 school district in California with close to 20,000 students. They’ve automated eight (8) approval workflows in just 3 months – bread & butter things like Absence Records, Mileage Reimbursement & Conference Attendance.

For the Absence Record, it was a paper form that must be filled out monthly by every single employee even those who didn’t have any absences that month. As you can imagine, it’s a tedious process. Someone has to drive to each school and pick up the absence records, which are then validated by someone, approved and signed by a supervisor. Then they’re processed by Payroll and, if necessary, sent to a Risk Manager depending on criteria in the form. All manual! Slow! Expensive! Error prone!

Now, it’s a fully automated frevvo workflow with solid validation, business rules, LDAP and database connectivity. There’s less to fill out, less duplication, fewer errors and nobody driving around to pick up paper forms.

Interestingly, they already own SharePoint but chose to use frevvo for these workflows because it provided an easy-to-use solution that fully met business requirements at a fraction of the cost.

Want to do the same at your school? Contact frevvo today.

Google Apps for Education Permission form. It’s crazy that the school sent us a piece of paper to sign.

It’s that time of year yet again. We got the usual packet of paper forms from Guilford Public Schools with a bunch of stuff to fill out. Emergency Contact, Permission forms etc. etc. I have to write my kid’s name, parent name, date, signature again and again. The Emergency Contact form even has a box that says “check if there are changes” but even if there aren’t any, you have to write it all out again. One of our friends has 4 kids in the school system. It’s silly and aggravating and a waste of time.

Google Apps Permission formOne of the most incongruous is the Permission form for Google Apps for Education. Here we are promoting these cool, digital apps for our kids to use yet we have to resort to paper for the permission signature, trust that the kids will hand them in, and store them somewhere. So, I decided to see how quickly I could make the whole thing electronic.

Here’s the form itself or click the image. It took about 30 min to create – mostly in copying/pasting and formatting the text. (I used a different one from the web rather than our Guilford schools form since ours is physical paper and I couldn’t even copy/paste.)

  • You can open it on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • There are links to the appropriate Federal laws in case you want to read more.
  • Sign electronically and Submit.
  • As a parent, it’s nice to get a copy by email for my records.
  • Why file paper? After all you’re using Google Apps. When you submit, the PDF will be uploaded to Google Drive, where it’s safely stored, backed up, and accessible anytime.

It was trivial to do with frevvo and the whole thing is incredibly affordable – definitely costs far less than the price of paper, ink, filing and mailing. You don’t have to worry about kids not bringing the forms in or storing it somewhere. With frevvo, you can also combine multiple permission forms into a sequence so duplicate information (student name, parent name etc.) only has to be filled in once. More on that another time.

Interested? Learn more by visiting our web site and contact us today.