The Case: Education In Australia (EIA)
“Education In Australia” (EIA) is a boutique student recruitment firm operated by Ms Toni Carlow and members of her family in the heart of Brisbane CBD. The firm specializes in recruiting international students for Universities, TAFE’s and private registered training organisations.
EIA began operating 10 years ago as a boutique student recruitment firm with Toni and her assistant Tina undertaking most of the work. Toni bought a Personal Computer, a multifunction device (Printer, Scanner & Copier) and hired a room in a business centre to set up the initial operation. The business operated 5 days a week, from 9 am to 5 pm and engaged in minimal advertising.
EIA’s business processes are manual, including the creation of client contracts, accepting payments and issuing receipts, generating letters to students and other stakeholders. Student details are maintained using a spread sheet, and appointments were maintained in Microsoft Outlook. All student files are paper based and staff would often need to spend time searching for a particular file. Once the student file was found, additional time was spent looking for documents within a particular file. Sometimes files would go missing and then reappear after a few days. The misplacement of files would create strain for the staff by causing embarrassment in front of students. Toni soon realised that valuable time was being wasted locating and managing files. In addition, Australian legislation required that the file from a closed case had to be kept on the firm’s records for 7 years.
Current Manual Process
Student approaches EIA to discuss admission options and provides bio demo information, contact details, copies of passport, visa, English language proficiency and previous qualifications. EIA staff fill out application forms depending upon the course / provider selected by the students and send this to the provider requesting an offer letter. If the student is accepted by the provider, the provider issues an offer letter to the student via EIA. The student signs the offer and pays EIA the course fee. EIA remits the course fee along with signed offer letter to the provider who subsequently issues a COE. This completes the recruitment process.
Subsequently after the student is enrolled with the provider, EIA accounting staff raise an invoice to the provider to claim commission for the student recruitment. Accounting staff have to often follow-up these invoices and chase payments from providers.
Details that are currently manually recorded on file are:-
- Student name, address, contacts details (phone, mobile, email)
- Details of offers applied, received
- Details of Fees paid by student to the provider via EIA
- Details of COE Received like COE Number, COE Date, COE Duration & Fees
- Student Education Documents
- Student English Proficiency Evidence (Like IELTS or PTE or OET Exam results)
- Visit & Call Notes of all interactions with students
- Reminders set by staff to follow-up offers, COE or payments
- List of providers & the courses offered by each provider include start dates, end dates, course fees and entry requirements
All invoices are created manually using pen and paper and outstanding payments from education providers are tracked by setting reminders in Microsoft Outlook
Problems with the Current System
- Only one staff member can access important information at a time which causes bottlenecks especially if staff are away
- There is some duplication with paper and electronic records
- Records are held in computer applications plus in paper form
- The system does not provide an effective means for keeping deadline details
Due to these problems, some transactions have not been handled well and customer complaints are increasing.
Desired New System
Toni Carlow owner of Education in Australia has identified that her major priority is to create a system that ties together all the key elements of student recruitment transactions. She has hired your company, Brisbane Business Systems as consultants to carry out analysis and develop the specifications for an automated Student Recruitment Management System.
Toni has earmarked a budget of $50,000 for this project with a discount rate of 6%. She estimates that the new system will help her reduce her staffing cost by $2,000 per month and increase commission’s income by atleast another $2,000 per month thus increasing her overall profitability by $4,000 per month. Maintenance cost could be estimated at around $1500 per month.
Glossary of Terms
EIA = Education In Australia
TAFE = Technical & Further Education
COE = Confirmation of Enrolment
IELTS = International English Language Testing System
PTE = Pearson Test of English
OET = Occupational English Test