Mississippi Public Universities
2007 Finance, Business and Administration Winners
First Place: Delta State University
"Increased Efficiencies in Business Processes through Barcoding"
Delta State University's Alumni and Foundation realized that they needed to change the way that they gathered and maintained data on alumni and donors because the software processes were cumbersome, labor intensive, and prone to error. They wanted to maintain the existing Banner software system used campus-wide, but more fully utilize its technological efficiencies it offered through an inexpensive implementation of barcoding. Through the determination and ingenuity of one employee 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 of the nine-digit Banner ID number. Every piece of correspondence bears the barcode and nine-digit ID number 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 is increased from 10 errors per 1,000 characters to 1 per 3.4 million characters. Historically, these systems have a demonstrated payback period of 6 to 18 months. It happened in fewer two months at the Alumni and Foundation Office. The increased efficiency through barcoding allows Alumni and Foundation employees to better analyze existing data and react accordingly to information so that they work less expensively and save numerous work hours normally devoted to manually retrieving data. The Alumni and Foundation Office is in conversation with other offices such as Athletics, Bologna Performing Arts Center, and Purchasing to help them implement barcoding. The Alumni and Foundation's technological adaptation to barcoding will positively affect every aspect of campus life at DSU.
Second Place: Jackson State University
"Comprehensive Vehicle Management Solution"
In continued commitment to improving operational efficiency, Jackson State University has completed Phase I of its Comprehensive Vehicle Management program. The program is a result of a routine audit of capital assets, expenses, and current utilization, performed by Wayne Goodwin, Assistant Vice President of Facilities & Construction Management. The analysis indicated many capital assets were not being fully utilized while operating costs for the assets continued to mount. One key area in which significant savings could be realized was the university's vehicle fleet under the management of the Department of Facilities and Construction Management (FCM). The fleet review for Phase I suggested only 71% of the 70 university-owned vehicles were being used on a daily basis. Additionally, approximately 65% of the vehicles in the fleet were 10 years old or older, and higher maintenance, fuel costs and reliability issues, associated with operating the older models, were causing an increase in operating budgets in each department. Furthermore, the vehicles did very little to enhance the campus image. With limited capital funding, the challenge for the University was to eliminate the vehicles as capital assets, update the fleet with newer, fuel efficient models, and reduce operating expenses - all at once.