This article was originally published in the Summer 2019 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.
Founded in 1871, Fulton County School System has approximately 96,700 students across 105 schools, and more than 14,000 full- and part-time employees. It purchased Nintex technology as part of an add-on to a packaged customer relationship management (CRM) solution, using Microsoft SharePoint online to manage its grant approval processes. Realising the potential of workflow automation, Anne Sexton, coordinator of the school system’s Enterprise Applications team, began eyeing other processes that could benefit its operations.
One process automated with Nintex is the STEAM Academy application, which groups the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics curriculum together for one of Fulton County’s elementary schools. To enrol their child in the programme, parents had to submit a two-page paper form for review by the programme coordinator, who would contact parents individually with the results. Admission to the programme has various requirements based on age and grade, with older students also needing to submit a project to apply.
The school’s programme coordinator is also its assistant principal, and manually processing more than 200 applications each year, eating up valuable time. The coordinator asked Sexton and Eric Rhodes, SharePoint and Nintex developer/administrator at Fulton County Schools, if automation could provide a better way to manage, track and keep up with the application process.
Rhodes used Nintex to completely digitise the STEAM Academy application process. He used Nintex Forms to create an anonymous online application form shared via a link for parents to complete. Once the form is submitted, a workflow is kicked off notifying the programme coordinator and the application is added to a SharePoint list, where every step in the process is tracked. After reviewing an application, the programme coordinator can approve or decline from the list, automatically notifying parents of their child’s acceptance status. The solution provides complete and easy visibility into the status of each application, and it can be expanded and tweaked for other schools running the programme.
The Enterprise Applications team is finding more opportunities to use Nintex, especially for digitising paper forms. So far, they’ve built Nintex solutions for class size exception requests, replacing paper forms across departments, school site visits, warehouse and equipment inventory and more. Previously, requests for class size exceptions all came in as individual emails. Rhodes quickly automated this process and is planning to implement Nintex Hawkeye to monitor the requests.
Demand for Nintex at Fulton County Schools is viral. When a solution is implemented in one department, others realise they have a similar need and ask the Enterprise Applications team what can be done with Nintex.
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