The Hidden Costs of Legacy Systems

Manually handling orders and payments related to day-to-day expenses exposes schools to risk, drains resources and staff members' time, and is error-prone and inefficient. Some of the biggest problems with legacy systems are: 


Paper-based forms for collecting data and money from students and parents are expensive and inefficient. Each form is handled multiple times. For example, if a school cafeteria has a "Pizza Friday" promotion and needs to collect payments and get an accurate count, someone must design and print the forms to send home to parents. Then copies have to be made and distributed to each teacher. The teacher has to pass out the forms to the students at the classroom level, taking valuable time away from teaching. The child then has to take the form home to their parent to fill out and provide payment. 

The next day, the student returns the form and cash or credit card information to the teacher, who again has to take time away from teaching to collect it. An administrative staff member collects the forms, sorts them, transfers the data to a usable format, submits it to the cafeteria staff, takes the money to the bank, and processes any credit card payments. The cafeteria staff then has to communicate with the pizza restaurant to fulfill the orders. 

Contrast this laborious process to the ease of using a digital ordering and payment system. The school sends out a mass email to all parents informing them of the pizza promotion and provides a link where they can order and pay for pizza. The school offers secure access to the pizza restaurant to prepare and deliver the orders. No class time is spent dealing with orders. No staff time or school resources such as ink and paper are used for advertising the promotion or processing orders and payments. 

Risk of loss and fraud

It's easy for papers and money to get lost during the multiple steps in manual processes. Unfortunately, there are also security risks involved in exposing sensitive data such as credit card information to so many different people. Carrying cash always brings the risk of theft. Online school payment options mitigate the risks of loss, theft, and fraud by encrypting information and eliminating the need for cash. 

Poor user experience

The notion of UX, or user experience, has entered our lexicon through digital product design. However, user experience is relevant to real-world interactions as well. Manual systems for processing orders and payments result in poor user experiences for everyone, particularly people accustomed to using digital systems in all other areas of their lives. 

Paper notices are difficult to keep up with, adding another layer of redundancy for busy parents to handle. They also require time-consuming interactions between school staff and parents. Dealing with them has multiple inefficient and disjointed steps.

The entire process is out of step with the parents and staff members who don't have this hassle in any other arena. They can order and pay for the week's groceries on their phone and have them delivered. Even children can order the latest game via a smart speaker in their living room. Yet when they handle small expenses related to school, they have to locate cash or their checkbook or sit down and write out their credit card number by hand. 

The Benefits of Using a Digital Ordering and Payment System

Modern digital payment systems offer significant benefits to schools, parents, and children. While the exact amounts may vary based on the number of students, schools can save up to $84,000 and over 2000 hours annually. Some other benefits include: 

Saves teachers' time

Digital systems eliminate the need for teachers to deal with money or collect slips of paper. Order forms can be completed within the system, so the teacher never sees them. 

Saves administrative time

School staff won't have to spend hours designing, printing, copying, collecting, sorting, and logging paper slips. Digital systems also eliminate the need for school staff to transport cash to the bank for deposit and process credit card payments by hand. 

Improves record-keeping

Manually entering data associated with payments and orders is time-consuming and prone to mistakes. It's easy to enter a number in the wrong column, lose count, or attribute one student's order to another. Digital systems handle data categorization and calculations automatically. 

Improves data security

Keeping a written log of parents' credit card information is incredibly risky. Their personal details are exposed to anyone who handles their order form during its multistep journey. It's also exposed to anyone with access to the paper forms at any time. Digital systems have to conform to security standards and notify users in the event of a data breach. 

Making the Switch to a Digital System

When you're ready to reap the benefits of switching to a digital system, Boonli offers everything you need to manage orders and payments for your entire school. Our easy-to-use solution will save your school time and money and let your teachers spend their precious class time doing what they do best: teaching students. Reach out today for a demo or call to speak to one of our experts to find out how we can help your school.