How to compare university card offices is one of the purposes behind the benchmarking survey sponsored by the National Association of Campus Card Users. The survey can also determine how a card office differs from others and how it can help educate school administrators on what the card office really does.
“If you ask anyone outside the campus card industry what the card office does, they don’t know,” said Frank Adams, an assistant professor at Mississippi State University.
Adams has been conducting the NACCU-sponsored benchmarking survey for several years in a series of webinars entitled, “How to Analyze and Leverage the NACCU Benchmarking for Your Office’s Advantage,” which has reviewed survey results. A webinar is scheduled for July 31 and registration information can be found here.
Adams said a card office “fills a very specific niche in the institution’s ecosystem. It’s like a public utility, you’re not aware it’s there until it quits working.”
The survey was born after one university wanted to look at what other schools were doing. “What most stood out to me is how different the institutions are,” Adams said.
Adams said he wanted to compare “where you are and where others are. If you’re going to benchmark any industry or activity you have to look at the players in that environment and who they’re similar to and who they’re different from,” said Adams.
Maybe the school isn’t similar to an institution down the road but rather a college on the other side of the country, he added. “I was looking for some specific things. I wanted to determine who you’re alike and different from.”
This required compilation of complete information, which enables Adams to see how is alike and not alike. He said NACCU will be comparing these surveys over time. “That will help us get better performance measures. We want to know what affects performance, what happens in the card office that has influence” over that performance.
The survey can also help educate supervisors on the card office’s purposes. “When they understand your mission, they’re more likely to give you what you need,” said Adams.