The Benefits of Automated Workflows


What can an automated workflow do for your business?

Every project your team complete has a workflow, whether you have officially created one or not. A good workflow is a great tool for any business when it comes to cutting down on extraneous work, by identifying and eliminating “busy” work, and ensuring that all pending work ends up on the right desk. While it may seem to be a positive for employees to appear busy, often looking busy requires more energy than actual work! According to a research study, companies can lose up to between 20 and 30 per cent efficiency due to inefficient work practises. A strong workflow can remedy this by streamlining your workload and assigning the right task to the right person at the right time.

At PAC Apply we create customisable, automated workflows, developed to fit your existing process. This helps your business cut down on waste – energy, time and your paper chain. By streamlining your business process, you improve your business performance. The PAC Apply platform can be used for higher education admissions, recruitment, LEAN business models, and works seamlessly alongside any existing software or CRMs your business might already have in place.

A workflow is simply the series of steps your work process goes through and can be defined in four points.

  • What needs to be done?
  • Who is responsible for the task?
  •  How long should it take?
  •  How should the task be carried out?

Our workflows help you identify your workload and prioritise tasks. We set up trigger notifications for your team so they can reduce extraneous work, producing the results you want to see.

1. Identify: A good workflow highlights the most important aspects of your process and identifies the most efficient way of completing the task. By clearly defining the role/task and assigning it to the correct staff member, your automated workflow ensures task always end up on the correct desk.

2. Prioritise: Although it may seem like multi-tasking is a good thing, the truth can be quite different. Studies have found that it can take time for employees to mentally shift gears between tasks and that it is more efficient to complete one task before moving on to the next. Having a workflow in place prevent extraneous work being carried out, as the priority task is clearly defined.

3. Trigger: The PAC Apply platform is set up to assign the right person to the right task on your workflow. This means that when your employee has work to do, they receive a notification. They simply complete their task and check the box to progress the task along the workflow, cutting down on the danger of micromanagement and uncertainty among your team.

4. Reduce: By identifying and prioritising our essential tasks we can reduce our workload. An automated workflow removes the need to organise your workload daily/weekly. It can be estimated for example, that your average paper college application can run to over twenty pages between emails letters back and forth. An automated process takes out the need for this chain of contact and streamlines the process, making it easier for both your team and your customer. Automating your workflow cuts down on human error as every task is mapped out in in order.

5. Results: An automated workflow creates results – they reduce time and energy spent, help your team prioritise tasks and ultimately improve performance and productivity. You will find by establishing an automated workflow, your teams’ efficiency will improve and you will yield better results.

If you would like to see a demo of how PAC Apply’s bespoke, automated workflows can improve your business performance click here or email

Student Recruitment and Retention Strategies

Covid-19 Student Recruitment and Retention

Strategies to Help Universities Minimise the Impact of Covid-19 on Higher Education Revenue Streams

COVID-19 has caused a paradigm shift in the academic calendar of educational institutions globally. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review states that “more than 1.6 billion students have been affected, representing over 91% of the entire global student population”. An article on RTE News revealed that factors such as the collapse of international student fee income, rental of on-campus accommodation and commercial revenues is expected to cause major financial setbacks for universities between the financial years 2020 and 2021. The biggest question posing third level institutions across the globe is what the current situation means for student recruitment, admissions and retention in a world that will not return to the old “normal”. This is particularly the case for third level institutions in Ireland and the UK that rely heavily on income from international students.

PAC_Infographic-Covid19The current scenario is forcing educational institutions to think differently to find effective ways to attract new applicants and engage current students through effective online learning. The demand for online learning has skyrocketed over the last few months. In April 2020, there were 10.3 million enrolments in courses on Coursera, up 644% from the same period last year.

Many universities have put in place a system of online workshops, classes, talks and Q&As to enhance their support for students during these unprecedented times. As online learning becomes the new norm moving everything to the cloud is now more crucial than ever. Having the right technology partners that can complement and integrate with current and future systems will be key. Below we have summarised different methods and strategies that third-level institutions can follow to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on student recruitment, admissions and retention.


Shortfall in the number of international student enrolments

Due to travel and hygiene restrictions that are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future there have been rising concerns that international students will be unable to travel to the countries they would prefer to study in. Universities will need to work extremely hard to appeal to international applicants given the severe competition in the overseas segment of the student market, known for its potential to generate high revenue.

However, the decline in international student enrolment could lead to more opportunities in the domestic student segment. A greater proportion of domestic school-leavers than ever before may try to enrol in higher education. Additionally, those who find themselves unemployed often seek to upgrade their skills or learn a new discipline – a factor that will increase demand for Postgraduate courses. Institutions can focus on tailoring their admissions efforts to target and appeal to domestic applicants which may help recoup some of the loses from international student revenue.

Focus on online/virtual recruitment drives

As students spend many of their waking hours online, universities should consider investing in targeted PPC adverts on search engines, advertise in student/education specific websites and social media platforms. Embracing virtual technologies to host virtual open days, campus tours & Q&A sessions will allow prospective students to visit your campus using virtual reality software and will greatly add to your online recruitment efforts.


Universities can consider altering their business model to include new and expanded course offerings that can be of value to international and domestic students alike. Increased options for online certifications courses, summer courses, short courses for the local community with flexible learning options on a pay-as-you-go model can result in increased enrolment.


Automate your admissions process

Investing in a solid student applications portal that is hosted in the cloud, that is easy to use for both administrators and students alike can help your institution save time and money automating the admissions process. PAC Apply’s fast, effective and easy-to-use interface can speed up and simplify the application process by improving prospect data capture, streamline enquiry management and provide seamless applicant support.


Adding a “personal touch” when communicating with both current and prospective students could go a long way when it comes to student engagement. A video message from the institution’s Dean/President outlining the rationale behind decisions that are made along with the measures taken by the university to maintain its academic standards and mental well-being of students would be well received. Such personalised marketing content can be branded and promoted across multiple channels (email, web chat, and social media) to generate more awareness and visibility, and help build trust with students and their families.


There is no doubt that maintaining student engagement is of utmost importance right now. During these unprecedented times, it is important that third-level institutions remain committed to their values and mission to offer high quality education (no matter the platform) while focusing on the health and well-being of its staff and students.

Focusing on Online engagement

Having a robust IT support system along with a multi-purpose student portal equipped with all the necessary tools and academic resources is essential to support their online learning experience. A strong IT system enables students and staff to readily access academic materials, online lectures, make/view submissions, view timetables and fosters effective communication between fellow students and teachers, all through a centralised repository.

Leveraging the power of video

Covid-19 has seen the boom of Zoom and other video conferencing software which are widely being used for conducting live classes, faculty meetings, student clubs & society meetings and also to interview prospective applicants. Leveraging video and remote meeting tools to deliver trainings, career and academic success workshops can help strengthen engagement and build a strong link between students, the faculty and the institution.

Personalised communications & student support

During these tough times priority needs to be given to making a personal connection with students. As learning moves online, students have less contact with the physical institution which makes it harder for them to access the support and resources they once used and require. As such, it will be important that the faculty provides adequate attention to all their students through constant communication via email, social media and webchat. This will ensure that students feel secure and reassured about their educational journey.

Apart from academic support, institutions will need to provide unrestricted online access to other areas of student support such as counselling services, disability services, virtual support groups and services to promote the mental health and well-being of students. Additional training on leveraging campus technology and software to the maximum can also be given to current and new students. Such services will ensure students are fully supported in a new learning environment.

In conclusion, Covid-19 has had an enormous impact on the global education system almost overnight. Although there are uncertainties and factors that cannot be controlled, it’s not too late for institutions to take the necessary actions to ensure they are best equipped to face the challenges associated with the pandemic. Through forward thinking, a willingness to adopt new technologies and long-term planning; educational institutions can minimise the impact of the pandemic and emerge stronger than before. This is just one step along the journey towards a new educational revolution.

Download infographic here

5 Reasons why PAC Apply offers the perfect solution for your student application needs

The ideal admissions and applications platform for small to medium-sized colleges and universities that helps save time, money and resources.

Processing student applications can be a time consuming and complex business. At PAC, previously the pac apply dashboardPostgraduate Application Centre, we have over twenty years of experience doing just that; offering a user-friendly system for both applicants, and the staff members who assess these applications. PAC Apply is our new updated platform, a modular, cloud-based system which makes the process cleaner and even more efficient. If your higher education institution requires a form-based data gathering system or an applications and admissions platform, then PAC is your perfect business partner.

Cloud computing:

Cloud computing trends show year-over-year growth. More and more, companies are moving on to the cloud and it’s easy to see why. There are multiple advantages to such a move, the most beneficial being that administrative and admissions staff can access the platform remotely. This next-generation solution also enables students to experience a fast and smooth applications process that can be accessed from any device. The cloud removes the need for underlying administration costs and maintenance, cutting down on your colleges energy use not to mention paper waste and so on.

Data protection and adherence to GDPR guidelines is important to us at PAC and the cloud has proven to be as secure as traditional servers and security issues are becoming less of a concern to cloud users.

Third party integration:

Your organisation doesn’t need to start from scratch when deciding to partner with PAC. The PAC Apply platform runs a RESTful API designed to seamlessly integrate with any third-party student record system or financial software you may already have running.  We offer the flexibility to work around your already existing systems. 

Lowers administrative costs and saves you time:

PAC offers a dedicated and professional team to support the student applicants via phone or email, answering any and all of their queries. We provide this support so your team can be freed up while being assured that your users are being offered the highest level of support. Your team will have more time to devote to growing your institution and attracting new students.

Streamlined workflows designed to suit your organisation’s needs:

At PAC we understand that every education institution has different requirement when it comes to data gathering. No matter how complex your applications needs, we can streamline a workflow tailored specifically for your organisation, be it scholarship programmes or postgraduate courses. Our BPM solution (Business Process Management) allows for the design of multiple workflows to suit your needs. From the workflow design we generate a form using a ‘drop and drag’ system. You also have the option to personalise your interface experience – designing notifications and alerts for your specific process.

Total support for your team:

PAC offers full training on our platform through one to one sessions, video tutorials and a fully comprehensive and bespoke user guide. We help you install and set-up the platform, build your workflow and design your form. Out team provides in-person training before handing the system over to you, at various levels depending on your in-house IT skills. Our assistance doesn’t end there. PAC continues to offer support to your institution after you go live on our platform, ensuring that your applications processing continues to run smoothly.

PAC can help your education institution reach its full potential by taking the stress and work out of dealing with data gathering and applications processing.

Learn more about PAC Apply and request a call back to discuss your specified challenges and needs.

Introducing PAC Apply

Young female using PAC Apply system

A smarter way to process and manage applications in the cloud

PAC is excited to announce a complete re-branding and launch of a new and improved student applications platform, PAC Apply. The new brand reflects the company’s mission to offer small to medium-sized colleges and universities a fully automated and cost-effective admissions and applications solution. PAC Apply allows for an increase in the number of applications and conversion rates while delivering real-time insights and customised business intelligence reports to education institutions through a fully automated, easy-to-use cloud platform. Furthermore, PAC’s next-generation platform allows students to experience a fast and smooth applications process that can be accessed from any device.

Previously known as the Postgraduate Applications Centre, PAC has expanded its market positioning to focus beyond the Irish Postgraduate Applications market into the wider HEI market; application processes for graduates, scholarships and international students. This cost-effective and future-proof cloud platform can be easily integrated with any English-speaking education institution, be it in Ireland or abroad.

We have designed the solution by keeping in mind the current and future needs of both higher education institutions, and students. Our comprehensive rebrand elevates PAC’s focus towards providing an intuitive cloud-based solution that is tailor-made to streamline application management processes for third level institutions and supplying their applicants with a quick, efficient and user-friendly service. The new brand slogan “Processing Applications in the Cloud” is a reflection of the company’s values and mission.

Our new platform is feature-rich, fully automated, and can be customised to suit the needs of various departments within educational institutions. It is an ideal solution for any college or university that requires an easy to use, yet powerful and standalone admissions and applications platform, without having to heavily invest in a complete end-to-end student management system. PAC Apply has a restful API ensuring seamless integration with third-party applications that allows the solution to work either independently and/or connect with existing technology such as financial software, student management systems and website.

History of PAC

PAC is an Irish company founded in 1998, with a purpose of accepting, processing andassessing applications centrally, for the Professional Master of Education (P.M.E.) Diploma in the four major universities in Ireland.

In 2005, PAC launched a postgraduate applications platform for several other third-level institutions who are now our most valued customers. The primary focus was to manage applications for postgraduate courses in Irish third-level institutions by providing administrative data-flow services for the education sector.

The decision to re-brand the company in 2020 has been taken with the goal to offer a modular cloud-based solution that enables our new and existing customers to enjoy lower administration costs, obtain higher applicant numbers/conversions and benefit from better insights through business intelligence tools. With more than twenty years’ experience working with Irish higher education institutions of all sizes, PAC has processed 214,129 applications for 4,235 courses.

Features & Benefits

PAC Apply’s unique next-generation interface offers a wide range of solutions and features that have been designed to lower administration costs, increase applicant numbers and conversion rates:

Intuitive workflow designer:
Our intuitive Business Process Management (BPM) solution allows you to design an unlimited number of workflows. Having the right workflows enables applications to flow smoothly according to your specific business processes.
Simple Form Builder:
Our easy-to-use form builder has a unique drag-and-drop feature that allows you to seamlessly gather data from different applicants. You can customise your form using the different field options available. Once you create the form, you can simply publish it with the click of a button.
Personalised user-interface:
Every team has its own unique needs. PAC Apply allows you and your team to fully customise your assessment screen, deliver decisions to the right people through triggers and alerts and programme automated notifications to the applicant.
Seamless Integration (RESTful API):
The PAC Apply platform is entirely based on a standard RESTful API. This allows for seamless integration with all your necessary third-party applications and existing software which makes accessing data so much easier.
Comprehensive reporting & analytics:
Our advanced Microsoft Reporting Service allows you to effortlessly build accurate, customisable and dynamic reports that can help grow your business.

Our highly skilled and trained customer service team is dedicated to providing quick and efficient support to all our customers in a timely manner. We are committed to delivering the highest level of training and support that you need through every step of your journey with PAC. Below is an outline of our various support offerings:

Customer Support:
Before implementing PAC Apply within your university, our project management team will meet with you to discuss your applications needs and goals. Each PAC customer will work closely with a dedicated project manager to ensure that you are provided with end-to-end training on the platform that is customised to your requirements. In additional to our online support resources, our customer service team is available through phone and email to help you through every step of your PAC Journey.
Applicant Support:
We understand that supporting applicants with their questions and queries can be a time-consuming process. Our dedicated customer service team provide timely and user-friendly support to applicants through every step of their application journey. We ensure that your student application support is taken care of so your departments can fully focus on the admissions process.

Why work with PAC?

Founded in 1998, PAC has more than two decades of experience in processing complex online student applications for Irish higher education institutions of all sizes. PAC has processed 214,129 applications for 4,235 courses to date. Our intuitive cloud platform enables our customers to process and access applications online efficiently and effectively.