Think you’re getting the most out of your software? You may be less efficient than you could be. Here’s how a fully integrated software solution can help.
If your department is like most college rec programs in the country, you are probably managing your programs, staff, facilities, and payment processes with a variety of different software systems or even paper and pen. Bringing everything together into one comprehensive, integrated system will save you time and headaches. Here are the different ways that software can integrate, and the benefits of each.
University integration refers to the way a software interacts with existing university systems, such as accounting and the single sign-on process. Having a payment process that feeds into the university-wide payment gateway and central accounting saves both time and money – for staff in the rec department and elsewhere on campus. Integration with the single sign-on allows campus community members to use their university credentials to log into the user end of the rec software, providing a more secure process and eliminating the need to create additional login credentials. The more integrated a software is with your existing university systems, the more time you save.
Hardware integration is all about working with your processes. A software should work with turnstiles, card scanners, biometric readers, and more, and be flexible enough to adapt to any changes you want to make in the future. When investigating software, find out if the hardware you have or want will work with the provider you’re considering.
This often overlooked element of integration is how your software shares data between its different aspects, and it can be your biggest time-saver. Nothing within your department happens in isolation. Intramural games and fitness classes require facility spaces and student staff. Personal training and outdoor trips require a registration process and point of sale (POS). A fully integrated software can address all the aspects at once. When the intramural or group fitness schedule is created, the facility spaces and student staff can be scheduled automatically. The registration process for personal training and outdoor trips can flow directly into the POS process, which in turn flows directly into the central accounting system.
Integrated software will save you, your co-workers, and participants’ time, money, and frustration. The more integrated elements are, the less time is spent manually entering information, repeating tasks, and compiling data. By connecting to the university systems currently in place, the hardware that supports your processes, and the various aspects within the software itself, integration allows you to get the most out of your software.
Ben White has 12 years of college rec management experience, and is currently the VP/COO of DSE. He can be reached at 617.221.3171 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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