Your Laptop Just in Time - Our Pilot Project for Students at Universities of Applied Sciences
For our last Neptun Sales Wave in early Autumn 2018, we started a pilot project to make it easier for first-year students at universities of applied sciences to buy a Neptun device. Students at these universities begin their studies a few weeks earlier than those at other universities, and they are often required to attend installation events with their laptops before their actual courses start. Additionally, there are special requirements on the hardware for some students, like a mandate for professional graphics hardware, that makes selecting the right device more challenging. To solve these problems, we worked together with ZHAW School of Engineering, HSLU, and FHNW to create a custom device selection and a special Neptun Sales Wave for their students.
To accommodate the need for early deliveries, we started the testing and selection process several weeks earlier than usual. In case of the laptops for STEM students, in particular for those at the ZHAW School of Engineering, we worked together with the program managers at the relevant institutions to ensure that our devices fulfill the requirements of CAD, 3D modelling, and other software they use in their studies. Additionally, we collected as much information as possible about all the different programs offered at our partner universities to be able to give sound advice about what laptop fits which field of study best. With this approach, we were ready to go with our special Sales Wave on the 13th of August and we were able to guarantee a delivery of any of the devices on offer before the end of the month.
Since the usual method of authentication with a SWITCHaai account was not available to the students before their courses began, we created a system using codes which were sent out by the universities to their first-year students with the enrolment documents. This allowed us to make sure that only eligible students could by a device, which helped immensely in calculating the number of laptops we had to order from our manufacturers.
In true fashion of a pilot project there were a few roadblocks we had to deal with. Some students misplaced their authentication codes, so they could not access our offers. This was of course easily solved by them sending us a copy of their enrolment confirmations. A more serious problem were the unexpected delivery problems with one of our devices, which would only arrive by mid-September; much too late for the first-year students. We immediately contacted all affected customers after learning about the problems from our partners and offered them to either switch to a different model with similar specs, to cancel the order, or to wait for the late delivery. This resolved the problem to the satisfaction of all affected parties.
After this successful first run of the Neptun Sales Wave for universities of applied sciences, we are looking to repeat this project next summer with more institutions and faculties. If you work at an institution which would benefit from joining an early Sales Wave or if your students have special hardware requirements that are not currently fulfilled by our laptop lineup, please contact us via E-Mail or Facebook Messenger.