Timeless University Symbol Uncovers Better Business Data with 9Gauge

 AUSTIN, Texas, March 2017 – Across the Forty Acres from a loud Saturday “The Eyes of Texas” football chant stands the timeless symbol of the University of Texas culture. Located on the Drag, several thousands regularly walk through the monumental University Co-Op. Students and faculty alike immerse themselves in the deep traditions of academic and sporting success. This non-profit organization, owned by the students, faculty, and staff of the university, maintains its lasting presence by being a forward-thinking business through the leadership of its Board of Directors and management team.

Goal: Clear, Actionable Insights

However, the Co-Op faces a unique challenge running its organization. The University Co-Op’s Board “consists of a chairman, faculty, and students on two- to four-year terms. Also, the majority of the Board may not come from the business sector,” acknowledges President & CEO, Cheryl Phifer. She constantly ensures the Board can easily view the company finances and carry out the right procedures. “Our CFO goes through the financial due diligence at every meeting. Still, we wanted a dashboard to summarize the numbers for them.”

In 2016, a local CPA firm recommended Phifer to 9Gauge Partners during its annual audit. After discussing the Co-Op’s desired outcomes, the management consulting firm made plans for more succinct, actionable business insights. “As CEO, Cheryl knew their challenges and prioritized how to address them,” comments Jonathan Hines, Partner at 9Gauge. “Defining and developing reporting, as well as dashboards and KPI’s, empower everyone from the Board, to leadership, to store managers. These were critical to taking business to the next level.” Promptly, the 9Gauge team recommended the Dashboarding features of Adaptive Insights and an improved budgeting process. Adding best practices in the financial operations of the business translates to better decision-making around the revenue, sales, and expenses of the Co-Op.

The 9Gauge Advantage

As a result, the Board and management team feel comfort and confidence in the resulting partnership. “9Gauge helped pull together a budgeting process rooted deeper into our organization,” notes Phifer. Now, we are confident that we looked at every aspect of the business when planning for 2018. [With Adaptive Insights,] we have better insights for our management and buyers – tracking what is sold and understanding the costs.”

9Gauge’s partnership approach ensured that the Co-Op could make more informed, data-driven decisions. The team has provided the University Co-Op leadership team:

  • Strategic Financial Advisory deep-diving into their financials for an improved Budgeting process
  • Dashboard reporting for the Board of Directors to have a clear understanding of health of the business
  • A Scalable financial system (Adaptive Insights) customized for better metrics on merchandise sales
  • A Consulting Business Partner to offer support and answer any questions around their data

“Working with Cheryl and her team has been an absolute pleasure,” notes Hines. “Our entire team feels excited for the progress Cheryl has made empowering her team toward even more success. Furthermore, we look forward to the next stage of work we can deliver to support her continued success.”

The University Co-Op: A Timeless Tradition

The ageless Co-Op will continue serving the people of the University of Texas for many years to come. As for its new relationship started in 2016, Phifer expressed positive words for her 9Gauge team. “My experience with 9Gauge has been really positive. They take a strong customer approach from my initial contact, Jonathan Hines, to every single member of my team. Everyone focuses on our needs, makes key recommendations, and have all gone above and beyond for us,” notes the Co-Op President and CEO. For this lasting Forty Acres symbol, 9Gauge hopes to be a contributing piece in its iconic success.

If you have not visited the University Co-Op recently, go check out their new merchandize and upgraded store. They are located on 2246 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705.

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