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  • Writer's pictureDario Ferreira

Higher Ed and Automation: What’s the Business Value?

Businesses and other organizations today are struggling with inflation, a tight labor market, and

rising costs. Parking and transportation departments of higher education institutions are no

different. Employees are often juggling multiple responsibilities every day. Finding

ways to do more with less must be the mantra moving into the future.

Automation is one part of the overall answer. The technology available today is both powerful

and affordable, giving colleges, universities, and technical schools the tools they need to

improve the workflows, and therefore efficiency, of their parking systems. It also provides a

vehicle to collect and build data systems for these institutions to make smarter decisions about

allocation and future expansion plans, if needed.

Automating Key Steps

It’s important to remember that automation should not be an all-or-nothing proposition. Most

workflows in any organization are complicated and require the human touch at particular points

in the process. Even most online applications require human data entry behind the scenes.

By identifying which steps during the overall workflow lend themselves to automation,

organizations can extend and streamline both the workflow and other online tools. These will

typically be the repetitive, time-consuming tasks that most employees would be happy to

relegate to process automation.

For example, many higher education institutions are still requiring that students and faculty

apply for parking permits in person, at one location, and during particular hours. The application

process itself is repetitive; certain information must be provided and a pass must be issued.

By moving this process online, these schools can increase business value across the board.

Students and faculty now have 24/7 accessibility to obtain parking passes immediately. The

application process is streamlined, with the computerized system immediately reading and

storing application data entered by the requester. Mundane data entry tasks and interactions

are eliminated, freeing staff for higher level, more fulfilling, job tasks.

Complete Visibility

Over time, this automated system builds a data repository for the higher education institution,

helping decision makers better define parking needs across the entire campus. High-demand

areas or particularly busy periods of time can be identified, and decisions can be made about

parking expansion. This data can be shared with other departments of the school, which can be

considered in scheduling extra activities or even in creating course schedules themselves.

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