Before they began using TeamUnify, all of Swim Bournemouth processes—membership, meet entries, coaches records, swimmer attendance and club communication—were managed using a variety of different systems, none of which were integrated in any way.
No one process was joined up, which meant a huge amount of duplication, which was very labour intensive and prone to error. For example, meet entries and payments were a paper process with members entering their own swimmer’s times, which created a lot of administration and checking. Club records and attendance were manual spreadsheets and membership on another system—all unique to the individual who managed them, which made sharing workload difficult. They also had challenges sending emails and communicating with club members and the website wasn’t the useful resource we wanted it to be.
Club admin, Paul McGregor, notes, “We had spent a lot of time trying to decide what we wanted to achieve through the use of technology and, up until I came across TeamUnify, it was looking like a combination of software solutions was going to be required.” As soon as he saw TeamUnify he knew he’d found something special. “TeamUnify was the only package that brought together all of our processes into a single highly integrated platform. The fact that it’s designed specifically with clubs in mind and had lots of good case studies also helped to persuade us.”
The Meet Entry System
When asked for his favorite part of TeamUnify, McGregor points to the meets module. “The whole process from start to finish, from creation to importing the results is so simple,” he says. He said it was a game changer from when they handled meet entries with pen and paper. “We spend minutes now dealing with meets, when it used to be hours if not days before.”
He also notes it’s significantly easier for members to enter meets. The fact that swimmers' times are held within the system means that parents can easily see what events swimmers are eligible to enter. That makes it so much easier to enter the correct events and reduce errors. That’s a difference his swimmers, and business, are noticing. “Since we have been using TeamUnify, the number of entries to meets has increased by 25% year on year.”
Keeping parents happy
McGregor also notes that parents have noticed the difference, too. They describe entering meets to be as easy as “online shopping.” They love the OnDeck App that gives them all the information they need about their athletes' best times, times against county, regional, and national times standards to check progress.
“We are also starting to use the jobs tool for volunteering, which is a great tool for any club,” he says. “It did take a little while to get used to all that TeamUnify can offer a swim parent, but I am 100% confident that no one would wish to return to the days before it.”
Asked what he is most looking forward to in expanding his usage of TeamUnify and he points to the new integrated Payments system. “That will totally revolutionise our control of our finances, moving away from what is still a very manual process of reconciliation and chasing of payments,” McGregor notes. “All I can say is our hard working treasurer is counting down the days until it comes available.”
About the club
Swim Bournemouth was established in 2010 with an amalgamation of Ferndown Otters Swimming Club and the Bournemouth Dolphins Swimming Club. Both very successful clubs in their own right, providing swimmers within the Dorset conurbation with the best opportunities to progress from learning to swim right the way through to national level opportunities. Swimmers from the two clubs have continued on to represent Great Britain in both Junior and Senior Internationals.
Swim Bournemouth has been powering their swimming club with TeamUnify since April of 2016.