Having celebrated the holidays and rung in the New Year, the time has come once again to start the spring semester. For students, the changing of years marks a new beginning, but the same holds true for campus card offices, which are constantly working to streamline and improve their systems.
What, then, should a campus card office do in the New Year that will help them accomplish this feat? NuVision Client Solutions Advisor, Deb Hoefer reveals what she believes to be vital actions for card offices in the New Year.
First, every campus card office should have a point man; someone who runs the show but also knows the campus, the system and what the card office must provide to students, faculty and staff. Additionally, the point man should be an advocate of the card office and its systems, providing the rest of the campus community with the information they need to know.
Networking within the campus community is key, as Hoefer stresses the need for card offices to interact with, and know, other vital departments on campus. It is important for campus card offices to interact with disparate departments and their advisors to better understand the challenges that they face. It may well be that the campus card office can provide the solution, whether for a tutoring center, rec center, academic office, athletic department or student support services, the card office can – and should – do more than just manage meal plans.
A third New Year’s resolution for card offices is marketing the services that they provide. All too often, card offices overlook this task and as a result they fall victim to anonymity. Simply put, card offices need not be afraid to advertise what they do for the campus community.
Less of a resolution and more of a contingency plan, Hoefer stresses the need for card offices to have a back-up plan for extreme circumstances. While physically relocating a card office is rare, it can be an organizational nightmare if unprepared. Campus card offices don’t have the luxury of taking time off, as they must be prepared to issue and re-issue credentials year round, so having a back-up location from which the card office can operate effectively will make everyone’s life a lot easier.
Yet another resolution for 2014 is keeping inventory up to date. This seems an obvious one, but in the hustle and bustle of a campus card operation, it can be easy to overlook equipment needs. Staying ahead of equipment purchases, repairs and updates will help to keep the card office operations running smoothly and efficiently. Hoefer prescribes a spreadsheet system wherein new equipment purchases and replacements are recorded – a system that will also be helpful when reporting equipment status and support costs to the school officials.
As a final New Year’s resolution, Hoefer stresses the importance for card offices to participate in professional organizations. A great way to stay updated on the latest technology and products, organizations like NACCU provide campus card offices with an outlet to learn about and connect with new vendors as well as provide perspective on the future of the campus card industry.
Card offices play a vital role on any college campus, and while system improvement is an ongoing process, these resolutions are a great starting point for what will hopefully be a successful 2014.