We believe that every child, regardless of race; gender; where they live; their levels of musical talent; parental income; whether they have special educational needs or disabilities; and whether they are looked-after children; deserve the very best music education. To achieve this at Sheffield Music Hub we needed to rethink systems and processes whilst also driving a cultural change within the organisation to bring it on the journey with us.
I described this to colleagues as providing the ‘Amazon Experience’; the ability to make music education as accessible and as simple to apply for as ordering a book from Amazon. Two or three swipes of your smart phone, a thumb print or face scan and its delivered the next day. The problem I had was the how….how can I achieve this when the current system requires a small army of admins using a legacy music management system and various spreadsheets to get the service from one term to the next?
“We’ve removed a multitude of spreadsheets and paper-based processes and gone fully digital.”
I’m pleased to say, I found the solution in Finland…. Or to be exact from a company called Oksidia and their brilliant Music Management and Administration System; Eepos. Here we are, less than 12 months into the transformation programme and thanks to the amazing work of Operations Manager, Lisa Spalding and the whole Business Support team, I couldn’t be any happier with what the partnership has delivered so far. We’ve removed a multitude of spreadsheets and paper-based processes and gone fully digital.
Our billing and payment is now automated and integrated into the council finance and payment system meaning the days of struggling with cash collection and financial reconciliation are thankfully behind us.
Our Music Tutors have also benefited from the move to Eepos. With access to their own portal they are now using their smart phones to maintain lesson schedules, record attendance and track working hours. We are also well on the way to developing a system that allows teachers to securely communicate with the admin team and pupils/parents.
From a management and administration perspective it has allowed us to spend more time gaining actionable insights from the data about the music service and use this to inform our strategic planning. In terms of teaching, it has freed up our tutors of admin-heavy paper processes, providing increased capacity for music education and to focus on delivering outstanding tuition to all.
“We couldn’t have achieved what we have without them, on our digital transformation journey to the ‘Amazon Experience’, or the ‘Eepos Experience’ as I now call it.”
As we’ve worked through the process with the team at Oksidia we have certainly unpicked some challenges; turning over some stones to find nasties lurking below around our historic ways of working. The transition certainly takes time but the team at Oksidia have remained professional, focussed and supportive throughout. We couldn’t have achieved what we have without them, on our digital transformation journey to the ‘Amazon Experience’, or the ‘Eepos Experience’ as I now call it.
If you’re looking for a modern digital solution to underpin the management, administration and strategic planning of your Music Hub, to help optimise the resources and reach of your service to all, then I would recommend speaking to the team at Oksidia.
Head of Music Education / Sheffield City Council