Cities Digital Customer Highlight Simple as Pie: Transforming Forms at Linn-Benton Community College
Laserfiche Solution Contributed by Lena Spencer, Information Services Specialist, Linn-Benton Community College
Albany, Oregon is home to Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC), one of the largest of its kind in the state, serving over 22,000 students annually. This innovative community college has been using Laserfiche for more than ten years finding new ways to improve efficiency and streamline processes.
Each year at Thanksgiving, the LBCC Culinary Department holds a pie baking fundraiser for all of the staff and faculty at the college. “Previously the process included the fundraiser being sent out in an email and the staff replied with their orders. After receiving the orders, they printed and cut out the orders and taped them on boxes. This process resulted in some missing and incorrect orders,” said Lena Spencer, Information Services Specialist, LBCC.
Determined to support the Culinary Arts Department, Lena developed a Laserfiche Form to help the Culinary Department track the Thanksgiving Fundraiser Orders. The new form helps the department more easily track the orders that come in allowing for a more streamlined process. Additionally, “the creation of this form has led to increased knowledge of features within forms leading to form improvements for other departments.” Which Lena shared, “was one of the biggest benefits to sharing this form.”
The Culinary Arts Thanksgiving Fundraiser Form Makes Orders More Efficient
The form allows the Culinary Department to keep track of pie orders efficiently, minimizing errors. While the form is relatively simple, the customizations, use of index tables, and calculations make it a practical solution.
A three-step process was sufficient for this form. The process begins with a staff member populating the Culinary Arts Thanksgiving Order Form. Once the form is submitted, the customer receives an order notification with the total amount due. Then, the orders save to the Laserfiche Repository. The automated process was simple to implement, and the improved method of collecting information creates a more effective solution.
The customization features in Laserfiche Forms are a great way to personalize the form. LBCC has customized several forms using the themes tool and personalizing the forms. In Laserfiche Forms, there is a tab for themes, clicking on that tab will bring up a variety of options for customizing the form’s theme. For example, adjusting the wallpaper can be done by selecting Themes> Backgrounds> Wallpaper in the Forms Designer and specifying a fill pattern. There are a variety of other features that can be customized as well, such as such as the font, colors, images, and more.
The index tables and calculation features were less familiar to LBCC until the creation of the Fundraiser Form. The index tables, allow the creation of specific fields, like dynamic drop-down lists, item prices, and quantities. The form used these tables to include a drop-down menu for pies, the customer sets an amount and then the price pre-populates. Another form that LBCC created contained drop-down fields with a class list for registration for Community Education.
The index tables and having the ability to calculate the values automatically within the form were vital in making this form successful. When the field options open, the advanced features allow for formulas that calculate the values that are input. The formulas can be customized at a very granular level. This concept was instrumental in uncovering many new ways that LBCC could utilize their forms.
Lena shared her findings with the Business Office at LBCC, after the creation of the Fundraiser Form. The Business Office was having a similar issue needing calculations for indexed information. Now that they know how to add calculations into their forms, the Financial Hold Appeal Form was adjusted to include the calculations, allowing students to go online and submit a late payment agreement. The students can specify how much needs to be paid to get the balance to zero. The form calculates the payments as they are scheduled.
Linn-Benton is also using these features for the Campus Store Deposit Forms. The new feature on the form allows all of the college campuses to eliminate the paper process. The form now enables each campus to submit deposits online allowing quicker access to the deposit information and totals. The satellite campuses can deposit money in the banks directly instead of having to drive into the main campus.
The Campus Store Form uses the advanced tab option to calculate the total amount that the form shows as deposited.
Lastly, the Community Education Department is coming on-board with a new process, allowing students to register and pay for non-credit classes using these Laserfiche tools.
The Laserfiche Forms features that were learned helped to propel forms creativity throughout the college. The implementation of the Culinary Arts Fundraising Form helped to produce a more efficient process for LBCC, preventing any pie order mix-ups this Thanksgiving.