Over this past year, daily life as we know it has changed tremendously. As the coronavirus pandemic plagued the country, businesses of all sizes struggled to adapt to the abrupt halt of revenue, prioritization of employee safety, and ultimately fighting to keep their business or university open. Thankfully, federal aid through programs such as The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided needed financial assistance to keep businesses afloat. Businesses and universities who received assistance from the CARES Act can receive many benefits, including funding to improve their current technology as many of their daily tasks remain virtual. Here, the in-building and campus logistics experts at SCLogic discuss how the CARES Act can help your business or campus receive state-of-the-art facilities management technology.
CARES Act Relief Supports Universities Through Technology Grants
One industry that has seen a massive shift during the COVID-19 pandemic has been higher education. Universities went from being filled with tens of thousands of students to a ghost town within a matter of one semester. Professors and university stakeholders scrambled to adjust to virtual learning initiatives, and many universities lacked the technology needed to do so effectively. Through the CARES Act, around $14 billion of the $2 trillion stimulus package was given to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund or HEERF. This money has been distributed to many universities to assist with the costs of shifting classes online and student grants used for housing, food, and technology. However, it is important to note that from the date of receiving these funds, states have just one year to use them fully and are encouraged to spend their funds as soon as possible. Additionally, states will need to report an outline of how they plan to spend this money and the criteria they will use to determine aid need to the Department of Education (ED) within 45 days after receiving their funds. In January of 2021, ED announced an additional $21.2 billion available for universities across the country to ensure learning continues under the coronavirus pandemic, known as HEERF II.
Once these funds are distributed to universities and approved for use, higher education stakeholders must figure out the best uses for these funds. Unfortunately, many universities were not equipped with modern and functional technology before the pandemic hit. Due to the drastic decrease in supply, many struggled to receive the needed technology to assist with daily tasks. At SCLogic, our team understands how great an impact this pandemic has had on higher education, which is why we’ve created multiple COVID-19 facilities management resources and shifted our strategy to focus on your immediate needs. From integrating with intelligent lockers to transforming campus logistics with self-service kiosks, Intra is the perfect solution to bring your facilities management department and mailroom to the next level. As some universities return to in-person or hybrid schooling, ensuring that your team is equipped with the proper technology to manage the influx of students after a year of virtual learning is imperative.
Intra’s Campus Logistics Workflows Provide a Comprehensive Solution
With over a quarter-century in the campus logistics realm, our team has had to continuously adapt to remain ahead of the curve for facilities management technology. As the coronavirus pandemic turned the world upside down, we understood that our job was to be a solution-oriented hub of information and resources for campuses of all sizes. As a response, we altered multiple workflows within our Intra EDU campus logistics software to cater to the immediate needs of universities across the country.
Touchless Delivery Options
As a company rooted in all things facilities management, package tracking through the entire chain-of-custody is our specialty. With the onset of the pandemic, we realized that many campuses were missing vital touchpoints for their packages to reduce the frequency of human-to-human contact and improve efficiency and safety for those still on campus. Contactless delivery options, including intelligent lockers and self-serve kiosks, provide innovative solutions for students to receive their packages at flexible times, avoiding crowds that commonly build during peak mailroom hours.
Additionally, many mailrooms require a 24-hour package quarantine as a precautionary measure. With the help of our Intra EDU software, many can automatically send text/email notifications to students to notify them that their package is ready for pick-up. Finally, we offer touchless signature alternatives, such as the use of a student ID number, Apple Pay, or campus-issued card to avoid additional contamination.
As students and faculty slowly return to campus, one thing that is of utmost importance is maintaining a steady log of visitors in and out of your campus. As contact tracing remains, being able to minimize transmission of COVID-19 and pinpoint possible exposure times can help keep your campus safe. Through Intra EDU, our software provides extensive insights into visitor tracking, allowing you to create logs, as well as flags for unwanted visitors on your campus. With comprehensive reporting capabilities, Intra provides a clear overview of all needed metrics for your department and university stakeholders to create a welcoming and safe environment for all.
Within our Asset Logistics Workgroup, we offer a PPE Tracking Workflow. Before the pandemic began, PPE, or personal protective equipment, was not a priority for universities, and many did not have an accurate way to track their supply and adapt to changing demand. By purchasing our Intra EDU software, as well as handheld devices to scan and monitor lofty numbers of packages, universities can ensure that they are fully stocked with all equipment needed to protect their students, faculty, and staff as they return to in-person or hybrid learning.
For universities that receive a large amount of traditional mail, our Digital Mail Workflow is a necessity. With the constant change of students and faculty moving on and off campus and little to no oversight of who is present in person at a given time, making sure your mailroom remains organized is critical. With our digital mail workflow, print mail is scanned in and sent to the recipient. In response, they decide how they would like it handled, including scan, pick-up, delivery, or recycle, as well as custom handling preferences based on the needs of your organization.
Speak with SCLogic About CARES Act Grant Use Today
If your university received a grant from the CARES Act and is nearing the end of your period to spend it, consider investing in top-of-the-line facilities management and campus logistics software through SCLogic’s Intra platform. We understand that this is a complex decision, and our team has made it our priority to help walk you through the process of utilizing CARES Act funding for your university’s unique needs. With a myriad of workflows configurable for your college, as well as software that provides ample benefits to keep your university both safe and efficient, investing in Intra EDU is a decision that yields many long-term benefits, even after the pandemic has passed. To discuss CARES Act grant use and see how SCLogic can assist your university, email [email protected] or schedule a demo today.