Determine the best technology model for your application software, operating systems, devices and service programs based on your campus environment. That may be in-house based, out-sourced to a third party vendor or a mix of internal and external programming. Remember, whatever you implement, your program’s reputation is on the line so you need to budget, prepare for and schedule system hardware and software upgrades and provide multi-layered support available 24/7/365.
Remember that system stability is a critical factor in success, and uptime is a measurable benchmark for the administration. Don’t neglect disaster recovery planning.
Step three: Share and celebrate your successes
Consistently provide data to upper administrators. When you quietly achieve success and systems run smoothly, administration may not be aware of the diversity, scope and volume of transactions. Consider regular communication such as:
- Standard monthly data includes number of transactions, dollar value of transactions, number of on and off-campus merchants, account deposits, number of active cardholders, number of readers and service/program lists.
- Benchmarking data showing how your program performs against similar institutions both regionally and across the nation.
- Create brief business plans for any new services and operations to provide upper administration and program partners to define service and financial outcomes, program benefits, resources utilized, and assign responsibilities.
Encourage your department to celebrate and share their successful program initiatives on campus and nationally by authoring papers, writing industry articles, presenting at conferences and applying for awards. Always share program accolades with your campus partners and your administration. Do not forget to work with your student newspaper, because your administration does read it.
Consider a strategic approach that highlights your card program’s value to administration, and you will be better positioned for future funding requests
Encourage industry and professional staff training and promote employee campus involvement. Casual networking conversations at a campus, regional or national event can turn into projects to solve inefficiencies on campus. At the University of Alabama, MyTickets was an SGA concept. They knew what they wanted, Athletics and Student Affairs agreed, but they needed a department to implement the solution.
Diversity is key
Your staff should serve as results-oriented project managers of enterprise level systems that support Academic, Financial and Student operations. When you provide diverse services and programs campus-wide while resolving issues and inefficiencies, your department will be better positioned for administrative funding requests to support the program infrastructure.