HID Global's Director of End User Business Development for Higher Education, Tim Nyblom introduces the newest member of HID's higher ed team, Amy Surprenant. The pair also discuss the latest in mobile credentials and how administrators can prepare their campuses for the jump.
Surprenant brings with her to HID an extensive background in campus transactions systems, having held numerous university positions. She also played integral roles in launching mobile credentials on her previous campuses, and discusses some of her lessons learned.
Baylor University has added robot delivery from Starship Technologies to its dining services offerings with the help of Grubhub. The initiative will see Baylor deploy a fleet of 20 delivery robots on the Waco, TX campus.
According to an official university release, Starship will deliver from seven campus dining locations, including Panda Express, Steak ‘n Shake, two Starbucks locations, Which Wich, Moe’s and Rising Roll. The service is available to all of Baylor's 20,000 plus students, faculty and staff on campus.
Food and drink orders from these participating retail dining locations can be delivered to any building on the Baylor campus, and students have the option to use meal plan Dining Dollars to pay for the delivered meal.
“Technology and great food service go hand in hand. We are excited to have these delivery bots on site to enhance the student experience and make dining on campus that much easier,” says Sean McMahon, resident district manager with Baylor Dining. “We hope the Baylor community enjoys this automated service from some of our on-campus retail locations.”
Baylor students must first download and open the Grubhub app, then place their order and select the location for their delivery to be sent. Each Starship robot can be flowed along its route on an interactive map on the user's smartphone. Once the robot arrives, they receive an alert to meet and unlock the robot through the app.
Starship deliveries are typically fulfilled within minutes, depending on the contents of the order and the chosen delivery location. Each robot can carry up to 20 pounds.
The Grubhub and Starship partnership is already providing robot food delivery services to campuses across the country. Since launch, the company says that a number of campuses leveraging the program have had to increase the number of robots, dining options and hours of operation to meet the high demand for the service.
The National Association of Campus Card Users (NACCU) has opened registration for its Annual Conference. This year’s conference will be held April 16-19 in Austin, Texas and will feature a packed schedule of informative events and sessions with both campus card professionals and corporate vendors.
“NACCU was originally scheduled to visit Austin in 2020 before the pandemic changed the plan,” says John Ogle, NACCU Membership Experience and Education Director. “The Association is excited to finally visit Austin!”
The conference will be held at the Renaissance Austin Hotel. The hotel is surrounded by hill country scenery and is a few short minutes from The Domain, the Austin Greenbelt and downtown. The last day to book a hotel room at the group rate or to cancel without penalty is March 21.
Full conference registration includes admission to:
A single day pass option is also available and includes the above meals and events held on the day of attendance.
“Educational sessions will focus on tech and data from both peers and vendors, as well as plenty of content on ensuring your campus infrastructure is preparing for mobile,” says Ogle. “In addition to educational sessions, attendees will also be able to discuss relevant topics at roundtable discussions, and ‘Ask the Experts’ for advice.”
The NACCU 2023 exhibit hall offers a variety of companies serving the campus identification and transaction system industry.
For those who are new to the industry, or have new staff who could benefit from an overview of campus ID programs, there will be an “Industry Essentials Institute” pre-conference workshop. The Industry Essentials Institute will be held on Sunday, April 16, and is directed at institutional and corporate members wanting to learn the fundamentals of campus card programs, industry best practices, and communication techniques.
The conference will end on the evening of Wednesday, April 19 at Austin's renowned venue, The County Line on the Lake. “Everyone will enjoy barbecue and drinks with new and old NACCU friends on the banks of Lake Austin,” says Ogle. “It's sure to be a memorable evening!”
Institutional attendees are also invited to attend a free post-conference tour of the HID Global manufacturing facility on the morning of Thursday, April 20. The tour will include refreshments and transportation. There is no cost to participate in the tour, but registration is mandatory.
Visit NACCU.org to register for the NACCU Annual Conference.
Grubhub has partnered with reusable packaging management platform, Topanga.io, to provide a takeout container management service for college campuses. The partnership will bring Topanga.io's ReusePass program to universities across the United States, starting first with Ohio State University and Colorado State University.
The ReusePass program enables students to place a to-go order from on-campus dining locations via the Grubhub app, and then select "reusable packaging" at checkout. By selecting this option, the student's meal will be packaged in a reusable container using Topanga.io's track-and-trace technology. The system also enables students to keep track of what containers they have and when they need to be returned.
"Grubhub's campus partners have been vocal that sustainable solutions are a top priority, and we're looking forward to working with Topanga.io to support universities' sustainability efforts," says Adam Herbert, senior director of campus partnerships at Grubhub. "The campus dining world presents a large and scalable opportunity for sustainable solutions like this one, and we're excited to expand our suite of campus dining offerings to our partners."
"Grubhub is a leader in mobile ordering technology and has a great reputation among its campus partners, so we're thrilled to be working with them as we bring our mission to eliminate single-use packaging to campuses across the country," says Page Schult, CEO of Topanga.io.
Ohio State and Colorado State are just the first to adopt the solution, with Grubhub and Topanga.io already planning to expand the reach of the program to additional campuses.
"Sustainability is part of the culture for Student Life Dining Services at The Ohio State University," says Zia Ahmed, senior director of dining services at The Ohio State University. "We are pleased to work with our partners as we take key steps toward making progress in reducing waste and advancing our sustainability efforts."
"Colorado State University's residential dining services team has been eager to bring Topanga.io's ReusePass program to campus in partnership with Grubhub to expand on our sustainability initiatives," says Patrick St. Clair, assistant director, support services at Colorado State University. "It's efforts like this one that allows us to continue driving forward-thinking efforts and innovation within our residential dining program while leveraging and growing our program technologically."
Grubhub currently partners with over 270 college college campuses across the United States. The grubhub platform enables students to integrate meal plans directly into their Grubhub account, as well as access restaurants on- and off-campus for delivery and pickup.
In addition to the college campus initiative, Topanga also works with quick-service restaurants, grocery delivery, and meal prep companies to launch reusable packaging programs. To date, the company estimates that it has managed some 1.2 million reusable packaging assets.
In this edition of CampusIDChats, Transact Campus' Rasheed Behrooznia discusses the finer details of the company’s new cloud-based transaction system, Transact IDX. Watch along as discuss some of the key features of the IDX transaction system and why implementing a cloud-based software is a solid long-term strategy.
Behrooznia also talks about the ability for campuses to access third-party applications via IDX and the importance of building a transaction ecosystem.
The discussion also examines cloud based software from a campus administrator perspective, and how campuses can realize some operational efficiency and other benefits with Transact IDX.
For more information on Transact's new cloud-based transaction system, visit TransactCampus.com.
The National Association of Campus Card Users (NACCU) is once again accepting nominations from its membership for worthy candidates for the 2023 NACCU Awards. The awards are presented at the Annual Conference, held this year in Austin, Texas.
There is no cost to submit nominations, and the final day for submissions will be Wednesday, February 1.
Those interested can nominate a colleague or campus for the following awards:
Distinguished Service Award. Presented to an individual who has advanced the industry, exhibited entrepreneurial spirit, is an active member of NACCU, is actively involved in R&D, and who is active in the industry through serving on advisory boards and/or actively educating through presentations and sessions.
New Professional Award. Recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to their institution, the industry, and to the Association within a relatively short period of time.
Innovative Technology Award. Awarded to an institution that has introduced a unique and innovative technology-based solution.
Best Card Design Award. All submissions will be presented to NACCU members for final voting.
Best Marketing Campaign Award. Recognizes a campus for its use of marketing to enhance the visibility and value of their card or credential on campus.
Best Video Award. Recognizes a clever or funny video that promotes the card/credential program. All submissions will be presented to NACCU members for final voting.
All NACCU members are invited to submit nominations for any and all of the awards above. The NACCU Annual Conference in Austin, Texas will be held April 16-19.
In a recent entry to NACCU's Positive IDentity Blog, Texas Tech's Joann Wright details the end of the university's campus cash program, and why the move made sense. A long-time staple for the Texas Tech card office, the RaiderCash program began to see a downturn in use and Wright saw a need for change.
As with many campus cash programs, Texas Tech's RaiderCash program offered a convenient solution to make purchases on campus. That included laundry, buying snacks, purchasing textbooks, and more.
"[RaiderCash] offered our community a way to purchase services and sundries when they had no other means of payment, as well as generate some income from allowing other offices around campus to accept RaiderCash as a form of payment," writes Wright.
But an emerging trend at Texas Tech saw fewer locations on campus accepting RaiderCash. Further diluting RaiderCash usage was campus laundry being absorbed into housing fees and dining services switching to a one-card platform that no longer accepted RaiderCash.
By the time RaiderCash closed up shop, the two remaining on-campus outlets for the campus cash program were WEPA printers and Coca-Cola vending machines.
Wright recalls being shocked by the suggestion of eliminating RaiderCash. "We had to have this! It served the students, we’ve had it forever, and I most definitely did not want a key program to die on my watch!"
It was after assessing the cost of the campus cash program, however, that the decision began to take on new meaning. Wright points to a trend that campuses across the country know well: most students arrive to campus banked, with their own debit/credit cards already in hand.
"We just didn’t see the program fulfilling its original purpose, and we concluded that the cost to maintain the program outweighed it’s benefits to the university," she writes.
In just under two months, Wright and the card office team took the steps to close the RaiderCash program. And it was a busy two months.
"In this time frame, we contacted our few campus partners still accepting RaiderCash to inform them of the deadline for when cardholders would no longer be able to use it," says Wright. "We posted signs on our Library’s ValuePort deposit machines and our website where patrons used GET to make deposits letting them know of the upcoming changes."
The trend seen with RaiderCash at Texas Tech is hardly unique, and Wright offers her valuable lessons learned from the process of ending the campus cash program:
Looking back, Wright has promising takeaways from the experience.
"Eliminating our campus cash program has freed up time and resources to pursue new opportunities," she writes. "So don’t worry! If this move is something you are considering, I hope you know the world won’t end for you or your cardholders."
Joann Wright's full "We discontinued our campus cash program, and the world didn’t end" blog entry can be found on NACCU.org.
Universities continue to modernize campus dining with mobile ordering and other tech solutions, and when done right, it brings a host of benefits to operators and patrons. But it’s more than just offering food menus and deliveries via student, staff and faculty smartphones, says Ben Anderson, director of strategic sales for Grubhub, during a recent webinar about “Mobile Ordering and Food Services Best Practices.”
Grubhub is a pioneer of mobile ordering, and for the last decade, the company has been working to help higher education institutions beef up their dining options. It’s a task that often parallels campus efforts to offer advanced payment options that help drive the mobile ordering engine.
“Many students already have the Grubhub app when they come to campus,” says Anderson. “But that’s not enough.”
The bigger idea is for campuses to use technology to build what he calls “a branded ecosystem,” that includes physical pick-up locations for food, geo-location software, QR codes and more ways for off-campus students to use their flexible dining points or dollars.
We help campuses build a technological foundation that can expand into new areas – from kiosks and mobile ordering counters to food storage and pick-up lockers, and even delivery robots.
“We help campuses build a technological foundation that can efficiently expand into new areas – from kiosks and mobile ordering counters to food storage and pick-up lockers, and even delivery robots,” explains Anderson.
No matter the plans from campus officials, such efforts all have a common starting point.
“No good program can operate without solid data,” insists Anderson. That data includes real-time updates of menus, up-to-the-minute prep time and order volumes, and an array of other information that gives dining administrators the visibility to better serve customers.
Campuses are already taking major steps forward with mobile ordering, establishing designated areas for mobile orders in set dining locations, and even creating new venues dedicated to mobile customers. The rule of thumb offered by Anderson is that when any one delivery method reaches 30% of order volume, it probably deserves its own staging area so that efficiency isn’t throttled.
Order fulfillment is another big part of the overall technology proposition when it comes to improving campus dining. Fulfillment needs to be a big part of the decision-making process for campus officials when considering how to meet student and staff expectations for mobile ordering.
The rule of thumb for food pickup is that when any one delivery method reaches 30% of order volume, it probably deserves its own staging area so that efficiency isn’t throttled.
Anderson described how Grubhub powers a system in which consumers order snacks or meals that can be paid for via campus cards, Apple Pay or other methods – and then be retrieved from a bank of smart lockers. Users can be issued a QR code that, when placed under a scanner, opens a locker where back-of-the-house food workers have deposited the order.
It’s a system that follows the smart locker formula used by Amazon, select convenience stores and other locations for e-commerce orders.
“We think of these as arrows in the quiver to handle different situations on campus,” Anderson says, describing the lockers. “We can create all these new options for students, and those options provide added benefits such as more up-selling, less congestion and real-time venue management.”
Anderson used Ohio State University as a prime example of some of the changes taking place in campus dining. They started with dedicated pickup windows with TV screens that show which orders are ready and which are being processed.
The university also added new food areas and venues with kiosk ordering. As adoption grew, more designated pickup spaces for mobile orders were added, and specific cashiers were assigned to keep the mobile traffic flowing.
“In the technology age, transparency is good customer service,” says Anderson.
The technology has also identified areas of campus where delivery drivers don’t find it easy to serve. Such areas might be better served by delivery robots.
A now well-proven supplement to mobile ordering, delivery robots have cemented themselves as a viable service for campuses of all shapes and sizes. With the likes of Starship Technologies, Kiwibot, Cartken and others now providing their autonomous delivery robots nationwide, the often troublesome “last mile” of food delivery has become a lot easier.
In the technology age, transparency is good customer service.
Grubhub has established partnerships with Cartken, Kiwibot and Starship Technologies, making the integration between the Grubhub platform, the university’s campus card system, and delivery robots a seamless endeavor.
Regardless of the chosen dining technology, Anderson suggests starting small – in a single coffee shop or busy location – and then working up from there as data comes in and consumer demands become clear. He also advises campus officials to build partnerships and pursue technology integrations to get as much bang for their buck as possible.
Small beginnings, however, should never compromise the larger vision. Anderson equally encourages campus admins to think big.
“I think you want to be ambitious. You really have to have a vision, and that vision may change every quarter. You want to get to a point where you create substantial value,” says Anderson. “This is going to be a tool for what’s next.”
More information on mobile ordering can be found at onsite.grubhub.com.
Robot delivery has arrived at the University of Tulsa after the campus partnered with provider, Starship Technologies. The move reportedly makes Tulsa the first university in the state of Oklahoma to offer robot delivery on campus.
According to a report from Tulsa World, the university has deployed an initial fleet 15 robots, but has left the door open to expanding the initiative to as many as 40 robots. Users order and pay via the Starship mobile app, with each robot delivery carrying a flat delivery fee of $2.50.
“This robot delivery phenomenon has added about 30 colleges across the country and we said, you know, we’d like to be next,” says Matt Warren, Vice President of the University of Tulsa. “TU is a STEM-focused institution, and we are always looking at what’s high tech, what’s new.”
The service will enable students and employees to have meals delivered from select campus eateries to a variety of campus locations, including residence halls and offices. The service works with TU Dining Dollars, the Hurricane Gold Dollar program — a prepaid account students and staff use their via their TU ID card — as well as standard credit cards. The delivery service runs between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. daily.
Warren hopes that demand increases and that more robots could be deployed. An area of Tulsa’s Mabee Gymnasium is already being converted to serve as a home base for the robots. “We’re installing this special robotic garage door that automatically opens and closes so they can file out at 7:00 in the morning, and then file back in at night to recharge,” says Warren.
The service officially launched in late November, and has been met with positive feedback.
“So far, students are loving the convenience,” says Warren. “We had one bad weather day and we got a lot of positive feedback that it’s certainly worth the $2.50.”
The service is currently restricted to campus dining locations only. The robots are capable of operating at a range of up to two miles from campus, a feature that the university intends to leverage going forward.
“We are looking at a phase two where we’d be looping in neighboring eateries, so our students could order from them and have their order delivered via robot to campus,” says Warren.
Grubhub has partnered with robot delivery provider, Kiwibot, and has made the University of North Dakota the pair's first campus client. Going forward, the partnership will provide robot delivery services on college campuses across the United States.
Kiwibot joins Grubhub's existing robot delivery partners, Cartken and Starship. In total, Grubhub is supporting robot delivery on a dozen college campuses across the country.
"When it comes to the campus dining experience, we see robot delivery as a complementary offering to traditional delivery since the robots can navigate hard-to-reach areas on campuses," says Adam Herbert, senior director of campus partnerships at Grubhub. "Our campus partners have been asking for us to help bring this delivery option to their school, and we are excited to partner with Kiwibot to expand this innovative and convenient type of delivery to more colleges across the country."
"Our partnership with Grubhub means we'll be able to provide an integrated delivery service that allows students to experience Kiwibot delivery right from Grubhub's app," says Felipe Chávez, CEO of Kiwibot.
North Dakota students will be able to select robot delivery via the Grubhub app from on-campus dining locations, including the Memorial Union Food court and Wilkerson Dining Center.
The Kiwibots navigate using an autonomous system and can operate in snow and extreme weather conditions. The robots move at walking pace and can hold up to 25 pounds.
"Bringing a delivery service to campus was an offering we've been wanting to provide at the university, and we are excited for this innovative delivery service to become available to students," says Orlynn Rosaasen, director of dining services at the University of North Dakota. "We know just how busy students are, and this type of delivery will provide them with one more option to access food on campus during their busy days."
Grubhub currently partners with more than 250 college campuses across the United States. The company enables students to integrate meal plans directly into their Grubhub account and access restaurants both on- and off-campus for delivery and pickup.