Erie’s Public Schools, or EPS, is a public school district serving over 11,500 students in Erie, Pennsylvania, the state’s fourth-largest city. The district implemented TIPWeb-IM to oversee instructional materials throughout 16 buildings, reduce textbook losses, simplify audits, and increase the accountability and transparency of their inventory process. TIPWeb-IM helps EPS manage unlimited textbooks, streamline campus requests and transfers, and coordinate electronic audits . EPS worked directly with the Consulting Services team at Hayes Software Systems in order to create policies and procedures as well as guidelines for change management.
The main challenges that Neal Brokman, Executive Director of Operations at Erie’s Public Schools, faced was a lack of visibility from the district level. Prior to adopting TIPWeb-IM, the district didn’t oversee the tracking of instructional materials or supplies. Each building had its own spreadsheet to manage inventory, resulting in a disconnect from the district-level. With no centralized system to manage inventory, it was necessary to create more district-level oversight and visibility in order to eliminate inconsistencies, recognize savings, and create more reliable reporting. Since the district had such a lack of visibility across all 16 buildings, when schools requested more materials, EPS would generally just order more. Without an efficient way to quickly determine what buildings had surplus of titles, this cost the district valuable time, money, and resources. When the district made a substantial investment in updated instructional materials, Neal knew he wanted to keep a closer eye on his resources in order to better protect that inventory.
With no previous asset management system in place, EPS had a seamless implementation of TIPWeb-IM. The district automates data between TIPWeb-IM and their SIS in order to synchronize records and provide centralized access to information. “The usability of TIPWeb-IM was the largest deciding factor for me,” says Neal. “Combined with the great experience of working with the friendly and responsive team, what we get for the money is definitely worth it.” Beyond selecting a software solution to solve a number of different inventory and accountability issues, EPS worked with the Client Services team to develop project goals, write customized processes and procedures, and develop change management communications. With comprehensive training and step-by-step procedures, EPS is set up for success. “As the Director of Client Services, my job is to work with districts like Erie Public Schools to develop customized processes that will aid districts in implementation of our inventory management system. We rely on our experiences working with hundreds of schools and using proven best practices to create customized solutions to meet districts’ unique needs and set them up for success,” says John Mellios, Director of Client Services. With increased inventory management capabilities, EPS is creating new processes to help keep buildings accountable for materials and supplies. Additionally, EPS is gearing up for their mid-year annual audit utilizing TIPWeb-IM, and now they have a better understanding of how to streamline processes. By having the visibility to know the quantity and location of instructional materials at every building throughout the district, Neal can save the district money and more effectively reallocate existing supplies.
In the first year of TIPWeb-IM implementation, EPS is still building new processes to streamline inventory management. Yet already in a short time period, the district has already experienced substantial improvements. “I get frequent requests from buildings who need more supplies from our inventory, and the fact that I was able to look on TIPWeb-IM and find those titles in other schools and reallocate them from other buildings rather than spending money and ordering more is huge.” Beyond the resources, time, and money saved just by having increased visibility into district resources, EPS also has also seen efficiencies trickle down into the buildings themselves. With new processes in place, buildings are able to better track and predict what they’ll need. “Buildings are starting to get better at tracking their own textbooks now,” says Neal. Ultimately, Erie City School District is benefiting from increased visibility, improved Inventory oversight, and an efficient reallocation of existing resources. Now, EPS will have a streamlined system, giving district administrators confidence in their inventory so that they can help teachers to teach and students to learn.