The JAMS Team has been helping colleges and universities improve job scheduling for over a decade. As an Ellucian Partner, we know professionals in higher education are passionate about what their organizations do, and driven by their dedication to provide better experiences for all students. Unfortunately, many institutions may miss out on the improvement projects that would provide a better experience because of time lost to manual processing. Some institutions aren’t even aware of the time they’re losing until they perform an Automation Evaluation.
Banner Automation – more important than ever
When Banner jobs are automated with an enterprise job scheduler, they run reliably and quickly – increasing the speed of operations. At the University of Mary Washington (UMW), automating Banner resulted in faster financial aid calculations, which meant the University’s award letters went out faster than the letters from other schools. By quickly providing competitive financial aid and getting their offers out first, UMW established the standard that all other offers would be measured against.
In addition to the competitive advantage, Banner automation also allows staff to shift their focus from running processes to making organizational improvements. At UMW, staff reclaimed 42 hours a week by automating ISIR load imports and aid package processing. The benefits of automation extend to auditing, as well. Instead of pulling hundreds of files to look for human errors, auditors simply pull electronic records and review standard operating procedures built into the automated processes.
Louis Diaz – a resident Banner Automation Expert – gave a quick overview of how JAMS Job Scheduler integrates with Banner, and an example of Banner Automation. Check out the recording.
Barriers to Banner Automation
So, why aren’t more institutions automating with Banner, and what does that mean for them?
One of the main reasons most organizations don’t automate Banner is lack of awareness. Automation is commonly seen as a back-office project, and set aside as a “nice-to-have”. In some cases, automation falls off the priority list because of other projects with higher visibility – even when automation would bring a greater benefit. Automation projects are often postponed or fall through the cracks because organizations have difficulty identifying what they will truly get out of automation.
When automation improvements are ignored, even small processing inefficiencies snowball into larger losses. As an example, Jane loses roughly 5 hours a week to unnecessary manual processing, reporting, tracking down failures, and cleaning up issues. It’s easy to think that the processing “is just” taking an hour each day, but that view ignores the most critical factor about any employee’s time – opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is the benefit that is given up when one option is chosen over another. By choosing to have Jane spend more than 260 hours a year on activities that could be handled with an enterprise job scheduler, the institution is giving up 260 hours’ worth of value-added projects.
Jane’s example is an optimistic scenario. Often, institutions have multiple employees losing multiple hours each day to processing inefficiencies. How many other projects will that manual processing time cost over the four years it takes a student to graduate? How much competitive advantage is the institution losing to operational inefficiency over that time? How can you gauge your institution’s situation?
Banner Automation Evaluation
Figuring out how much time you could be spending on other projects or where your processes could be improved is difficult. Where do you begin, and how can you measure your current conditions to determine the opportunity cost of your manual processing? To help get you started, the JAMS Team offers a free Banner Automation Evaluation.
Our automation experts have years of experience optimizing automation environments. Get their insight on what you can do to improve now, whether you need a solution, and what your optimum environment looks like.