The Administrative Streamlining service was set up to reduce red tape and optimise service processes. We look into inefficiency and develop measures designed to limit the administrative burden at the university and implement a modern approach in order to provide more efficient, client-oriented services. Less frustration and more efficiency means better satisfaction for our employees and clients!
More than a glorified cost-cutting operation…
Our service aims to continuously rethink, adapt and renew organisational processes at the university in order to significantly improve performance. We know the university inside out - its strengths and weaknesses, its limits and its possibilities... In short, we know which changes are necessary, desirable and feasible.
Administrative streamlining is more than just a glorified cost-cutting operation: it is an important prerequisite for good-quality service. The focus is on the client, but job satisfaction is also a key objective. Short-term investments in people and resources often lead to long-term benefits. Such benefits not only include lower costs, but also reductions in the administrative burden and labour as well as higher output and added value in the quality of the services provided.
Administrative streamlining is a multidisciplinary process. In practice, optimising administrative services gives rise to improvement projects that will implement changes at various levels (infrastructure, personnel, finance, ICT, communication, etc.) simultaneously.
New IT environments have been introduced, including Peoplesoft and the Blackboard learning environment. The ICT and Education Departments developed the Student Information System Antwerp (SisA), a digital system with an extensive self-service module which facilitates the administrative management of the study path for teachers, students and staff alike. The Finance Department also launched Automotive Invoice Management and the electronic ordering platform. The Personnel Department completely reorganised their electronic application procedure and developed a module for putting together electronic CVs. The management of internal grants and memberships has also been automated and a brand-new system for third-party management is in the pipeline.
But there's more. Lasting modernisation of administration doesn't only involve comprehensive, organisation-wide projects but also - and above all - calls for "quick wins": small changes which lead to big improvements, such as a more accessible, integrated meeting calendar or an electronic newsletter for internal messages.
When developing changes we always start from the client's perspective: we try to ensure that there is real added value for the people who use these administrative services. Our aim is to excel through quality.
In each of these projects, it is the 'owner' of the administrative process - the department responsible - that takes the lead, often in cooperation with a number of other bodies or departments. This is a process we are keen to continue. We dream of achieving even better electronic document management and archiving (a real paperless university) and of making information available faster and more efficiently to the various users and target audiences.
Change of mentality
The main objective of administrative streamlining is to bring about a change in mentality, to take a critical look at the things we do on a daily basis (and how) and be alert to anything which creates a burden, to identify changes and take advantage of these opportunities. Administrative streamlining is not a detail, but a crucial factor in the success of the organisation's daily operations. To achieve our goals, we will need active input from all stakeholders and an organisation-wide, question-oriented approach.