9 December 2010

10 ways to make your Music Service more cost effective

Avoid letting the budget cuts affect your music and performing arts service, instead follow our steps to make your service more cost effective and efficient.

1. Efficiently inform all members of a group for cancellations

Due to unforeseen circumstances lessons, groups etc are cancelled which means that a significant amount of time is used up getting hold of teachers and pupils to inform them. Therefore it is necessary to find the most cost effective and efficient way to reach them. Many forward thinking organisations now consider SMS and emails an invaluable tool, and Ensemble allows you to contact all members of a group through the database by sending emails and text messages.
Quickly type messages and send them to all members of a group as easily as one individual. Check what messages have been sent by viewing the comprehensive communication log.

2. Use online applications

Parent’s application for their children to join a lesson can be a long drawn out process, and often means that once the application is received it then needs to be imputed by the administration team. Here cost efficiency can be save through providing an online space for parents to apply, pay and check their child’s progress without even getting in contact with the service.
Ensembles cloud database allows them to do everything online, which means fewer interruptions for the administration team.

3. Use online timesheets for teachers

It can be a long process for the administration team to gather timesheets from teachers, waiting for them and then having to administer them into the system. Ensemble allows teachers to fill in their own timesheet online, cutting back on unnecessary administration costs.

4. Improve debt management

As with any successful business it is important to keep a good cash flow system in place. One key part of this is to improve your debt management. Most debts are not bad but are often the result of people who have genuinely forgotten to pay which is why it is so important to remind parents/payers at regular intervals and to give them deadlines which are both realistic but also not so far in the advance it will give them the opportunity to forget. Ensemble sends out an automatic invoice to debtors at specified periods so you can keep on top of this.

5. Measure the value of individual teachers

Teachers are a core part of any music service they are your key resources. Therefore it is important that they are working to optimum capacity. By analysing their progression with Ensemble this means that it is possible to highlight any links between the teachers and the success that their pupils are achieving. It is therefore possible to ensure that your service is working to the best of its abilities or identify where problems have arisen, and perhaps where more training should be allocated.

6. Optimum utilisation of teachers

Teachers are an effective resource for services and should be used effectively. For example you may start the year with 10 pupils in a group but a few months later this may drop to 5 as the year progresses, so while at the beginning it was necessary to have 2 teachers, this is probably no longer the case, and valuable resource could be better employed elsewhere. Ensemble allows you to consistently check this information, and records can easily be updated online.

7. Online mileage calculator

With many services, teachers need to travel from school to school it is therefore necessary to find out the optimum schools or routes for a teacher to take. With Ensemble online mileage calculator it is possible to do this.

8. Find cover efficiently

A time consuming task is to find cover efficiently, without having to ring around to all the teachers that you currently hold on your database. It is possible to use Ensemble’s data extractor to specify which teacher’s will be free at that particular time, who will be able to get there and who is qualified to take the class.

9. Understand what are the main reasons for pupils to leave

As with any business it should be necessary to find out about customer dissatisfaction. If you have had a lot of pupils leave one lesson in particular, Ensemble will record the reasons for this so that in future this can be avoided.

10. Reporting and analysis of how the service is progressing

Reports are necessary for any music service, as part of the dfes and Ofsted who want to know how you are doing, what you are doing in order for any assessment. But analysis and reports can also be a useful tool to find out where you are going wrong and thus help you to rectify these mistakes. Ensemble Insight allows you to produce custom reports to help this.

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