5 Ways Technology Can Help In Managing Hostels Better

Here's What You Need to Know to Manage a Hostel Efficiently

learn more about Madhavi Shankar

By Madhavi Shankar

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In this era of technological advancements where there is an app for almost everything, hostel management appears to be more than a decade behind in adopting a new innovation. From redundant paperwork to time-consuming manual processes, hostels are still following archaic methods to manage their day to day activities. Managing hostels has been rather tedious in terms of labour dependency and paperwork.

Almost all colleges, tier 1 or tier 2, follow the same process of data management, maintenance management, reporting and other standard practices. Though some of these records are maintained for compliance, the work involved Vs efficiency doesn't add up. These old school methods of functioning results in ineffective and chaotic communication between hostels, its students and parents. The manual processes in hostel management create very costly errors and wastage. Hostel management authorities recognise the inconvenience in these legacy methodologies and are keen on adopting technology that can help them do away with redundant and time-consuming processes.

Here are five way in which technology can make hostel management a seamless process

  • Reduces Turn-Around Time: From attending to repair-related complaints to managing student leave applications, hostel wardens rely on manual processes for their day to day activities. Imagine an app that could help them to become completely paperless? An app provides a three-fold advantage- one, it fast tracks the entire process of approvals, two- it takes away administrative burden by reducing manual paperwork and thirdly- it helps students to be updated about the status of their complaints in real time.

  • Increases Transparency: Lack of seamless communication can lead to gaps in the exchange of information among stakeholders involved. Through technology, hostels can post announcements and reviews, manage complaints and leave applications, make automated calls to parents and manage student database and hostel inventory. On the other hand, students can communicate with hostel management, apply for leaves, lodge complaints, track submitted applications and access real-time status updates without being physically present. A hostel management app can act as a social networking platform for seamless communication between hostels, students and parents.

  • Increased Collaboration: The smooth functioning of a hostel depends on the collaborative effort of the management and the students. With an app, hostel authorities can collaborate with students to improve facilities, deploy new initiatives and receive regular feedback on the amenities.

The process of leave approval and granting outpasses is cumbersome for students as well as the hostel management. Most often, students have to take permissions from multiple authorities- wardens, Head of the Department, hostel manager and the parents. This process requires paperwork and can be time-consuming for all parties involved. All this can be simplified with just a click of a button.

  • Reduces Wastage: A majority of college students who stay in hostels pay a fixed fee every month for meals at the hostel. However, not all of them regularly eat at the hostel kitchen on an everyday basis. This results in a mismatch between the quantity of food prepared Vs the number of students who turn up for meals. This often leads to wastage due to mass preparation. If there's an app to monitor the number of absentees, hostel kitchens can be better managed with lesser wastage of food and money.

Similarly, hostel inventory related to electricity and water can be efficiently managed through technology. For instance, in case of maintenance related complaints like bulb replacement in multiple rooms, an app can track the inventory and match it against the number of complaints to be resolved.

  • Real-time access for trend analysis and progress tracking for management: College management or hostel owners have little time to deep dive into the day to day activities of a hostel. Currently, due to manual processes, hostel authorities are entirely dependent on managers and wardens for any reports that give them an outline of operations. With a hostel management app, they can access reports that can give them an overview of operations in the way they would like to see (SMS, email or through Whatsapp). This also helps them identify trends for the upcoming in-takes that could help in specific marketing strategies.

Madhavi Shankar

Co-Founder & CEO, SpaceBasic Inc

Madhavi Shankar is the Co-Founder and CEO of SpaceBasic Inc, a one-stop communication and networking app that facilitates seamless information sharing within members of Universities, Hostel Management and Global Partners seeking student engagement.

She has previously worked for companies like Vodlo Pty Ltd, Sydney as Product Manager, Asia Pacific. She is passionate about building and engineering consumer-driven products across scale.

Madhavi has also contributed highly towards global women employment and equal opportunities. She has been recognised as the 'Top 60 Women Transforming India' by The Government of India as well as the United Nations.

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