Crown College is a private, four-year Christian college offering a personal, biblically based education. Located near Minneapolis, Minnesota, Crown offers degree-completion programs and graduate degrees and over thirty five undergraduate degrees such as nursing, communication, business and social entrepreneurship.
Crown College has 1,300 students, but is aggressively expanding with the goal of 2,000 students in the next two years.
Waurms believes in empowerment as a form of management. With 150 staff members, he wants everyone to be able to collaborate and share information more easily.
“I think when employees understand the entire picture, including the budgeting process, you get more accurate information,” says Waurms. “I tried to facilitate that kind of collaborative, sharing environment using spreadsheets and e-mail, but it just wasn’t working. Versions cropped up and updates were missed. Employees got frustrated and additional meetings were called to sort out status.”
During this time, the capital budgeting process took 3 months to complete. Large-scale IT projects took too long and meetings were held multiple times a week just to check in on the status. There was no way to keep track of accountability and deadlines.
He immediately moved the capital budgeting process from spreadsheets and e-mail to Smartsheet. With Smartsheet’s proactive notifications and alerts on deadlines and assignments, the project’s duration dropped from 3 months to 4 weeks. A big factor was the ability to avoid back-and-forth by sharing information via e-mail.
With Smartsheet, all of the maintenance technicians can update the sheet as they evaluate campus assets. There are different sections for 1 year projects, 5 year projects and projects which will be addressed in 20 years. The technicians add capital repairs and the CFO can go into Smartsheet to see what the current queue looks like.
Last year, Waurms’ team took on a huge IT project: they implemented document imaging software across campus. The project’s responsibility was shared among 5 administrators.
“Using Smartsheet for the document imaging project saved 6 of us at least 4 hours a week of meeting time for 50 weeks in one year,” says Waurms. “That is 1,000 hours of top level administrator time given back - and that was just on one project.”
In addition to capital planning and IT projects, Crown College also uses Smartsheet for:
“At the end of the day, my department is about adding value to the student experience through improved customer service,” says Waurms. “With Smartsheet, we are able to deliver on that promise more quickly and with more accurate information than before.”