Medical Sales College Alleviates Administrative Complications with Custom Software Solution for New Student Recruitment
Bespoke FileMaker Pro Solution Injects New Life into Admissions & Speeds Job Placement Process at Med Device Sales School
As a post-secondary institution, Medical Sales College is committed to recruiting, enrolling, educating and placing students. For years, Medical Sales College used multiple FileMaker Pro databases for student record management and placement. But the system was a chronic pain, requiring staff to cut, copy and paste the same data over and over again. In addition, the old FileMaker Pro system lacked email automation, making placement correspondence a time-absorbing affliction. To alleviate the chronic pains, Medical Sales College hired eXcelisys to build a new, fully integrated student recruitment custom software solution, complete with some job placement automation features. “The big goal was to improve efficiency and automate what we are trying to do,” said Scott Binder, Executive VP of Student Services. The “transplant” to the new student recruitment tool took place in spring 2018 and, ultimately, improved operations.
Pre-Op: How It Used to Work
- A person applies to Medical Sales College (MSC) through a web form.
- Recruiter accesses the information and manually types it into the “applicant” database so the interview and vetting process can begin.
- If the applicant is admitted, the information is re-typed (using a cut-and-paste method) into the “student” database.
- Upon graduation, the student’s information is re-typed into a “placement” database.
- MSC staff send emails to potential employers in the graduate’s target area to introduce the graduate and highlight their qualifications (this was a lengthy process of accessing, cutting and pasting data from multiple layouts so information about the student’s coursework, grades, contact info, etc., could be included).
Post-Op: How It Works Now (with new student recruitment software)
2. Every 10 minutes, the new student recruitment software queries the server looking for new applicants. If one is found, it alerts school recruiters so they can respond in a time-sensitive manner (information autofills from web form into applicant database so staff no longer have to manually transfer the information)
3. Once the applicant is accepted into a program, their status is updated from “applicant” to “student.” With “student” status, additional interface elements open up, allowing users to input related student-only data (see image below).
4. Upon graduation, the student’s information is automatically available to staff in placement services (no need to re-type information into the placement database).
5. MSC staff send emails to potential employers in the graduate’s target area to introduce the graduate and highlight their qualifications (the process is semi-automated; the app pulls data to populate the selected email template so staff no longer have to hunt for the information and type it into the email).
Email Automation Aids Job Placement Process
eXcelisys developer R.J. Carroll was the lead developer on the custom software solution project. He is especially pleased with the app’s email automation feature, which helps Medical Sales College connect graduates with potential employers. “The coolest feature is in pulling the data to generate the emails.”
Carroll said that with the old system, email composition ate up a lot of time. Essentially, Medical Sales College staff would hunt through a list of employers in the graduate’s target area, then compose emails to each employer to introduce the student. To create the email, placement staff had to sort through multiple FileMaker layouts to gather the pertinent information — this included things like the student’s specialty, grade, contact info, etc. This information was cut and pasted into the email. For some students, staffers might send 20 to 30 emails. Imagine the time that took.
Next, email “personalization” is completed through the use of an auto-filled template.
“We’re essentially making a mail merge directly in FileMaker,” said Carroll. “They can select the employers based on the graduate’s criteria, choose a template and create the email in a matter of seconds.”
Alive and Kicking with New Student Recruitment Tool
Binder appreciates the improved efficiency of the new custom student recruitment software has brought Medical Sales College. However, he was surprised by the length of the development process and how long it took to test and tweak the system. “It took a lot longer than I thought,” said Binder. eXcelisys Project Manager Kurt Knippel understood Binder’s frustration and acknowledged that sometimes custom software solutions take longer than eXpected.
“Like any custom development — and especially one with a major shift in functionality — there can be some hurdles as we move into uncharted territory for the client,” said Knippel. “We automated manual processes with no clear guidebook on the steps needed to make that happen for the client. The more new capabilities you add, the more testing and refinement required.”
If email automation and database autofill sound like features that could take your business/organization to the next level, check out our custom FileMaker database development services to eXplore more about what our developers can do for you.