Lone Star College System is undergoing a business transformation… but what exactly does this mean? One explanation of the idea is that a business transformation changes the appearance, shape and form of the organization by improving services to customers, making better use of resources and improving the way an institution works by embracing new technology, business models and processes. And that's exactly what iStar is doing for us! Here are some key areas where the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is transforming Lone Star.
Modern ERP systems like PeopleSoft (branded internally as iStar) are built on the concept of self-service, where ready access to information and services 24/7/365 is the norm not the exception. Once fully implemented, Lone Star faculty, staff and students will view, update and interact with information through the many self-service features of the myLoneStar portal. A few examples include: registering and paying for classes; viewing and printing a class schedule; updating personal address and phone information; updating credentials, awards and professional development activities; submitting timesheets; requesting vacation or sick leave; changing direct deposit information; and printing your own W2 statements!
In addition to the efficiency of self-service, our new iStar system also improves services by automating routine processes that were formerly labor-intensive and often fraught with human error, like the use of PARs (Personnel Action Requests) in the hiring process. The new system automates the entire hiring process from start to finish, where information is input electronically, approvals are auto-routed to the appropriate hiring authorities, digital signatures replace (mostly illegible) ink ones, and notification of a new hire is provided to areas like OTS and the police for equipment and access set-up. All of this works together to streamline the hiring process, eliminate delays and provide new employees with a pleasant first impression of Lone Star.
And speaking of paperwork…did you know there were 47 individual pieces of paper required to hire an adjunct through our former process, every single semester? Lone Star's new and improved process only requires 7 forms for new adjuncts but completely eliminates the need for any additional paperwork for adjuncts who return within 12 months! And paper bills sent to students? No more! An E-mail message will be sent directing them to log into myLoneStar to view and pay their bill. Our finance folks estimate this will save Lone Star approximately $170k a year! These, and many other paper-intensive practices, will become electronic processes in iStar, saving Lone Star time, money and resources.
New & Improved
PeopleSoft also provides us with scores of new and improved features. One vital improvement is in the area of budget and planning. The new tool supports statistical modeling and multiple forecasting scenarios which are critical when mid-year state funding cuts are announced. In the Human Resources realm, workshops offered in the Lone Star Learning Network integrate with the ePerformance module, ensuring new hires receive the requisite training to be successful in their jobs.
Francis Bacon said "All things are admired either because they are new or because they are great." iStar and the outstanding work Lone Star employees are doing to implement it will be admired for years to come because it is both new AND great and it's transforming Lone Star's business!