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A Smart Card That Goes the Distance The Award Winning OneCard Program at Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Presentation on theme: "A Smart Card That Goes the Distance The Award Winning OneCard Program at Wilfrid Laurier University."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Smart Card That Goes the Distance The Award Winning OneCard Program at Wilfrid Laurier University

2 General Goals of a Card System Replace older and increasingly expensive technologies Implement a system that is capable of cost recovery Build a foundation for future services Must be convenient for students, faculty and staff

3 Planning Your Card System Define the scope of your card system Develop a business model The RFP process Timeline for implementation Other possible factors

4 Scope of the Laurier Project Replace the old system with a Y2K compliant system Implement meal plans Accommodate an off campus sales program Incorporate security program like door access Be able to interface with 3 rd party systems Encompass other campus departments like the library and athletics Replace old laminate card with a magnetic stripe card Able to expand into vending, laundry, copying, printing, etc

5 The Business Model Two Basic Types There are two basic business models for a card system 1.Front –End revenue generators 2.Back-End revenue generators

6 The Business Model Front-Load Type A fixed percentage of deposits are taken up front Dollars are converted into “points” Easier to budget because revenues are taken before sales need to occur Discounts are used at the point of purchase to show plan value to students Can allow for revenue double dipping with off campus programs Can be very confusing to students who have to do dollar to point conversions When used off campus, the value of a dollar is diminished Can restrict the growth of your off campus program Perception of value is always in question Burden of the program tends to be borne by the students

7 The Business Model Rear-Load Type Operates like the credit card companies do Takes a negotiated percentage of sales at the point of purchase A dollar is a dollar so no points conversion No discounts necessary at point of purchase Greater perception of value Allows for rapid off campus program growth No loss in spending power for off campus purchases Does not allow for revenue double dipping with an off campus program More difficult to budget under this model Burden of the program is borne by the vendors that profit from the available funds

8 The Business Model General Goals In any case, the business model should allow for the following considerations: – Financial – Technical – Political Obvious labour and recurring supply costs Continual re-investment in technology BM should also provide an avenue to recover annual operational costs Incorporate the eventual payback of it’s initial investment Acceptable to the culture and politics of your institution Flexible enough to allow for an off campus program to supplement your on campus offerings Built on a technical foundation that allows for maximum growth

9 Capital Costs Costs will vary greatly depending on the following: The vendor selected to provide the card system – Pricing structures for equipment vary across vendor platforms – How the technology is implemented also varies The scope of the project – How many applications are you planning to implement in year one The size of your institution – The more students you have, the more licensing is going to cost No exact numbers that will apply across all institutions

10 The RFP Process Many resources online with RFP samples NACCU (National Association of Campus Card Users) website is an excellent resource Don’t reinvent the wheel Be prepared to make significant adaptations to suit your institution Seek the advice of an expert

11 Planning Principles Golden rule of planning: No install is clean! Expect problems and delays so plan accordingly Use the following chart as a guide:

12 Application Timeline ApplicationAllotted TimeNote Database install and basic training 3 to 5 days Advanced training will likely be learn-as-you-go Point of Sale setup, configuration and staff training 1 day for every POS and 2 to 3 days for manager/supervisor training Front line staff should in turn be trained by unit managers/supervisors Vending machines setup and configuration 2 to 3 hours per machine This assumes that wiring is already done Laundry rooms 1 week for every room of usually 12 to 24 machines Laundry tends to be more economical the more machines you have in a single location Off campus readers 2 days. 1 day to configure and train and 1 day to follow up with problems Ka-Ching!

13 A Few Words About Partnerships Proven track record of success at a variety of institutions Embraced by students for the variety and additional spending options they bring Sought after by community businesses for access to a large pool of funds with limited competition Enjoyed by institutions for their high profitability and limited financial outlay

14 WLU Partner Program Currently includes 13 off campus vendors – From pizza to fine dining, taxis to sun tanning, and everything in between The program has created a self sustaining cycle of success – Profitability has allowed for program expansion, which has led to increased sales, which has led to increased profitability, etc… The program has enjoyed a year after year increase in commissions to WLU Academic Year Off Campus Commissions 1999 / 2000$68, / 2001$108, / 2002$137, / 2003$145, / 2004$186, / 2005$211,742

15 Card System Implementation In summary, there are 5 general process steps Create your business model Decide how ambitious you want to be for the first year Re-check your business model and project scope and make any required adjustments Send out an RFP Create a workable time table with the golden rule in mind

16 Implementation Continued

17 Ongoing Operations All card operations will need to provision for the following: Annual re-investment in equipment, computers and software; which should be approx 10 to 20% of budget Card related consumables such as card stock and ribbons New or additional card system software licensing; grows in step with your school population Card system annual maintenance; 10 to 20% of hardware and software purchases

18 Ongoing Operations Continued Marketing, which should be approx 10% of budget Develop complimentary systems in house that will work with the card system Dedicate approx 10% of budget to systems innovation

19 Expansion, Marketing & Innovation Expansion, marketing and innovation is your trifecta of success These processes will feed off of each other to create a self- perpetuating and self- sufficient card operation If you build it, they will spend

20 WLU OneCard Sample Budget 2005 Revenue$488,600 Labour$179,900 Equipment$138,680 Marketing$60,160 New Projects$37,410 Other Expenses$5,050 Surplus$67,400 There were also additional OneCard commissions in the amount of $120,370 paid directly to Food Services from the off campus partner program that are not reflected in the revenue line above

21 Historical Program Expansion and Annual Sales Financial Card Reader Additions by Year Annual Sales

22 Off Campus Program Growth Total Off Campus VendorsTotal Off Campus Sales

23 WLU Cost Savings 3 categories of cost savings: – Direct labour savings – Direct expense savings – Savings from economies of scale The card office policy of automating new systems and updating old systems has allowed us to maintain the same staffing level from 1999 to 2005 despite an enrollment increase of over 50 % in that time; a savings of $240,000 over six years Before the card system, the University was spending $160,000 annually to staff and maintain the old ID system. After OneCard, that was reduced to $40,000 The card system has replaced costly building automation systems and stand-alone security systems across WLU with a single, cheaper and integrated system; resulting in a savings of $200,000

24 Post Year One Lots of tweaking on every front: – Technical – Financial – Political More expansion, marketing and innovating

25 WLU Since Year One The card program has expanded to include: – 16 off campus venues – 14 on campus food venues – 45 vending machines – 15 laser printing labs – 160 access doors – 4 elevators – 24 copiers – 2 automatic deposit machines – 6 websites – 4 residence laundry rooms – Various other card based services In all, over 300 card readers of various types were added after the first year of the OneCard system

26 WLU OneCard Review The card program has both saved money and generated revenue: – Cutting $120,000 from the University’s budget – Funding the card program through sales commissions – Saving $240,000 through economies of scale – Contributing an additional $120,000 over 6 years – Increasing student deposits to $7 million annually – Increasing off campus sale commissions to $210,000 annually – Cutting on campus commission rates by 20%


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