Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 22

JNT VISUAL/SHUTTERSTOCK

EVOLUTION OR REVOLUTION?

Campus Cards:

Time for a New Business Model

by Robert C. Huber, CMC, CPCM
Robert Huber Associates

M

ost Institutions of
Higher Education
(IHEs) have
issued plastic
Campus Cards
for decades,
based on a 30-year business model.
Perhaps it is time for administrators
to review this process in light of
current technology and dramatic
shifts in generational expectations.
Development of a contemporary
business model, which may include
migration to a virtual Campus Card,
should include greater customer
focus, advanced technology, and
closer alignment with evolving
institutional priorities. This strategic
process has the potential to save
your institution millions of dollars,
as well as provide significantly
increased student satisfaction.
Thirty years ago, fall registration
was more reminiscent of an annual
scavenger hunt.
* Most institutions issued 50 to 150
forms of campus identification-
most of which were valid only for a
semester or an academic year.
* Antiquated technologies: OCR, bar
codes, punch cards, paper tickets,
labels, stickers, single-track
magnetic stripes, proximity fobs,
and metal keys.
* Single-application systems

22

and databases were managed
by a variety of non-affiliated
departments and all updated
manually on a daily basis.
* Students were required to stand in
endless department lines, which
often closed during lunch hours.
* Some Institutions issued generic
campus cards, but then required
students to go to each office to
have their department privileges
individually activated (e.g., Dining,
Library, Athletics, Housing).
* Cumulative costs of these parallel
processes were often hundreds
of thousands of dollars per year
(for labor, materials, equipment,
support, utilities, warranties, etc.).
The overall effect of these
decentralized practices generated
frequent student complaints-
provoked by inefficient, costly
and, often, indifferent customerservice attitudes.
The introduction of the All-Campus
Card concept, Campus Card Service
Centers (One-Stop Shopping),
immediate applications activation,
flexible spending accounts, and
eventually online debit account
deposits all revolutionized Campus
Card programs.
Within a decade, thousands of
IHE's introduced a Campus Card
program, eliminated many student
lines, greatly reduced overall
institutional direct and indirect
costs, and increased student
service, convenience and customer
satisfaction.

Campus Card Factory
Over the past 30 years, the
centralized issuance of a single
plastic Campus Card has become
a cultural membership card of a
college or university, especially on
residential campuses.
Technology has experienced

EDUCATIONAL PROCUREMENT JOURNAL | SUMMER 2018

seismic advances. During this period,
campus card operations changed as
well, but primarily technologically.
Mainframe refrigerator cabinets and,
later, microcomputers were replaced
by PC-based card systems.
Miles of card-reader data cables and
rented telephone lines were replaced
by plug-in Ethernet networks.
Manual floppy discs were replaced
by automatic backup systems with
infinite storage. System manuals were
replaced with Help Screens.
Suitcase Polaroid® cameras, photo
die cutters, and hot laminators were
replaced with portable card printers.
Large microwave size readers have
been replaced by small, credit-card
readers and downloadable applications
to iPads®.
Traditional keyed residence
hall doors are now being systematically
upgraded with hotel-type
electronic locks.
Even the business model for
campus card system-providers has
essentially shifted 180 degrees from
past decades.
Campus card system providers
designed installed and supported
(only) their own brand of proprietary
equipment. Today, system integrators
specify or resell brand computers,
and generic financial and door-access
readers. Most providers no longer
manufacture plastic cards (in-house),
but broker them to large card
service bureaus.
As campuses centralize IT
administration, more "stealth" dooraccess systems have surfaced,
independently purchased by
decentralized housing offices. These
systems often utilize antiquated
technology, require proprietary and
separate credentials, and cannot be
accessed by University Police in case
of a major emergency (e.g., active
shooter, campus lockdown). Clearly,



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018

Professional Development Notes
NAEP President Nichol Luoma
Research and Development RFP: Procurement Assists with Innovation
Training, Testing, and Incentives
Annual Meeting Wrap-Up
Certification: Which One Are You?
Evolution or Revolution? Campus Cards: Time for a New Business Model
Book Review: Building a Fund of Sustainability Knowledge, One Book at a Time—Part Nine
Best and Final: Procurement: How the Torch Gets Passed
Index to Advertisers
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - intro
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - cover1
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - cover2
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 3
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 4
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 5
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - Professional Development Notes
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 7
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - NAEP President Nichol Luoma
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 9
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - Research and Development RFP: Procurement Assists with Innovation
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 11
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 12
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 13
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 14
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 15
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - Training, Testing, and Incentives
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 17
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - Annual Meeting Wrap-Up
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 19
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - Certification: Which One Are You?
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 21
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - Evolution or Revolution? Campus Cards: Time for a New Business Model
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 23
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 24
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - Book Review: Building a Fund of Sustainability Knowledge, One Book at a Time—Part Nine
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 26
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 27
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - Best and Final: Procurement: How the Torch Gets Passed
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - 29
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - Index to Advertisers
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - cover3
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - cover4
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - outsert1
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - outsert2
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - outsert3
Educational Procurement Journal - Summer 2018 - outsert4
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http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NEPQ/NEPQ0417
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NEPQ/NEPQ0317
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