Moving to TeamUnify Was One of the Best Decisions We've Made
–Chris Ross, Chairman Wycombe District Swimming Club
History on Wycombe Swimming Club
Wycombe District Swimming Club, based in High Wycombe, UK, originally formed in the 1930’s, is now a large swimming club with approximately 500 swimming members, ranging from our youngest swimmers in Stroke Improvers from age 6 to our Masters section with our oldest swimmer aged 75.
Back in 2013, the club had about 150 swimmers and we had already realised that our current membership management system (Hy-Tek Business Manager) was no longer scalable and the burden of administration was preventing the club’s growth.
Wycombe District Swimming Club is now one of the largest clubs in the South East of the UK and we continue to grow, expecting to reach over 800 swimmers in the next 2 or 3 years. We drive the club forward in the knowledge that we have got a highly scalable membership solution that will help, rather than hinder, our growth. We are firmly positioned among the top performance clubs in the UK and we are also one of the leading clubs, thanks to TeamUnify.
The Move to TeamUnify
After doing a lot of research, we discovered TeamUnify and began to investigate the possibilities of moving to a new system. The initial investigation included organising a demonstration of the system for the club’s committee members, where we were able to see the extensive functionality of the solution. After comparing this to a number of other solutions, we were convinced that TeamUnify was the right choice, which would enable us to relieve our volunteers of a significant administration burden and streamline many processes within the club.
During the scoping phase of the project, we were delighted with the friendly and knowledgeable support provided by the TeamUnify team. It was great to have a dedicated person from TeamUnify assigned to help us through every step of the planning and deployment of SwimOffice.
The move to TeamUnify ran far more smoothly than expected, and we used the opportunity to clean up a 10+ year old database that we were running and start with a clean set of data. We had been using Team Manager from Hy-Tek to manage our swimmers’ race times, and this now contained over 25,000 personal best times. Moving these across to TeamUnify was a breeze and we were very quickly up and running with a new system.
Our New Website
The club’s website was another critical element of the plan. As a club, we had invested significant time and money in developing it and we were concerned about the time and effort required to move this to the TeamUnify platform. This concern was unwarranted, as moving the website was also a breeze; we were able to set this up using the simple interface in no time at all. Our website now handles over 8,500 visitors per month and delivers over 32,000 page views per month. Keeping it current is very easy and quick.
TeamUnify has been a core and critical element that has enabled the club to grow—administering 40+ different squads within the club, ensuring that swimmers are billed correctly and the ability to track payments has been incredible. Setting up squads and the billing engine was easy. We have a number of different charges that we bill to our members—ASA fees, annual membership fees and quarterly training fees—these are all handled automatically by the system. Our billing engine has 120 different charges that are applied across our membership at different times of the year to different squads, and it really is a ‘set and forget’ process.
Today we utilise the full platform: Membership management is used to manage all swimming and non swimming members, track swimmers’ personal best times and we use TeamUnify extensively as our communication platform to our members.
Communication and Registration
Communicating with our members used to be sporadic and difficult; managing an accurate database of email addresses was a challenge. TeamUnify’s email service, tightly integrated with the membership service, makes it easy to communicate and we know that we are always using the most current email addresses.
Onboarding new members into the club has also revolutionised the way we work. Previously new members needed to complete large amounts of paperwork, filling in many forms, which are required to join. Using the Registration Admin function has changed everything; we now are able to bring new swimmers into the club without one single piece of paper required, as everything is handled through the online registration process. Processing new members now takes minutes as opposed to days and hours of paperwork.
Meet Entries and Events
Entering Open Meet competitions was another significant challenge for the club. We typically enter 15 to 20 open meets each year, with anything from 30 to 120 swimmers entering a meet. This used to be a fully manual process and another heavy load for our volunteer workforce. Using the Event functionality in TeamUnify has simplified this process significantly. Entering Open Meets is super quick and simple, and members can enter directly via the website. The back end process of preparing the data for our entry now takes minutes. We also use the platform to manage other events, ranging from complex away swim camps to local club events. Yet again, it is quick to set up, simple for our members and easy for our volunteers to process. It takes less than 10 clicks in the system to finalise a meet entry, produce the files needed to enter and deliver automatic billing to our members.
Invoicing and Increased Billing Health
Tracking invoices is another revolutionary process that TeamUnify has given to our club. Our old system made it very difficult to have an overview of the status of members’ accounts. The club was building up a large amount of old debt, driven by a combination of the information we had, and also the visibility members had of their accounts, which was non-existent. Now with TeamUnify, members can see their account balances 24/7 with a clear and detailed overview of charges, enabling them to keep track of costs and also see exactly how much they owe to the club. After deploying the solution, payments became more frequent and we have significantly reduced our old debt, ensuring the club remains in a healthy financial position.
Mobile Team Management
Introducing the OnDeck app to our coaches and families has been a further big step for our club. For families, the ability to see their accounts, swimmer information and much more has been one of the most talked about results of introducing TeamUnify. In addition to account and swimmer information, the set of tools from stopwatches, to checking times against standards has driven usage of the app to significant levels.
For the coaching team, OnDeck has enabled us to hold accurate attendance records of our swimmers, which in turn has enabled us not only to have a clear picture of attendance, but also allows our coaching team to spot attendance trends and always have swimmer information at their fingertips.
In the End
We are now in our second season fully using the TeamUnify platform and I can only highly recommend that every swim club should be using it. It is hard to describe the impact it has had on every single aspect of our club. Ensuring we keep administration to a minimum is critical, in order to engage a volunteer workforce to help run the club, and we couldn’t have achieved that without it.
On the few occasions that we have needed help, the TeamUnify support team have been amazing, always quick to respond and they always go the extra mile to solve any issues that crop up, and they are always in good spirits, even if the problems are usually user-error, as opposed to something wrong with the system. As a UK based club, I have been amazed at TeamUnify’s ability to respond quickly, despite the time-zone challenges.
Moving to TeamUnify was one of the best decisions we made, and we look forward to continuing to work with the solution in the years to come.
Wycombe District Swimming Club (WDSC) is a competitive swimming club which aims to develop swimmers of all abilities and ages to reach their maximum potential from 6 years old, to Adult Masters.
Wycombe District Swimming Club provides coaching for all ages and levels of swimmers, and all are welcome. They aim is to provide an enjoyable environment in which to help swimmers fulfil their individual potential, and prepare them to compete at a level appropriate to their ability.
Wycombe District Swimming Club has been a part of the TeamUnify team since November of 2013 with over 500 active swimmers.