Merger in store for AMS services

Greenroom, tricolour to combine management; Destinations to incorporate QEA

Greenroom Head Manager Naomi Lutes said she thinks merging the management of the Tricolour Market and the Greenroom will help improve efficiency.
Greenroom Head Manager Naomi Lutes said she thinks merging the management of the Tricolour Market and the Greenroom will help improve efficiency.

Next year, the Tricolour Market and the Greenroom will be managed by one four-member management team, and one of the Destinations managers will absorb the Queen’s Entertainment Agency in his or her portfolio.

Last Thursday, the AMS board of directors voted unanimously in favour of both mergers. AMS VP (Operations) Ian Black said both the Tricolour Market and the Greenroom have shown financial improvement over the year, but they still aren’t making money, and so the merger seemed like a practical move.

“Eventually, in the Queen’s Centre, the Tricolour Market and the Greenroom will likely be one service anyways, so the thought was to combine the management for these two services now so that we can develop a better model for how we’ll run the service in the future,” he said. Black said the projected
combined revenue for the Greenroom and Tricolour Market at the end of this year will be roughly $50,000 ahead of last year.

“In 2005 to 2006, the two stores combined lost roughly $160,000. right now, our projections for our 2006 to 2007 has the two stores running a loss of around $110,000,” he said. Black said the new management team—which will consist of one head manager and three assistant managers—will allow for better oversight for some of the product lines as well as cut back on overheadcosts going towards salaries.

“It will be going from a six-person management team to a four-person management team. Savings from those two positions will be roughly $20,000,” Black said. AMS Student Service director Bill York said the Greenroom is currently ahead of its planned budget. “The management team has done an excellent job and has managed to exceed our expectations,” he said. “The Tricolour Market is slightly behind their budget right now [but] … we’re hoping to kind of narrow that gap in the next few months.
The managers have been working really hard on a few promotions and a few different ideas to try and draw people in the next few months.”

The three assistant manager positions will be 12-month positions, with each assistant manager overlooking two product areas: used books and greeting cards, school supplies and merchandise, and clothing and courseware.

“The idea kind of behind how they’re balanced is that each one of the managers has one of the core products of each store, so the whole management team remains engaged in both spaces,” York said. The stores will remain distinct entities in terms of the services they provide, he added.

“We’re going to try to keep carving out the two identities that they’ve started to really develop this year. … The goal is to create some of these efficiencies and move towards the model we want in the future, but not change anything or confuse students about what the services are.”

York said he and Black began discussing the idea of the merger at the end of last semester. “We started to realize there might be some advantages to it,” he said. “It was something that was discussed a lot with our permanent staff, as well, and managers to get their thoughts on the potential
benefits and drawbacks.”

Greenroom head manager Naomi Lutes said the number ofstaff hired will stay the same.

“We won’t actually have fewer staff,” she said. “In order to cover all shifts, we’ll still have to have the same number of staff. The difference is they’ll be reporting to one management team.”

She said she thinks the merge in management will improve efficiency. “We do similar things. … We can streamline those [responsibilities],” she said. “I think it’s a good idea. We are providing a service to students but on the other hand, we have to try to break even.” Tricolour Market head manager
Sinead Dreery agreed and said the change will allow more management structure.

“[The jobs] will be more defined and managers will have more specialized roles,” she said. as for Destinations absorbing the Queen’s entertainment agency (QEA), Black said the merger was proposed for similar reasons. instead of having a separate QEA manager, he said, one of the Destinations managers will absorb QEA into his or her portfolio. “QEA collects a student fee and currently because of the overhead that’s imposed with QEA being a separate service, it doesn’t get to use a lot of that student fee on actually putting on shows,” he said. “Our goal in moving QEA into the Destinations management team is to be able to use more of that student fee towards putting on more [events] for students.” eliminating the two management positions at QEA will save the AMS about $23,500, Black said.

York said the partnership will work well because the two services cover similar material. “Destinations is becoming more and more known as the place on campus to go to get tickets for events that are going on, so the two of them kind of fit together very naturally.” He added that the partnership
will also work well because of how the workload is divided throughout the year for the two services. “a lot of the groundwork for QEA is done in the summer,” he said, adding that Destinations is usually slower in the summer, because there aren’t as many student events going on. dan Jacob, AMS media
and volunteer director, said the Destinations manager in charge of the QEA portfolio will continue to report to the incoming media and volunteer director, despite the fact that Destinations falls under the Student Services director’s umbrella. “[it’s] to create a sense of autonomy between QEA and
Destinations. They’re independent services within the same physical space.” Jacob said he thinks the change is a positive step. “It’ll allow QEA to put on better shows for students,” he said.

QEA’s office will be moved upstairs but the services provided will remain the same, he said.

Alvin Tedjo, Destinations assistant manager for marketing, Bus-It and the international Student identity Card service, said the portfolio for his current position will change next year to be concerts and marketing. The Destinations head manager will take on the ISIC and Bus-It portfolios.

The head manager and assistant manager for concerts and marketing positions will both be 12-month positions, while the assistant manager in charge of human resources position will remain an eight-month position.

“It’ll obviously be more work for next year,” Tedjo said. “I’m sure next year’s 12-month Destinations managers will find that it’s more of a workload [because] we’re incorporating two new managers … without actually hiring two new managers.”

Tedjo said he thinks incorporating QEA into a service with day-to-day operations will help its operations. “Destinations has a fairly solid profit margin, and we do sell all their tickets,” he said. “The change only really makes sense. They organize concerts and we promote the concerts and sell the tickets. “It’s just getting rid of some overhead by amalgamating
[the services].”

QEA Head Manager Phillip Quinn said the QEA staff will remain separate from Destinations staff and QEA will keep its own budget. “The service itself … is still very much alive,” he said. “It’s still going to be a service, just run out of the Destinations office.”

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