As a business owner, I spend a lot of time tracking and analyzing numbers, ratios and trends that are collectively indicative of the health and progress of the company. A former mentor of mine used to often repeat, “Tom, pay close attention to the numbers. They will set you free!” He remains correct. For example, the year-over-year volume trends are solidly predictive and help us insure that our customer service department is properly staffed during peak volume periods like January and August. Hiring, training and even vacation policies are all managed in order to insure we have optimal resources on hand when volumes peak. Nothing very magical about that.
Looking over the data this year, we noticed a statistical aberration in the last two weeks of December 2015. The number of transcript orders completed during the last two weeks of the calendar year has increased sharply from historical norms. From December 23rd to January 4th, we completed nearly 40,000 transcript orders. The same pattern was observed in 2014, but not as pronounced. In my book, two aberrations equal a “trend,” and a growing trend at that. So we decided to investigate.
What we found is that an increasing percentage of our client institutions are making use of our eRoboMail® print and mail service to augment electronic transcripts. Doing so enables the complete outsourcing of the entire transcript function to Credentials. While most new schools we work with have decided to outsource print and mail, many long-time clients are now adding the service as well. And you the reader are thinking, “So what?” Well, the reason this is important is that eRoboMail accelerates completion of the transcript order when the Registrar’s Office is closed for the holiday. In the good old days, a transcript order that needed to be printed in the Registrar’s Office essentially sat in a pending status until the Registrar returned from holiday and started printing transcripts. This often resulted in a delay in fulfilling a transcript order for as much as two weeks. With eRoboMail, all transcript orders, electronic and paper, are completed and fulfilled while the Registrar staff is away on holiday. Hence, the huge pile of transcripts that greeted Registrars upon their return is a thing of the past.
The benefit stream resulting from eRoboMail is far reaching:
- The student benefits because the transcript is received at the destination sooner and well in advance of transcripts coming from schools producing them the old fashioned way.
- The Registrar has eliminated a major backlog of work at the beginning of a new term.
- With no backlog to contend with, scarce resources can be allocated to more important tasks that enable the new term to get off to a strong start.
- Errors are eliminated through automation and audit controls, reducing phone inquiries and re-work.
- Transcript fees are collected and remitted one month earlier in December rather than January, thus accelerating some cash flow.
Perhaps the morale in the Records Office benefits the most. Let’s face it, there is not too much “job enrichment” in folding, stuffing and sealing envelopes. While rendering transcripts is obviously important work, it is nonetheless tedious, unrewarding and error prone. So why not do your staff a favor in 2016? Let Credentials print and mail your paper transcripts. The staff will thank you and so will your students.