History of Wycombe Swimming Club
Based in High Wycombe, UK, the club originally formed in the 1930s. Today they are now a large swimming club with approximately 500 swimming members, ranging from age 6 to the oldest swimmer, who is aged 75. Back in 2013, the club had about 150 swimmers and realised that their current membership management system was no longer workable 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 continues to grow, expecting to reach over 800 swimmers in the next 2 or 3 years. The club drives forward with a highly scalable membership solution that will help, rather than hinder, growth.
The move to TeamUnify
The initial investigation included organising a demonstration of the system for the club’s committee members, to show off the extensive functionality of the software. After comparing this to a number of other solutions, TeamUnify was clearly the right choice.
They first noticed how the software would remove volunteers of a significant administration burden and streamline many processes within the club. During the scoping phase of the project, the club was 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,” says Chris Ross, chairman. “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.”
For instance, the previous system used to manage swimmers’ race times 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,” notes Ross.
The new website
The club’s website was another critical element of the plan. As a club, they had invested significant time and money in developing a site and were concerned about the time and effort required to move this to the TeamUnify platform. However, the club soon learned this concern was unwarranted. “Moving the website was also a breeze. We were able to set this up using the simple interface in no time at all,” says Ross. The new TeamUnify-powered website now handles over 8,500 visitors per month and delivers over 32,000 page views per month.
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,” says Ross. “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.”
The club’s billing engine has 120 different charges that are applied across our membership at different times of the year to different squads. Once set, all the invoices go out automatically. “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 all members used to be a challenge for the club. They struggled to manage an accurate database of email addresses. However, TeamUnify’s email service, tightly integrated with the membership service, makes it easy to communicate and know they’re always using the most current email addresses.
Welcoming new members into the club has also improved. “Previously new members needed to complete large amounts of paperwork, filling in many forms, which are required to join,” says Ross. “Now, using the Registration Admin function we 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.” The club is able to process new members in minutes, as opposed to days and hours of paperwork.
Meet entries and events
Entering Open Meet competitions was another significant challenge for the club. They typically would 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 their volunteer workforce. Now, 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,” notes Ross. The club also uses the platform to manage other events, ranging from complex away swim camps to local club events.
Invoicing and increased billing healthy
Tracking invoices is another revolutionary process that the club relies upon. Their 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 they had.
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 the club. For families, the ability to see their accounts, swimmer information and much more has been one of the most talked about results. In addition to account and swimmer information, the set of tools from stopwatches, to check times against standards has driven usage of the app to significant levels.
For the coaching team, OnDeck holds accurate attendance records of all the swimmers. “That not only gives us a clear picture of attendance, but also allows our coaching team to spot attendance trends and always have swimmer information at their fingertips,” beams Ross.
In the end
“We’re now in our second season fully using the TeamUnify platform and I can only highly recommend that every swim club should be using it,” says Ross. 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,” says Ross. “Even if they are usually user-error and not software-related,” Ross adds, with a laugh.
About the club
Wycombe District Swimming Club (WDSC) is a competitive swimming club that aims to develop swimmers of all abilities and ages to reach their maximum potential from 6 years old, to Adult Masters. WDSC provides coaching for all ages and levels of swimmers, and all are welcome. Their aim is to provide an enjoyable environment in which to help swimmers fulfill 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.