TU Testimonial: ASA Member Clubs are Finding New Efficiencies in Swim Club Management
–Sue Ashworth, Club Treasurer Maxwell Swim Club
Sold The Moment I Saw It
We have had TU up and running in Maxwell Swim Club for over a year now - but after one month we could already see just how many benefits it brought and will continue to bring to our club.
As Treasurer, I was sold on TU from the moment I saw it. My enthusiasm was shared by our Head Coach as she felt it would give her a visibility on her squads that we had never had before. Similarly, our Membership Secretary could see how her workload could be reduced and our efficiency increased. There were a few reservations surrounding meet entries - but having seen how fantastic the support from TeamUnify was, and from talking to other clubs both in the UK and US, we felt confident enough to take the plunge.
Centralizing a Variety of Databases and Systems
Within our club, we had a variety of databases and manual systems that had been set up by different people over the years, each designed for a different job, but representing a lot of duplication of data and effort. We ran the risk that if people left or could not do their job for any reason then it was hard to pick up where they left off. If we had a new joiner, or a leaver, or even something as simple as a member's email address changed, then we had to remember to tell everyone in the chain (and we often forgot!). Setting up the TU database has definitely been the way to go as we have now centralised all our information, and we have a platform to reform our systems and processes so they are more efficient and less dependent on individuals.
Completeness and Accuracy of Information
We have been able to ensure the completeness and accuracy of our information because now parents manage their own personal data. The coaches do registers using their phones, so it becomes very clear if someone has not yet completed all the joining processes. We have set up a Registration System so that as soon as a swimmer successfully completes a trial they are directed to our website to register on-line. We can now bill up front for club membership fees and ASA fees, and when parents have registered the new swimmers (i.e. complete the paperwork on-line) I get a message to go in and approve them and allocate them to the right squad, so can then invoice them the first month's fees. We have had almost 100% success with this. It means I can provide accurate information to our coaches, increase our income, and ensure our new members are immediately welcomed with the correct information. And virtually no paperwork for our Membership Secretary to print and chase up!
I am also feeling a lot more in control of cash collection, knowing that I can email people quickly if they fall behind - and that I have the ultimate tool of "no money, no meet entries" if I need it (but I don't honestly think I will). Automatic invoicing for monthly squad fees & meet entries saves me so much work.
Coaches Love the Mobile App
Our coaches love their Coaches' App, because all the information on the swimmers' attendance and PBs is at their fingertips, which helps them plan their sessions and make more informed judgements on when swimmers are ready to move squads. I have been able to support the coaches by making squad (and billing) changes whenever the coaches deem these necessary - that was previously a twice a year major headache! The coaches can easily explain their reasons to parents, and the parents can follow their swimmers' progress on their Parents' App.
Major Benefit: "Buzz" created poolside
In fact, I would say that one of the major benefits has been the "buzz" created poolside - with parents helping each other to familiarise themselves with the system and show off their swimmers' profiles. It has been the best communication tool we could wish for - with parents asking for log-ins so they can "join in the fun". Not only this, but we have also shared information and learning experiences with other clubs who use TeamUnify - and this can only be good for the future of our sport.
Meet Entries: Amazing Experience
Using the Meet Entry process, which has been an amazing experience. What a difference for our parents to have all their swimmers' times come up on screen, and be able to click the desired events rather than fill in all those paper forms, and what a time saving for our Competition Secretary who can now just save and send a file through to the promoter. Whilst we have still a bit of practice to do to achieve his speeds, a colleague in a neighbouring club tells us it now takes him just 10 minutes to process a Meet Entry! As well as the benefits for our members and volunteers, we can also see the advantages for those important "first come, first served" meets (sssh.....!).
Before we went live, we spent a few weeks thinking about and working on our website, using the excellent TeamUnify template and tools. As someone who had never worked on a website before I found this incredibly easy and have been delighted with the information we can now share. We can also easily keep everything on the website up-to-date, and react very promptly if we have urgent messages to convey.
The whole implementation process was very rewarding, because the TeamUnify Team provided such excellent tuition and advice, and were there to hold our hands every step of the way. Nothing has ever been too much trouble for them, and we found that their guidance really helped us think where we could do things differently.
We got a real "wow" from our parents when we went live with a new website and a new club management system at the same time. The feedback has been almost entirely positive.
I would be happy to speak to anyone interested in TeamUnify, and tell them about the lessons we have learned and the benefits we are achieving.
Maxwell is the top competitive swimming club in the Aylesbury Vale, with training bases in Aylesbury and Buckingham. Professional coaches work with swimmers of all abilities to make them the best that they can be—ready for competition at club, county, regional, national and even international level.
Maxwell's passion is to develop and build participation in swimming and help each member to realize their full potential. Through our core values of: Excellence, Team Work, and Enthusiasm, Maxwell aspires:
To encourage individuals to take part in swimming regardless of age/ability.
To provide a structured, safe environment for swimmers to develop their life and swimming skills.
To improve performance of all our competitive swimmers and take great pride in their achievements, whatever the level of participation.
Maxwell Swim Club has been a part of the TeamUnify team since March of 2015.