Achieving full visibility into your educational investment with a resource management solution

Manage all resources to increase student learning effectiveness and administrative efficiency with Destiny Resource Manager from Follett
By: | Issue: August, 2015 | Thought Leadership
June 25, 2015

Bruce Hamilton,
Program Director – Destiny® Resource Managerª
Follett School Solutions

Why is addressing resource management more important than ever for districts today?
More and more superintendents are asked: Are we spending too much or too little? What did we spend it on? Did it do any good? It’s important that students have textbooks, tablets and other items to perform well. Audits show a typical school loses between five and 25 percent of their resources every two to three years. With pressure for more resources in the hands of students and staff, what can administrators do?

A resource management solution helps make student learning more effective by getting the right resources into the right hands at the right time for the right purpose. It provides administrators the data needed to make fact-based budgeting and purchasing decisions. Administrative accountability is about being efficientÑdemonstrating how tax dollars are used to buy only what they need, share what they have, and repurpose what remains. By assigning accountability for resources, saving money is a natural result.

What are the top benefits of using a resource management system? How can district operations be improved through one?
Using a resource management solution helps district leaders know how much they’ve invested, how funds are allocated and how much they are being used. It helps implement district policies and procedures and manage day-to-day activities.

The solution needs to maintain a centralized inventory of resources. A system shows the current value of investments, assigns accountability to stop losses, and deploys resources automatically to teachers and students. It shows where and how resources are allocated by type, school, department, subject and more, and lets you review what percentage of resources is being used. At any point, administrators should be able to tie resource use to results. Are interactive databases really utilized and do they result in higher test scores?

What district assets are absolutely necessary to oversee through a central resource management system?
Short answer is: Everything, if it can be done easily. Manage all resources in the hands of students and teachers (textbooks and tablets) and any large district expenditure.

It’s important to manage band instruments, gym equipment and STEM items. Digital assets such as e-textbooks and databases should be managed as part of a student’s overall educational investment. Equipment for students with special needs may need to follow them as they move from school to school. Administrative as well as building and transportation resources should be tracked.

What are the top elements administrators should look for in a resource management system? What innovations can we expect to see in the near future?
Most important is that you decide and define what categories to manage and what information to track. You should be able to use barcodes, RFID tags or track
by quantityÑor a combination depending on the level of accountability you want. Most district leaders track expensive items individually, but may find it more cost effective to manage paperback book sets by counting quantities. It should be up to you.

Centrally assign textbooks, tablets and other resources to teachers and students based on class schedules. Even deploy e-textbooks or digital resources for downloading. In Destiny Resource Manager, a favorite feature is Single Page View of Student’s Resources – every resource a student has in their possession is listed.

Security is vital. Knowing every transaction is recorded and kept forever can help you sleep better at night. A person shouldn’t be able to issue a laptop then delete the record. When managing a multitude of resources, a help ticket system is critical to handle maintenance or repair requests. Lastly, the “holy grail” for resource managers should be the ability to correlate investment and expenditures to learning results or operational improvements.

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