Two or three times a year, the dreaded reminder that the next several days and weeks will be filled with multiple spreadsheets (that’s if you can get the data in one piece), a ridiculous number of emails, back and forth between agents, recruitment staff and finance and copious amounts of anxiety of what can and might go wrong.
With the huge surge in agent applications and enrolments, this problem has grown in magnitude for so many.
Getting in right
Signing off millions of pounds in commission payments is never taken lightly and I had certainly been reminded of past mistakes, even if they were not mine. Paying the wrong amount of commission or the wrong agent is just the tip of the iceberg. Working out the commission step thresholds, percentage caps, bespoke commissions and investigating any cases of multiple claims, used to make me want to bury my head in the sand.
On top of that, the physical act of sending out confirmed (as I saw it) lists to agents meant a return to playschool. Taking screen shots of lists, saving them onto drives and then emailing them to agents (and receiving endless bounce backs), meant commission season was going to be a nightmare, at a time when I had to start traveling to promote the next intake.
So, what’s the alternative?
At the University of Central Lancashire, I looked long and hard for any solution to this important, but time consuming and stressful part of my job. What I came across was a standalone, cloud-based software which promised to make the process a breeze.
SAMS Pay was the brainchild of Shamim Sarkar (not my alias!). Shamim had been running an agency based out of Sheffield for many years, following which he started an edtech company, SAMS Global. The idea was to create software, bespoke for our industry from a place of experience.
Shamim knew how difficult it was to get paid by universities, the endless negotiations and delays, together with missed commissions. What if universities could make it easy?
The software aims to make commission processing transparent, fast and accurate. And I believe it does what it says on the tin. That’s why I worked with SAMS Global to implement the solution at UCLan, long before I knew I was going to work for them.
Easy to use
The software is simple and easy. Agents have access to upload lists, universities upload their enrolment report and hey presto, the system tells you who is due what commission, whilst flagging up all these students who didn’t enrol. The best thing is, everyone can see what is going on, without having to send a single email as the system sends out notifications to all parties at every stage. Implementing it, was just as simple and being standalone meant that we had control.
The biggest challenge that I faced, was getting agents to adopt the new way of working. However, as confidence grew, so did engagement.
To find out more, head to the SAMS Pay website and if you are feeling the pain, book a demo!
About the author: This is a sponsored post from Shamim Ghani, Sales & Marketing Director, SAMS Global. Shamim has over 20 years’ experience in international student recruitment and joined SAMS Global in 2023 having spent 5 years as Head of International Projects at the University of Huddersfield and almost 2 years as Associate Director, International Recruitment at UCLan. At both universities, he was the agent lead and responsible for agent commission processing and sign off.