2018 is a new year, and many higher education institutions have put reducing expenses towards the top of their resolutions. Auxiliary operations on campuses are an optimal place to look for ways to reduce or recover costs and put money back into the school to help stifle rising tuition costs.
Let’s take a look at four ways your institution could begin to save money in the new year.
Automation has taken over for one great reason: it reduces manual labor costs through more efficient processes. By automating labor consuming activities such as data entry, paper filing, contract management, etc., you are able to free up staff and allow them to focus on more strategic goals and activities and provide better services to your students, faculty, and staff.
Measure Staff Productivity
A key place to examine for cost reductions is by measuring staff productivity in retail outlets. Through the use of business intelligence tools and data analysis, you can compare sales against the amount of labor hours and the type of labor being spent at a location. By measuring this productivity, you may consider reducing shift times during slower periods or days. Over the long term, those savings can result in a huge reduction in costs.
Track Food Waste
Many higher education institutions have experience with food waste–producing too much food that students don’t eat, so it just ends up in the trash. By tracking food waste, your institution can see where and what kind of food is being wasted. This insight helps you to take steps to greatly slow food waste–either by reducing food production and/or donating any leftover food to homeless shelters and other charitable organizations.
Budget Event Expenses
Lastly, one great way to recover costs is through event cost tracking. Many colleges and universities will rent their spaces for outside events (such as high school graduations or concerts). Generally, institutions will provide services such as security and custodians for these events–but often times, they lose money on those offerings. By tracking the costs of staffing these events, colleges can recover the costs through their rental charges so they can cover all of their costs or potentially make a profit.
Many of these tips have been possible to do without technology; however, since they were time consuming, some institutions opted not to do them in favor of doing other tasks. Having software that takes all of this information and ties it together into easily readable dashboards takes the pain of manual labor away and helps you turn data into meaningful information.
Generally, you can see the successes of these new practices in both the short and long term. Finding ways to recover auxiliary operational costs can begin almost immediately, but the long-term benefits you realize will lead to the biggest gains. Over time, you will continue to have cost reductions because of the new processes and procedures that were put into place.