How Derry Township School District Became One Of Pennsylvania’s Top Educational Infrastructures With Asset Panda

Like most public education infrastructures, this Hershey, Pennsylvania school district needed a digital solution to amp up its efficiency without breaking the bank. For a fitting solution with a price tag that matched, the district switched to Asset Panda and has stuck with it ever since.

Asset Panda Solutions:

  • Data import
  • Barcode generator
  • Asset tracking over multiple locations
  • Customize your mobile app from the web
  • Unlimited custom fields

Customer since: August 2016

The Derry Township School District is a mid-sized suburban public school district serving Derry Township in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. According to the 2010 US Census, the district serves more than 3,500 students with a staff of 275 teachers. Like most public school programs, the Derry Township School District’s most pressing issue is to balance exceptional education with the rigorous adherence to a budget required of all taxpayer-funded organizations.

We believe that the best way to serve our students and our taxpayers alike is to be open and transparent about where our funding goes. We want to show that our budget is being spent wisely on equipment that will benefit students as much as possible. This means that it’s especially important for us to keep scrupulous records of our district assets.

This becomes more important each year as technology advances. We want our students to achieve an education in technological literacy, and that means giving them the right tools to succeed. Some of the largest pieces of computer equipment are housed in a data center and difficult to lose, but it’s vital that we keep tabs on each machine’s maintenance and lifecycle so we can avoid an untimely breakdown. Additionally, many of our students have iPads that they keep on their person each day to help them in class, and to misplace even one between school years would be an expensive and unnecessary cost.

With a staff stretched thin as it is, we’ve always been aware of the importance of a digital asset management solution that can keep records of these technological and other assets. We first attempted to work with a Filemaker database, and when that didn’t meet our needs, we moved on to Google Sheets. However, both systems were too lax for our purposes. Neither of these spreadsheet systems required us to input vital information, like the Purchase Order or Purchase Amount, so overworked staff members sometimes would forget too. There were also repeated times that staff would accidentally delete large amounts of data on our Google spreadsheet.

Two years ago, we switched to Asset Panda and everything improved. We were able to easily import the data from our Google spreadsheet. The import process ensured that we kept the data that was useful moving forward and left junk data out. It was very simple to understand the software and get everyone on board, even if they don’t consider themselves very technical. Staff members can access the database from either their desktop computer or mobile phone, whatever is more convenient and comfortable for them, and removing the accessibility barrier has gone a long way toward making sure people keep it up to date. The mobile version is especially handy for when I and the rest of the Technology Department are going to and from schools or the data center to check on assets and only have our iPhones handy. We can easily reassign an asset using only our handheld devices.

Having a web-based asset management system has been very helpful. It’s no wonder that within the last few years, our district has been ranking even more highly in Pennsylvania and the US. Niche, a website that publishes research on U.S. colleges, schools, neighborhoods, and companies, ranked our district as overall “Best” in Dauphin County, #19 (of 498) in Pennsylvania and #163 among the 10,758 public school districts rated across the nation. More importantly than anything else, leaving digital device management to our software solution has made it so we can focus more often on our most important asset of all: our students.

David Sweigert, Director of Technology

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