A Single Campus Events Database
There are few organizations that have more departments and moving, yet disconnected parts than colleges and universities do. It takes a small army to effectively run all of the varying facets of any institution of higher education. Yet, like a real army, if everyone isn’t on the same page or communication is difficult, you won’t be as successful as you have the potential to be. That’s why having a single database for all campus events, conferences, classrooms, and facilities is the optimal way to manage your campus and improve community engagement. The best way to do this is have one single source of truth for all of this information.
Many universities that we talk to approach potential solutions with an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. This can be extremely risky when these organizations turn a blind eye to the inefficiencies and potential downfalls of a process that may be out of line with best practices for campus events. They have siloed systems and departments that create awkward communication flows making nearly every process and task take longer than it should, with a greater potential for errors and headaches.
Multiple systems, spreadsheets and manual processes lead to poor practices that can break down and cause things to fall through the cracks. When that happens, not only do you miss out on immediate revenue, and potentially cost yourself future revenue in the form of opportunities and time expenditure, but you also can harm your standing in the community; which can be far more devastating.
Recall a bad experience that you’ve had at a restaurant – you most likely were more hesitant to go to that restaurant again and also advised friends and colleagues to be wary of going there. The same goes for everyone that engages with your university through campus events of all kinds – when mistakes are made or simple tasks are unnecessarily difficult and time-consuming, they can have a far-reaching ripple effect in your community and future business potential.
Making Campus Events Existing Processes Better
In discussing higher education organization with our current clients, we often group departments and functions into five major groups. Those groups are conference registration, booking and scheduling, facility management, student union space reservations and event management. If even two of these groups are utilizing disconnected software systems and processes, your organization is costing itself time, creating confusion and increasing the margin for error through task and information overlap.
It simply makes things easier and less confusing for all of these departments to be operating within one database and system that is specifically designed to handle these overlaps in space management. A single database simplifies communication and provides access to all necessary information with ease, while avoiding the need to tediously re-enter information multiple times.
Adding New, Profit-Driven Processes
Businesses will often use CRM software to focus their sales process and ensure that valuable opportunities don't slip through the cracks. A University is a bit different. You don’t have traditional customers the way a corporate business might; however, you want to provide the same care and attention when it comes to managing your most important relationships.
This is why we believe it’s so important to include something like a CRM in any kind of singular solution for higher education institutions. Not only are you implementing a system that minimizes your costs, with CRM, you’re implementing a system that helps you boost your revenues through more effective and customer-focused processes.
Uniting Campus Events
A truly unified system should be powerful enough to manage and centralize, well, everything! Universities we speak with want to manage classroom spaces, student unions, conferences, facilities, schedules, contracts, finances and more. This is different than what is provided by student information systems; which are really more student-facing systems designed to help with class scheduling. The rest of entities are managed a lot of times by individual processes or separate systems. One-off process and disconnected systems only defer leaks to other departments until eventually, they start there’s a major problem – or worse, no one even knows that there’s a problem.
Any kind of space management solution for a university should take into account academic spaces along with other space reservations, keeping every department on the same page. Event management, space reservations, academic room reservations, conference management, contracting and more should all operate in harmony inside the same, all-purpose system if mistakes are to truly be prevented.
We’ve seen major scheduling errors and contract errors be reduced by 100% when this types of comprehensive solutions are implemented. Those we have worked with tell us that it mainly has to do with something finally accepting total responsibility for all event/space/facility management.
The Process Of Moving Forward
One of the most costly downfalls for universities and their campus events is failing to explore potential improvements and process optimizations. Creating a singular campus events database can save time and money while cutting out confusion. If you want to move forward with uniting the processes and departments at your university or campus, explore the solutions that Ungerboeck can offer. We’ve been developing our software over 30 years of collaboration with industry professionals and want to help every potential client explore the many ways that they can improve their workflows and efficiency.
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