What is a multi-school ERP System or Group of School Management Software?
School ERP systems that can be used across multiple school branches or outposts are called multi-school ERP systems. These multi-school ERP systems ensure that multiple branches of a single school work efficiently and uniformly, no matter how far flung these branches are compared to each other. Group of School Management Software systems are built for schools with multiple branches who are seeking to recreate a similar, cohesive experience for all students across branches of their school. Multi-school ERP systems also help systemise some processes and rules across branches to ensure that students have a uniform learning experience across branches. The quality of education a school imparts is thus managed well across branches when a Group of School Management Software is in place.
What is the purpose of multiple school branches?
It is not uncommon for successful schools to open up multiple branches or commonwealth universities of the original school. There are multiple reasons for this.
First, good schools are often in high demand, which means that opening a branch of the school can help meet the needs of a growing student body.
Second, in times of cities exploding in size and population, good schools can often seem physically inaccessible to students living in far flung localities. This means that students in these localities are missing out on a good education or have to be content with local schools that might not meet their needs. With schools that have multiple branches, students get access to some choice in education, instead of having to settle for what is available.
A multi-school ERP can be used to manage multiple school branches across geographies and timezones efficiently and systemically.
Can’t I just use separate School ERP systems?
Detractors would question the use of a multi-school ERP system when individual school ERP systems could be implemented at each branch of the school instead. While this seems like a far easier decision to make, since it does not require buy in from multiple branches of the school in question, it would actually result in a lot of inefficiencies in the long run.
While branches exist in an individual capacity and run independently, it is important to remember that these are not different schools or different branches. Branches of a school function under the same mandate and are committing to providing their students the same learning experiences across branches. To be able to ensure this, schools have to be able to ensure that processes, rules, regulations, and facilities provided across schools to teachers, administrators, non-education staff, and branch management are uniform – this begins with ensuring that the school ERP system in place at each of these branches is a multi-school ERP system.
Using a Group of School Management Software ensures that processes remain the same across branches, which trickles down to systems, rules, regulations, and ultimately teaching. A greater sense of unity is also the overall result when a multi-school ERP system is put in place.
What features does a good multi-school ERP system offer?
Common plugins across branches
One key advantage of using a multi-school ERP system is that plugins chosen as add ons remain common across branches. This means that a Library plugin used by the main branch will function the same way across subsidiary branches, resulting in a library system that is robust and resourceful thanks to its collective strength. What is more is that the administrator of the multi-school ERP system can assign permissions for plugins per his discretion and what each branch in the school system actually means.
This means that customised usage of plugins across schools is also possible, since permission to use said plugins in the Group of School Management system will be granted per the need and requirement of each of the subsidiary branches. This level of uniformity yet individuality strikes that tricky balance needed between multiple branches of a school system and can only be made possible by a multi-school ERP system.
Multiple payment gateway for smoother transactions
One of the biggest hassles for any school, college, or educational system is the entire process of fee payment. There are multiple reasons for this – from a process fraught with red tape and paperwork to addressing the minute, detailed individual needs of each students that a school is honour bound to address.
A Group of School Management system resolves a lot of the issues that are related to the technical aspects of fee payment – from calculating deductions and extra fees levied on a student by student basis, to generation of fee reminder, to providing a simple payment gateway that is accessible from any device at any time from anywhere by parents, to even generation of fee receipts once the fees have been paid.
These are all tasks that a school ERP system would ordinarily handle, but when multiple branches come into play a multi-school ERP system should be deployed. This is because with a multi-school ERP system, multiple payment gateways are assigned to each branch school thus making fee collection get dispersed amongst branch schools (and be customised to their needs) but also all of it is funneled to the parent school since it is all happening on the same platform – the Group of School Management system.
Setting up SMS alerts in one go
SMS alerts are used in school to ensure swift, private, reliable communication between various stakeholders at the school. Since SMS alerts are often used to convey emergency information, it is vital that these function flawlessly.
With a multi-school ERP system, SMS alerts can be set up in one go for all branches in the school system – this ensures that in times of emergency, all students across branches in the school system receive the same information at the same time. With a Group of School Management system in place, SMS notifications become a reliable source of information that parents can trust.
The same goes for all email notifications for all branches of the school. The multi-school ERP system can be set up in one go to function in exactly the same way for all branches of the schools ensuring that parents can rely on both SMS and email to inform them of happenings at school.
Multiple Admin Profiles
Just because a school system has many branches does not mean an overburdened staff at the parent school or a dysfunctional day to day working for subsidiary schools. A multi-school ERP system ensures that multiple admin profiles can be set up for each branch school to ensure smooth workflow that caters to individual needs of the schools.