As part of our ongoing commitment to our customers, and the development of our staff, we arranged to send Tribal ebs support, Learie Cormack and Antonia Martin, to Warrington Collegiate, to obtain a first-hand view of their day to day operations.As an ebs customer of many years, Warrington Collegiate were able to accommodate us and give us a true view of how our MIS System, ebs, is being used by real people in a real environment.
Our objectives were simple; to truly understand the requirements of our customers to enable us to deliver a more informed and efficient support service.
What we learned:
While a proportion of using ebs concerns data entry and while we did get to experience that first hand with some registers tasks we were set, we quickly realised it’s not all about mouse clicks and keyboard tapping. The Timetabling and Exams team are constantly on the phone and being visited by tutors who need to move rooms, book exam times, add learners to exams, and all sorts of college-life scenarios. They use ebs to find availability, add learners/rooms, timetable for hundreds of classes and it is seamlessly integrated with their processes so a tutor can visit in person and an event be booked for them within seconds.
The team at Warrington Collegiate were very positive about ebs, and when we introduced new functionality for them they were excited to learn how it worked and begin using it immediately to make their lives easier; this included clone curriculum, roll forward in Client, and de-duplication in Client. Any issues users had were raised with us as suggestions for improvement; the team had loads of ideas about how ebs could work better for them and it was clear they wanted to work with us to make the software as efficient as it can be.
A realisation we had was that people’s job roles differ from institution to institution. While we expected Andy (Systems Development Manager) to be hidden away taking IT calls from users, he is actually very involved in the integration of ebs within their systems. He writes reports and configures the software to Warrington’s advantage, one example being a report from Client that with one click will print 2 copies, plus a third with additional information for a Direct Debit in Enrolments.
He works closely with the MIS team and timetables, registers, ALS, ILR and exams staff all work together in the one room and are a very close-knit, friendly team. It was great to see what a ‘Systems Development Manager’ actually entails and that job title doesn’t always give away what goes on.
The apprehension we felt about potentially being left to fend for ourselves soon dissipated after we had met the team and it was a two-way conversation; the team were just as interested in what goes on in our Sheffield office!
What we introduced
- Viewing enrolment list right from the home screen
- Clone curriculum
- Roll forward curriculum in client
- De-duplication in Client
- Bulk editing special dates in learner manager
- Restricting mobile number fields to minimise error
- Extending max records returned to help with batch printing (in Windows)
- Exam roll forward in Web
- What is best to include when raising a support call
- Possibility of the MIAP module
- Possibility of the exam seating module
- ILR scheduling