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Harpenden Colts Football Club founded in 1976 is a FA Charter Standard Community Club operating in Hertfordshire. With an impressive 1,300 members and 300 volunteer coaches & squad leads, Harpenden Colts is one of the biggest grassroots football clubs in the UK. They provide opportunities for young boys and girls, those with disabilities and have recently started a walking team and ladies team for football mums.

The Challenge - Before LoveAdmin

Over the last 10 years, Harpenden Colts has seen substantial growth in its member numbers and no doubt this meant a substantial growth in admin too. The club used to manage information via a very old website with a backend database. Ryan Hockley, the club’s Secretary described this as “manual, labour intensive system which was cumbersome to use for updating records and sending out communication.”

As there wasn’t a logical way of sorting data within this database, the club also relied on several spreadsheets which posed another problem as exporting data was far from user friendly. For example, when giving pitch side emergency contact information to coaches, it wasn’t possible to export the selected squad’s information. Instead, the whole database had to be exported and individually edited in a spreadsheet. Another issue was with maintaining data – whilst parents could log in and edit their child’s records, there was no way to track who edited what and when.

When it came to payments, these were mostly paid using bank transfer. The club would ask parents to give their bank transfer an identifying string based on their surname and what they were paying for, which was a task for the parents in itself. The club would then have to go through the “painful job” of manually reconciling these payments.

The Solution - After LoveAdmin

It was clear to see that the popular football club needed a modern upgrade to keep up with their demand. In a nutshell, they were looking to reduce the amount of time they spent on manual tasks such as payment reconciliation and they also wanted a secure system that was easier to maintain going forwards. Cue LoveAdmin.

Ryan discovered LoveAdmin from a Google Search and the club’s committee collectively decided that it was the system for them. The main reasons being that LoveAdmin ticked all the boxes and allows for control over groups which was important for a club of their size as it enabled them to have a better handle over large amounts of data.

Harpenden Colts onboarding with LoveAdmin was timed perfectly with the end of the COVID-19 lockdown period. When the return to football commenced, they were able to get the ball rolling straight away. Ryan explained that the start of this season has been much smoother for them than previous years and they only expect this to improve next season thanks to LoveAdmin. The club has already transacted most of this season’s forecasted income and this was largely due to LoveAdmin’s ability to take online payments and reconcile these automatically. Not only were they able to collect more money quickly, but they were also able to run reconciliation reports and chase any outstanding payments.

Additionally, the club has benefitted from:

  • A secure database where data is accurate, accessed in a controlled way and not being transferred elsewhere
  • Attendance registers to make pitch side emergency contact information immediately available to coaches
  • Group emails which have enabled them to be more flexible with editing and send attachments to their members
  • Notifications that alert them when changes have been made to member records

The Results

Ryan Hockley, Secretary at Harpenden Colts commented, “LoveAdmin has allowed us to focus on higher value-tasks. It’s made payment collection simpler which meant that we’ve been able to chase more. We’ve migrated 1,300 members and 300 coaches & squad leads yet we’ve still managed to save time compared to other seasons. I think collecting money faster during a migration period is a success story in itself.”

“The team at LoveAdmin have been very responsive and the support has been great. We’re committed to going on this journey with LoveAdmin and what we’re interested in is that we’ve got our data into a system which is ambitious and has plans for all sorts of future functionalities. We’re receiving benefits already, but we’re really excited about what we will be seeing in the next year. The new functionalities will be the extra gift that keeps on giving!”

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