About Williams College:
Located in rural western Massachusetts, Williams College represents the best of New England’s liberal arts college traditions. For over 300 years, Williams has offered an elite curriculum in humanities, sciences and social sciences. Williams was ranked first in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 ranking of over 260 liberal arts colleges in the United States. Forbes also ranked Williams the best college overall in the United States in its 2014 publication of America’s Top Colleges.
With enrollment of over 2,000 students and a faculty of over 300, Williams works hard to provide the highest quality education for its students. Those four years students spend at Williams are just the beginning of a lifelong legacy that Williams cultivates with its alumni.
Chronicling the Past with a Plan for the Future:
In fact, Williams boasts the oldest continuous alumni association in the world with more than 28,000 living alumni. While many verticals migrate away from paper as a key method of communication, print communications, namely letters and mailings with a personal touch and easy-to-reply forms, continue to play a vital part in the mix of Williams’ alumni communication. Still, maintaining an engaging relationship with such a diverse and large alumni community takes smart planning and strategic vision with scalable platforms for communication and archiving. This allows for providing fast, electronic access to alumni records that are in sync with newer electronic records.
When the Williams college selection committee contacted Image Data, they had a clear, overarching goal: converting paper to electronic formats. More specifically, a major project was identified to convert alumni paper files to an enterprise content management (ECM) system.
Image Data was selected as a trusted partner to work with the Williams team to ensure a high quality transition. Over the course of four winter months, Image Data provided a collaborative set of services that included packing and transporting paper files, scanning documents, and indexing them in a format that would make them easy for search and retrieval later. In the end, the scope of the Williams project required about 800,000 pages to be digitized and indexed.
Julie Menard, Assistant Director of Advancement Information Systems, commented about what it was like to work with Image Data on this major initiative: “During this time, I worked with several members of your staff who always made themselves available and were both helpful and professional. I enjoyed working with them all.”
Emphasis on Quality:
No matter how quickly the job needed to get done, quality remained a top priority. Working with Williams, Image Data developed standards and a quality control process to ensure that the quality of the images and the content within each file were of a high standard suitable for such a venerable organization’s alumni development needs. Image Data also used an impressive capture and cataloguing system system with barcodes that matched ID numbers to alumni files which was described as “impeccable” by Williams.
The massive project was completed on budget and Williams’s alumni development staff can now research and retrieve a far-reaching range of historical alumni documents without wandering through a paper archives filing room, hoping the needed file wasn’t missing or damaged. Online access ensures 100% availability of documents and in a format that’s accessible at an office desk, at home, at an alumni event or on the go. The school also has the added peace of mind that all their records have an added layer of protection from the hazards of extreme temperatures, humidity, fire, misplacement and theft, like paper records.
Now that the Williams College alumni file conversion project is complete, Image Data is working with Williams as they begin to evaluate future document conversion projects for the files of other departments at the school. With Image Data’s track record, they’re preparing to go “back to school” and are ready for their next “assignment” from Williams College.
To learn more about how Image Data can help with your alumni records document management challenges, contact us today.