University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham

Campus Card Feasibility Study Community * Security

The Challenge

The University of Birmingham recognized that there was confusion amongst students and staff. This was because as a total of 23 plastic cards were required to travel through the campus and to receive services. The University wanted to reduce administration, to cut costs and to improve the staff and student experience and asked us to help find a solution for them.

Our Approach

Consultancy ​ We ran a feasibility study involving stakeholders from Facilities Management, Libraries, Leisure, Student Union, A high security Pharmaceutical Laboratory, Local Transport, Local Businesses, Student Administration and others, to identify the most efficient mechanism for reducing the number of tokens required and the best technology to use for each. ​ The study was followed by a series of requirements capture sessions supplemented by site surveys, to establish the functional and physical requirements. A thorough analysis of technical architecture was performed, which gave a comprehensive picture of the existing card schemes and their relationship to one another. ​ After several sessions with stakeholders a report of recommendations was presented. This allowed the university to reduce the number of tokens to just 5. It included the use of barcode, magnetic stripe and smart chip technologies, which were both contact and contactless.

The Result

The University achieved significant cost savings and staff and students found the new approach much easier to understand. The flexibility and availability of the scheme was maximised, by using a combination of tokens such as plastic cards, key fobs and mobile devices. Our recommendations also simplified and tightened the management of secure areas, which was an unanticipated additional benefit.