HomePartner UpdatesOregon District Shares 5 Benefits of All-In-One Transportation Software

Oregon District Shares 5 Benefits of All-In-One Transportation Software

The transportation team at Sherwood School District 88J in Oregon recently won a 2023 Excellence Award from Tyler Technologies, a recognition given to organizations that have spurred innovation, increased operational efficiency, increased transparency, and connected their community through technology.

In an interview, Transportation Director Sandi Miller explained that their district was recognized for its end-to-end excellence in using Tyler’s Student Transportation software, parent app, and Tyler Drive on-board tablet.

We asked Sandi to share some of what she’s learned and to break down the benefits of the technology they use — and particularly why using software, apps, and hardware from one vendor made a difference.

More Efficient Teams

Miller shared that by implementing Tyler’s cloud-based solution, she could get her whole department working from the same program and the same data. In their previous software, they faced inefficiencies that forced the few staff with product licenses to work from a dedicated computer. Miller added, “It required users to operate within different screens. Even the staff who did have licenses for the software spent too much time on basic tasks,” such as adding a stop or updating a student’s address.

Because her new Student Transportation software allows unlimited user licenses, she could open up access to her entire team, allowing work to flow more naturally to available staff. Because the software is cloud-based, users can also access the technology as needed from any web-enabled device, allowing work on the go.

Sherwood’s newest opportunities come with the addition of Tyler Drive tablets to their technology suite. Miller looks forward to using these to provide turn-by-turn directions for drivers, including sharing route changes and street restrictions more clearly and efficiently. They’re also doing away with paper inspection forms by using the tablets to electronically fill, sign, and submit pre- and post-trip vehicle inspection reports, saving over 300 pieces of paper per week.

Improved Collaboration

Another benefit of a one-vendor software solution is that it can help improve collaboration and communication. With all relevant data and tools in one place, it’s easier for team members to work together and share information.

With unlimited licenses, Sherwood’s team was also able to open access to select district staff to allow them to look up student route information, reducing calls to transportation dispatchers. Miller shared that she was also able to extend access to the athletics department to empower them to submit their own transportation requests, allowing other district staff to participate in the planning and improving the visibility of trips and events.

Enhanced Service Capabilities

An all-in-one software solution can also help improve service to students and parents. By linking routing information to student and family information, districts can personalize and target their communications.

At Sherwood, Miller utilizes My Ride K-12, a parent communication app offered as part of Tyler’s Student Transportation suite. “One of our district goals was to utilize technology to increase services to our families,” she explained. “Before, our only option [when we needed to send a communication] was to use a flash alert that went to every parent in the district, which created a lot of confusion. Now, if there is a bus delay or changes to the route, we can send out push notifications to just our families that are impacted,” said Miller. More than 90% of Sherwood parents or guardians utilize the parent communication app, drastically improving service communications.

Increased Data Security

Additionally, an all-in-one software solution can help improve security and data protection. With the reduced need to share data with third-party systems, it’s easier to implement security measures to protect sensitive information. Through Tyler’s Student Transportation software, Sherwood’s transportation data is hosted in the cloud and encrypted to increase data protection.

More Robust Reporting

Miller shared that she uses Tyler’s Student Transportation solution to track progress, identify trends, and make informed decisions based on accurate data — especially around driver and staff training. The recent change to the federal Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) standards prompted Miller to increase her focus on recordkeeping. She began documenting all training opportunities, big and small, using the Training module in Student Transportation to help her better track department training sessions.

These capabilities provide transparency and accountability, allowing district stakeholders to understand the state of the department and its performance. Overall, robust reporting capabilities are essential for any organization that wants to recognize success and make data-driven decisions.

Looking Forward

Our final question for Miller was: “What’s next?” She said she plans to find even more ways to leverage technology: “I’m always thinking down the road to what I will need.”

To learn more about solutions from Tyler Technologies, visit tylertech.com/stn.

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