Millikin University began a search to replace their paper bound board books under a simple premise: they needed a software solution that made meetings more efficient without costing more than what they paid annually to print and bind their paper board books. To find the right fit for their board, Millikin spoke with business leaders, talked with peer educational institutions, and listened to a series of online presentations.
Millikin’s desire to find a digital solution stemmed from an all too common problem: time intensive board book creation and distribution challenges from a geographically diverse board. The University’s board would meet on campus three times a year, often conducting additional committee meetings remotely. To prepare for meetings, books would have to be prepared, printed, and mailed long in advance of the actual date to ensure their members had a sufficient amount of time to read the materials. When the 45-member board met on campus, the board books would have to make the trip with the members. Not only did this require a long lag time and burdensome traveling materials, but Millikin also had to consider whether to archive, store, or destroy the books after the meeting. They didn’t want confidential material to become lost or misplaced. Weary of continued reliance on a medium that proved difficult to distribute and insecure in nature, they began to survey digital solutions.
After 110 years of institutional governance conducted with paper, Millikin adopted Passageways’ OnBoard. Solving creation and distribution challenges was key for Millikin’s success. Using OnBoard, Millikin now streamlines the process of book creation and distribution. Various members contribute files and reports, while one person is charged with the final distribution. Updates are pushed out in real time to every member eliminating the hassle of postal distribution, allowing remote meetings to occur in a much more organized climate.
OnBoard offered directors the assurance that their one compiled board book was always up to date. It erased the need to bounce between various reports and briefs. OnBoard also eliminated concerns over what to do with past meetings. Today, the directors have access to all their former materials, archived in a secure and searchable format.
The transition away from paper has resulted in a $9,000 annual savings for the University, a 26% ROI for removing paper from the equation. The savings were complimented by the simple transition away from paper.
The ease of use was especially important for their university as the majority of their members began adopting iPads. Pat Pettit, Millikin’s Director of Information Technology, praised OnBoard’s continued commitment to minimalist design and expanded tools. “Passageways has been really good about listening to their users,” she remarked, “their product is user friendly and continues to expand its functionality. Now everyone calls up their board packet on their device and follows along… It’s just a seamless process,” Ms. Petit said, “It has made collaboration very easy.”
“Passageways has been really good about listening to their users, their product is user friendly and continues to expand its functionality. Now everyone calls up their board packet on their device and follows along… It’s just a seamless process. It has made collaboration very easy."
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