Austintown Local School District consists of four schools—a high school, middle school, intermediate school, and elementary school in Austintown, OH. The district also has two alternate programs: Falcon Pride Online and Hope Academy. Altogether, the Austintown Local School District accommodates over 5,000 students.
Stephanie Pavlich, computer technician for the district’s food service department, listed off several issues her district was facing with their previous cafeteria management system. She explained that getting accurate information from reporting was “…a shot in the dark.” With one log in for all users, Stephanie said her system had no security settings and no accountability; this resulted in incorrect meal prices and inaccurate daily meal totals claimed. Their free and reduced applications were “…cumbersome and time consuming to enter manually. We needed extra labor hours at the beginning of every school year to hand enter the applications.” Stephanie also noted that customization of her system was non-existent, and management of the system was time-consuming and exhausting.
Finding the Answer
Austintown required a cafeteria management system with a centralized database that provided real-time access to all of their data from anywhere within the district. This system needed to eliminate inconsistencies on reports between the schools and the central office, and integrate their student information and point of sale system. They needed to simplify the free and reduced application process to avoid wasted man hours and they needed a system with the freedom of customization. Meals Plus provided all services necessary to Austintown Local and exceeded expectations in the process.
After a smooth transition into the Meals Plus cafeteria management system, Austintown Local enjoyed immediate results. When asked about the improvements since the switch, Pavlich said, “Wow, tons! Security, management, reporting, accountability, etc.” Austintown is now able to generate detailed, and more importantly, accurate reports. They were able to control access, and thus see sales by building, by cashier, and by item. Student history became complete and accurate allowing the district the ability to e-mail date and time stamped reports to parents for viewing. Thanks to Meals Plus’ smooth on-demand reporting, Austintown passed their first CRE review with flying colors. Additionally, free and reduced application season required no additional man hours for Austintown.