During its most recent regular monthly meeting, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) announced the winners of the 2007 Best Practices Competition, with Delta State University earning top honors in the finance, business and administration category for its “Increased Efficiencies in Business Processes through Barcoding” initiative within the Alumni-Foundation area.
The Best Practices Competition is an annually-sponsored program designed to highlight efforts that create efficient and effective practices initiated within the System’s institutions in the categories of academics; finance, business and administration; student services; and technology. Proposals were judged by peer groups within each of the universities.
Delta State’s winning initiative – "Increased Efficiencies in Business Processes through Barcoding" – began in the Alumni-Foundation area, when the staff realized they needed to change the way they gathered and maintained data on alumni and donors because the software processes in place at that time were cumbersome, labor intensive and prone to error.
They wanted to maintain the existing campus software system, but more fully utilize the technological efficiencies it offered through an inexpensive implementation of barcoding. The office implemented barcoding in less than one week from its first attempt. They bought barcode and laser scanning software and hardware and implemented barcoding.
Today, every piece of correspondence from the Alumni-Foundation bears a barcode so that locating records is as easy scanning the barcode with the hand-held barcode reader. Entering information is as easy as scanning a piece of correspondence. Training takes less than five minutes and accuracy has increased from 10 errors per 1,000 characters to 1 per 3.4 million characters.
Historically, these systems have a demonstrated payback period of six to 18 months. It happened in fewer than two months at the Alumni-Foundation Office.
Of Delta State’s recognition from IHL, Alumni-Foundation Executive Director, Keith Fulcher offered, “The Alumni-Foundation is pleased to accept first place in the Best Practices Competition. The award is validation to the commitment our staff has to quality and productivity, and has led to a transformation in office operations. I commend the staff who implemented barcoding without any directive or mandate and for their dedication to better serve our alumni and donors who support Delta State University.”
For a complete list of the 2007 Best Practices Competition winners, please visit http://www.mississippi.edu/bestpractices/2007_Winners.html.