RPP #218 Misty Reinhardt Transcript

 The following is an AI-generated transcript from Podsqueeze*

Return to Shownotes

Rod (00:00:00) - You are listening to The Pulse Rod Murray's e-learning tech podcast number 218.

Rod (00:00:06) - Misty Reinhardt of Scribbles software. That was a short clip from Aurora Borealis Expedition by Asher Valero. I hope you like it. Stay tuned for the full song at the end of my podcast. I'm happy to report that this episode is sponsored by Nebula. That's the Northeast Digital Learning Association and E de la.org. This is a chapter of the US dollar, the United States Distance Learning Association. Please support my sponsor. In this episode, I interview Misty Reinhardt, who's the director of product management for Scribbles software, quote, streamlines student records and enrollment and engages students and families through one accessible, cloud-based system, end quote. So in the K-12 arena, they manage records, enrollment and documents. They integrate with existing student information systems. In higher education. They have a product called Script Forward, which streamlines electronic document processing with colleges CRM systems, automates data entry, enhancing security via blockchain benefits students easy transcript request to multiple colleges high schools reduce paper usage, efficient and electronic delivery and colleges faster secure document processing with automated data entry.

Rod (00:01:47) - So without further ado, here is my interview with Misty. Misty, it's so nice to meet you. I'm glad to have the opportunity to talk about you and your scribbles software. Um, how are you doing and where are you? Uh, where are you right now?

Misty (00:02:02) - Thanks, Rodney, for having me. Uh, my name is Misty Reinhardt. I am currently in North Carolina. We're here for some meetings this week, but I reside in northwest Montana. Uh, we work remote for, uh, for scribble software. And so I work in northwest Montana from my home.

Rod (00:02:20) - Okay. Very good. Yeah, a lot of people work from their home these days. Yeah, including including me. So, uh, well, uh, happy to meet you. And, uh, before we delve into the software itself, I was wondering if you could first tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got involved in educational technology.

Misty (00:02:39) - Yeah. So I have about 14 years of experience in the edtech market.

Misty (00:02:44) - Uh, prior to that, I spent 20 years working in accounting and moved into the edtech software space about 14 years ago. Uh, I started here at Scribbles about a little over two years ago. I've worked in multiple different departments in the software industry with support software QA, which is testing, and then I've spent the last six years working in product management and being able to work with both the internal and the external stakeholders to make the users lives easier.

Rod (00:03:17) - Okay. Um, how about the scribble software itself? How long is that been in business? To be honest, I'm not that familiar with your product. In fact, that product category is sort of a new one, for my podcast. So give us a little bit of background and scribbles and, what they've done traditionally.

Misty (00:03:35) - Yeah. Scribble software has been around since 2010. We are in the K12 market as well as the higher ed.

Rod (00:03:43) - So what was the major focus of the software for k 12? I assume you started out with k 12.

Misty (00:03:50) - Yeah, we started with K12 and with a records management and, uh, doing the enrollments for the school districts, the choice and enroll, um, product that we have. So it started with the products group order, which is the requisition, um, for the school districts to be able to have their students and alumni, uh, legal and other schools be able to request records, transfers, uh, as well as the documentation. So transcripts are being requested for college applications and to be able to send for employment verifications. Um, and so we started in the scribe order, and then we expanded to, uh, enrollments and lottery systems for the schools in the school districts. And uh, have more recently expanded into the document management systems and cumulative folders as well.

Rod (00:04:48) - Okay, now to help orient me and my listeners. Um, uh, what's the relationship to, uh, traditional, um, uh, student information systems, or do you consider yourself a student information system, or is this sort of, uh, middleware or an add-on to student information systems?

Misty (00:05:11) - It is not a student information system.

Misty (00:05:13) - So the student information system is, uh, it also, um, they there's a multitude of different Sis systems, and those are where the student information, uh, is completely stored. Then, the student, uh, not necessarily the documentation, but the demographics, the, um, the, the matriculation of the student through the different grades where they can set up their, uh, schedules, sign up for their different classes, be able to see the historical grades, not necessarily on a transcript, but actually in the system that's given access to parents and students, uh, where they can set up their, uh, different messaging systems, um, as well. So that's how they're receiving, like their email notifications from within the schools during the whole school year. So the Sis systems are really the systems that the schools and the students and the parents are utilizing throughout the school year, whereas Scribe Order is doing a requisition system, and then the districts are processing those requests of the records. And then our, uh, enrollment and choice applications are where they're filling out the applications for those classes, grades, um, specialty programs.

Misty (00:06:32) - And then once those, uh, applications are filled out and all of the lotteries are run and the students are offered seats and everything, then we can take that information and be able to, um, push it back. We do integrate with multiple Sis systems. And so they can push that information over. So it would include the student's information, the program that they're in, the grades, their current grade, um, even down to like the zone school as well as the school that they applied to, uh, emergency contacts and other information like that.

Rod (00:07:06) - I see. So if I had a guess, I would think that uh, your K-12, um, clients, are they mostly private schools as opposed to public schools, or do you handle both?

Misty (00:07:19) - Know, we handle all of the schools so public, private as well as charter in the for the K-12 for the K-12 products. Yes.

Rod (00:07:28) - Got it goes up. You know, it's been a long time. So I've been, uh, in K-12, but, uh, you know, and well, my daughter, my daughter, um, uh, of course, I'm familiar with what she went through and public schools and, uh, yeah, it didn't seem like there were a lot of choices.

Rod (00:07:46) - Uh, it seemed like it was pretty rote, you know, uh, in terms of the curriculum and so forth. So, um, was it, uh, much of a change in your business then moving from K-12 to higher ed?

Misty (00:08:01) - So not really a big change. About 12 years ago, we had, uh, some of the colleges that started reaching out to us and saying, look, we're getting the transcripts and student application documents coming, um, coming in from multiple high schools across the US. Is there any way that we can receive these electronically? And so we were able to build a product that, um, would send the documents from our transcripts, processing software called scribe order directly over to, uh, what was called Uconnect. And so that way the admissions clerks or the admissions office would be able to log in to the system and then download those and PDF form, uh, from a secure location.

Rod (00:08:50) - Okay. All right. Um. You know, it seems that the whole world has been changing because of the pandemic and certainly work from home.

Rod (00:09:03) - Um, it's certainly affected a lot of schools, especially the smaller, uh, private, um, uh, higher ed institutions. In fact, my own, uh, I think the pandemic was the straw that broke the camel's back and enrollments were down. Um, they were trying to spend money on, uh, beefing up online programs, but, uh, you know, it basically, you know, um, had them, uh. Really taken over by by another much larger school of, you know, we were in business for 200 years and, uh, and that came to an end. And other schools around here I know have gone through similar things. So how has the, uh, the pandemic and some of these changes affected, your business? What are some of these, uh, pain points and challenges?

Misty (00:09:58) - Yeah. So with the with the colleges, there's, uh, there's a definitely an impact that the pandemic had is exactly like you said, right? There's there's a lot of stuff that's going electronic.

Misty (00:10:10) - And even prior to the pandemic, just in the last 10 to 15 years, there's a lot of people that are moving over to the technology aspect of it. So as they can see the value being added, in removing the paper processes and moving to electronic delivery, and electronic storage. Uh, there's, you know, the colleges across the US are really seeing the value in that. It, it expedites the processing. It reduces the risk of having lost papers, um, exposing PII data. And so it's really been a really good opportunity for us to, you know, um, work with the market. We can work with all of the different colleges. And, um, we've been able to build a new product called Script Forward, which is, uh, the functionality from you connect only with a lot of enhanced features to be able to support them in the processing of their documents for those student applications.

Rod (00:11:13) - So does your system then I know in higher ed, uh, there's there are CRM system.

Rod (00:11:19) - So they have to reach out to potential students and probably not so much in K-12. I'm thinking. So how does your software, uh, interface with those sorts of systems?

Misty (00:11:29) - Yeah, the systems, the CRM systems that the colleges are using, you know, the colleges are receiving their admissions documents from a multitude of different companies. And so how as well as as well as also, uh, receiving them still via paper through the mail. And so being able to have a lot of the colleges, uh, have that electronic delivery and have those different avenues of receiving the documents and then having that, uh, integration tool with the different CRM systems that they use. And there is a handful of CRM systems that are highly used across the US. And so really being able to have a product that has built out and, and has that CRM integration, it will expedite their, um, their processes as they're receiving, you know, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of applications every year. So each student, when they apply to a college, the college will on average receive 3 to 5 documents for every college application that they use or that they are receiving.

Misty (00:12:35) - So if a if a college is receiving 10,000 applications in, you know, the fall of 2024, that's going to be anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 documents that they are going to have to get moved over into their CRM system. So, as you can imagine, those 10,000 applications that are coming in from the students, they're coming in from, you know, all of these different software also through the mail. And so they have to take the admissions clerks are taking all of those documents and get them into the CRM system. They're having to, um, transpose or um, transfer in, like the GPAs, the weighted GPAs, the different classes and, and all of the Act and SAT scores. So there's a lot of effort that goes into getting all of that information into the CRM system. So they can analyze those applications and be able to offer those students a seat at the college and be able to, um, expedite that or assist that process in any way that we can. Uh, that's really where our focus is, because as we move on, there's.

Misty (00:13:48) - Just like with a lot of the businesses across the US. Um, colleges are also impacted by, um, by recessions. And so if they can't backfill, uh, a retiree when they're leaving the admissions department, they're working on getting those applications processed with even fewer resources than before. And as we are in a recession and we're having, uh, students apply and send more applications to a college, then they're trying to process more applications and more documents with fewer people that are staffed in the admissions office. And so it's really important to be able to, um, help those clerks be able to process as quickly as possible, uh, and as seamlessly as possible. And, getting those documents directly into their CRM systems is definitely one of the best ways that we can process that or help assist in processing for them.

Rod (00:14:44) - Yeah. I mean, um, how much is still done manually? I mean, I, you know, I've been in higher ed for my whole career, really. And boy, the name of the game was automation right from the beginning.

Rod (00:14:55) - And, uh, you know, occasionally there were times when, uh, we had a, you know, adopt a new system. I was, uh, instrumental in getting, uh, uh blackbaud, uh, one of the first major learning management systems into, uh, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. And, uh, but there was always that interface problem, you know, between legacy systems that may have been done on a mainframe, and then you have these new cloud-based systems, and, um, it seems like you're, uh, are you feeling this, this void between these kinds of, uh, interactions between these systems?

Misty (00:15:32) - Yeah, I definitely think we are. You know, there's, uh, roughly 7700 colleges and universities across the US. Uh, and out of those 7700, we have roughly 57% of those colleges and universities that are receiving documents electronically through, uh, our products. Um, skip forward is the new product, uh, you can act as the legacy product. And so that's 57, uh, percent, which roughly equates to about 4500 colleges across the US that are receiving those documents electronically versus having high schools submitting, you know, via the mail where there's potential for documents getting lost.

Misty (00:16:19) - Um, and not making it over to the college that, um, that these students are applying to. So having being able to assist those 4500 colleges in their application process by having those documents delivered electronically, they're receiving them in, um, seconds or even, you know, a couple of minutes for them to be able to process and get it moved over into their CRM system.

Rod (00:16:45) - Now, I was wondering, um, the, uh, you mentioned 57%. That seems like a pretty good market share. So, um, are you, um, expanding and trying to expand that further? Obviously trying to grow your business. But, uh, how about international? Are you doing anything in the international arena?

Misty (00:17:05) - Not right now. We have looked at some of the other countries, but right now we are just, uh, US-based, uh, the colleges. So we have 50, 57% of the colleges that are receiving electronically from our scribe order. But unfortunately for the colleges, they're, um, they're really at the, at the mercy of the high schools.

Misty (00:17:29) - So the high schools across the US are actually determining, uh, what product they're using to send those documents electronically. So being able to send them electronically from our scribe order from the high schools that are using our scrip order product is definitely a benefit to them, but they're also receiving from, um, other products that other schools across the US are, are using. And so they're receiving them in all these different ways. And, um, you know, there's, there's a multitude of the software that, uh, high schools are using across the US, as well as just even sending via the Postal service. But the colleges are signing up with, um, multiple electronic delivery from, uh, all of these companies because as they're receiving them, they can, um, they're not really being able to pick how they're receiving them. And so you'll have one college that will be signed up with a multiple, uh, with multiple products in order to receive them electronically. Um, from all these different high schools across the US as well.

Rod (00:18:39) - Now I'm curious what, uh, uh, what effect your, uh, platform has on the end user. Meaning? Meaning the students or their parents. I mean, I remember filling out, uh, endless forms online. So does this help to, uh, lubricate that the do they get do they, you know, if the high school is communicating directly with your software to, uh, colleges, does that help ease the burden on the end user?

Misty (00:19:09) - Yeah, it really does. You know, they the students will go in and do a request and in a single request they're going through, they're filling out their applications and um, you know, say they have applied to five different colleges and so they need to take their transcript and get it delivered to those five colleges, uh, during the initial application phase. And so in a single request, they can, um, they can indicate what those five colleges are that they have applied to and that they want to send a transcript to.

Misty (00:19:43) - And so then they submit that request via our scrip order product. And the registrar's, um, or counselors at the high schools are picking those orders up and they're processing them. And so they're able to process those five transcripts. Transcript requests in a single order and be able to process those all at the same time. And so if three of those colleges that little Timmy has requested a copy of his transcript be sent to, uh, the three of those five are signed up to be electronic delivery. Then as the processor has attached that document and uploaded it, they can electronically click the sign and send button and it'll electronically deliver to all three of those colleges. And then they are um, then they are left to print out the transcript and address the envelope and mail it for those other two that have not signed up. Uh, we also hear from high schools, um, all the time that says, you know, hey, there's a new technical community college that is, you know, in, in the general area.

Misty (00:20:56) - Can you reach out to them and see if they were sending them a lot of documents? Can we electronically send it to them? And so we'll reach out to the college and, and we'll get them signed up on the electronic delivery process as well. And so even the high schools, know that they can reach out to us, and request that different colleges be added as well. Uh, so that way it simplifies their process because they no longer have to spend the, um, what is it now? $0.66, I think, for a stamp and have to address the envelope and everything, print out more paper. We're really about having those paperless systems. And so being able to eliminate that paper process as much as possible and, and have some of that risk mitigation, as many colleges that we can get up on our electronic network is what we would really is, is really what we're shooting for. So, um, it's expediting for the students for their request as well as expediting for the processors at the high school.

Misty (00:21:56) - It's saving them time, saving them money and, and paper processes, uh, and then also expediting it for the colleges because they know that since they're receiving it electronically, it's a secure delivery. It's, you know, stored on the blockchain and, really just a secure process for the college to receive and, and get those into the CRM system as well.

Rod (00:22:17) - That's interesting. You anticipated one of my questions because, uh, I interviewed a company a while back that was all about transcripts and, and how there's movement to have, you know, the transcripts on the blockchain so that, uh, that can't be forged. Uh, it's highly, uh, protected and and secure. So I'm glad to see that's you're working to and that, uh, in that arena. Um, um, so we're getting near the end of, uh, our session, and I want to be respectful to my listeners. And I just thought I was wondering if, um, since I think the admissions staff at colleges all over are going to be interested in, in, in learning more about your company, I wonder if you have any, um, final words or tips or new things that are coming down the pike that will help make admissions departments, uh, happier.

Misty (00:23:13) - Yeah. So Skip forward is our newest software. Uh, we have been building it for the last year. We have, uh, we're rolling it out, and we're transitioning all of the colleges that are currently on Uconnect over to ScribForwardScribForward has a lot of enhanced features. So we have audit logs. We have advanced search capabilities. Um, we also are currently working on uh, the CRM integration, starting with slate, which is one of the one of the big CRM systems that the colleges are using. And so we are currently working on the slate integration, which should be rolled out here, uh, very soon. And so we're working on adding a lot of these great features in the script forward, um, advanced user security, advanced user roles and permissions, granular permissions to really enable and enhance the process for the colleges as they're getting these documents out. Um, like I said, right now we're working on the slate integration. And beyond that, we're we're queued up to start working on, um, further integration.

Misty (00:24:24) - Sorry, uh, future integrations as well with the other CRM system. So we'll be expanding all of the CRM integrations that we have to be able to automatically push those documents over to the CRM. So really the colleges are going to be able to set it up and then basically have a set it and forget it and um, but have it have script forward available. So that way if they needed to go back and look at the documents or, uh, search for some historical data, they would also have access to that as well.

Rod (00:24:58) - That's great. Uh, I have to ask you one last question, and it seems like, uh, I can't have a conversation these days with just about anybody without having to mention I. And I'm wondering, you know, my I suspect that I besides, you know, blockchain technologies and things like that. And I'm curious about how your company is your company eye forward in terms of how you conduct your own business, maybe within your company? Do you have you taken advantage of some of the automated bots out there, just in terms of running your business and that sort of thing?

Misty (00:25:35) - That's a great question, Rodney.

Misty (00:25:36) - Right now we are looking into multiple options and we will just have to see what the future holds.

Rod (00:25:42) - Okay, well, it's been a pleasure talking to you, Misty. And, uh, I wish you the best. And, uh, I will let you know when the podcast is available.

Misty (00:25:52) - Fantastic. Thank you so much, Rodney, for having me.

Rod (00:25:55) - So that's it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and stay tuned for Aurora Borealis Expedition. Until next time, have a great week!


*Podsqueeze was used to generate the transcript of my podcast. My links to Podsqueeze include referral links. If you decide to try it out using those links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps support the podcast, allowing me to continue providing valuable content. 

Use this code: 10OFF3MONTH at Podsqueeze to get 10% off.

Return to Shownotes