How to Find the Perfect Instructional Materials Management Software
When deciding on the best instructional materials management solution for your district, we can imagine both money and time are primary concerns. Student success is the most important goal, but an informed decision can benefit multiple aspects of your district’s success. These tips, inspired by Frontline’s 10 Questions to Ask When Evaluating an Instructional Materials Products piece, will guide you to the right system through careful evaluation. What are the important factors to consider when selecting an instructional materials management system? Let’s explore!
Here’s why you want to know…
…If the system is designed specifically for the K-12 educational environment: A system that is already familiar with K-12 will bring features and functionality attuned to the print and digital instructional needs in your district, across buildings, staff, and students. Imagine a system that can also predict administrative needs, perform efficient reporting, and even automate necessary processes.
…If the system provides automated inventory workflows: A solution that incorporates an automated method to add new inventory, transfer inventory and return surplus textbooks will save time for your staff and make these necessary processes more efficient.
…The ins-and-outs of the inventory audit process: Time sensitive inventory audits don’t always require each individual item to be scanned. Because scanning can take up so much time, a system that performs streamlined audits would ensure inventory tracking stays current and updates are timely.
…How the system tracks inventory and losses by user: It is critical for tracking purposes and accountability to be able to identify individual books and current “owners” by the unique barcode number. Unique labeling and scanning instructional materials then only has to be completed once for an automated process that gives insight into utilization, transfer needs, accountability policy needs, charges, etc. to develop.
…The system’s ability to oversee inventory/title quantities: Knowing exactly what instructional materials are required across your district, even across separate systems within the district, is crucial for both student success and accurate budgeting. One centralized solution that can track enrollment and inventory across campuses would be ideal.
…If you can create and export customized reports by title, school, or inventory status: Customizable, flexible reports would allow you to change how you view and assess inventory. Easy excel export options then makes wide distribution easier.
…If you can cross reference course enrollment data from the student information system with instructional material inventory data: Interfacing with your SIS can improve accuracy and timing of inventory data, in real-time. With accurate inventory counts and an SIS integration, fulfillment response times can be reduced.
…If the system allows you to enter and track supplemental items like ancillary, resource kits, calculators, etc.: The ideal solution should track instructional material components, like multi-book sets, kit components and workbooks, separately. Any piece of instructional material can then be managed on its own or associated with a primary title, which allows for greater oversight and potential cost savings.
You may be wondering if there are instructional material management systems that have all of these important functions that enable student success, cost savings, and better time management. Make sure to check out the Dallas ISD case study showcasing Frontline’s Instructional Materials Management solution, where you can find all of these important features within one product.
Nadja Redmond works with the content team at Frontline Education.