Since its opening in 2005, Arabian Gymnastics Club has been providing classes at recreational and competitive levels in artistic and acrobatic disciplines for boys and girls. As the only full-time gymnastics facility in Dublin, Ireland, Arabian Gymnastics grew rapidly, and its member base currently stands at 1,100 (temporarily down from 1,700 due to COVID-19 restrictions). The club which gets its name from the Arabian somersault skill places a strong emphasis on having fun in a safe and progressive gymnastics environment.
The Challenge - Before LoveAdmin
Arabian Gymnastics' old membership admin system was a bespoke database which required a lot of manual work hence why Club Owner, Eilis Ohara described it as a “full-time job”. The maintenance of member records and the registration process were managed in an old school way – paper registration forms followed by inputting this information into their database was as laborious as it sounds.
Another big drawback of this database was that it couldn’t handle payments. When it came to fee collection, a list of member names and money owed was printed out, collected through cheque, cash and credit card, and then individually reconciled and recorded. As for communication, this was done mostly through social media pages and text, via an SMS communications platform. These were very limiting because not every parent was on social media and text could only be up to 160 characters.
Eilis explained that they couldn’t always trust their current system because there was the possibility of human error. Whether this was typos on member records or queries from parents around outstanding payments. In this situation, the club was never 100% sure as to who had paid and who hadn’t because there was no evidence of payments.
The Solution - After LoveAdmin
During the COVID-19 lockdown period, Eilis realised that when gymnastics returned, parents wouldn’t be allowed into the Arabian Gymnastics facility to make payments, so she investigated potential systems that would enable them to take online payments. Eilis came across LoveAdmin on Facebook, and after some discussion with the LoveAdmin team, the club decided to go forward with it. Before this, they looked at other systems in parallel, but these were mostly US-based, so it posed a lack of support issue due to the time zone difference.
Arabian Gymnastics saw immediate benefits after coming on board with LoveAdmin. Members can now register and renew their membership online which is automatically recorded, saving the club the hassle of adding and editing records. It's also made "life really easy" by enabling them to keep track of who has accepted their policies because members can simply tick an online checkbox as opposed to having to sign and return a form. With their own club accounts, there’s the bonus for parents to keep their child’s medical information up to date to ensure that the club has these to hand in the event of an emergency.
Thanks to LoveAdmin’s capability to take online payments, Eilis said, “We’ve definitely taken our money quicker this term than ever before in the 15 years we’ve been open which is brilliant.” Payment reminders and visibility of payment information on class attendance registers have also enabled the club to tighten up and chase the handful of people who don’t pay on time. And let’s not forget the automatic payment reconciliation which is another handy feature that’s saved Arabian Gymnastics an “unbelievable” amount of time – that’s meant no more manual marking is required. Parents can never dispute payment requests either as they have access to a history of what they’ve paid and when.
Sending out email communications to parents has been a breeze too. The club can include as much information as required in emails, personalise and automate them. For example, when a member misses 3 consecutive gymnastics classes, this is picked up in their attendance register which triggers an automatic email to let the member know that they are noticed and missed when they’re not there. In the future, Arabian Gymnastics is excited to use the events and development programme features with the goal of reducing admin time there too!
The Results - After LoveAdmin
Although it’s still early days with LoveAdmin, Arabian Gymnastics has already reduced their admin by 50% and collected their payments 3 times quicker than before. Speaking about LoveAdmin, Eilis commented, “ The LoveAdmin gymnastics club management software is easy to use, intuitive and the support from the team has been brilliant.”
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