The common goal of all colleges and universities with auxiliary services is to find ways to minimize the cost of providing services while enhancing their students’ experiences. This can be done by marrying data from different sources, so you can see where you’re spending money and where you could be making more from auxiliary revenue.
Double Check Your Payments and Commissions
One of the first places to look for opportunities to recapture auxiliary revenue is in your current contracts with vendors; ensure you are getting paid what you should be getting paid based on the terms and conditions listed. You also want to validate those payments because some information (and money) may be missed. That way, if the vendor commissions aren’t matching up, you can hold them accountable.
Offer What Students Want
It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but it’s important to offer products (both in retail and dining) that students actually want to buy. Don’t worry about wondering what students actually want–in the age of social media, they will let you know. If you aren’t sure how to check those channels, consider sending out satisfaction surveys to gather feedback.
Do Work Optimally
With access to granular, near-time data, you have the ability to run your auxiliary services as optimally as possible; in the end, business is a delicate balance between student satisfaction and financial stewardship. Notably, many students who choose to transfer colleges do so not because of the curriculum, but because they don’t feel cared for in some way–providing options that students want help them feel like they belong on campus.
Collaborate with Business Partners
Seeking ways for both you and your business partners to improve auxiliary revenue is also advantageous. For example, if you see an opportunity to expand a location, you can take that suggestion (along with data proving your case) to your business partner for evaluation. Then, together, you can make the decision to expand, thereby earning both of you more money. This collaboration also lets you stay on top of those new, extra payments and any possible chargebacks to ensure you are making the most of your vendor relationships.
Compare and Contrast
If you’re looking to see comparative benchmarks for similar sized schools in your region, you can contact NACAS or NACUBO for that information. This data can show you if your auxiliary services are performing above, below, or in line with your peers.
RevenueVision, a cloud-based contract and operational management program, tracks your school’s auxiliary services data to show you opportunities where you can make more revenue. If you’re looking for a solution that maximizes your financial contributions while lowering your cost footprint, contact us today.