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The Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club

The Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club (VJMC) is a premier club for those who own or have an interest in Japanese bikes that are over 15 years old. It was founded in 1982 by a small group of like-minded enthusiasts who appreciated the style, reliability, practicality and technology of early Japanese bikes. Today, the club brings together an impressive 6000 members, most of which are based in the UK, making it one of the biggest classic bike clubs in the country.

The Challenge - Before LoveAdmin

VJMC previously used spreadsheets to store and manage member information. These were described as a “bit of a mess” because they were prone to typos and errors such as duplicated member numbers. Other than this, this method worked fairly well, however, the club was conscious of GDPR and found that the spreadsheets weren’t as secure as they should be.

Painful joining and payment collection processes

To join the club, people filled out a form or rang up Julie Showering, Membership Administrator who would enter their details into the spreadsheet. Collecting payments was another laborious task. These were paid via different means including cheque, cash, card payments and standing orders. One of the biggest problem’s VJMC faced was getting their members to change their standing orders when their membership fees increased. They had several members who were still paying an old fee and it was a “nightmare” to challenge them.

Chasing and reconciling payments involved sending out a postal reminder card to members followed by Julie marking these off one by one. It didn’t help that the club’s membership runs on a rolling basis, so they have members paying and renewing for almost all 365 days of the year.

VJMC’s main reasons to seek a new system were to become more GDPR compliant and to give their members easier payment options. At first, they opted for another membership management system, but this wasn’t suited well to a large club and Julie wasn’t happy with the interface, how it worked and the T&C’s. Shortly after this, VJMC discovered LoveAdmin at the Classic Car Show, had a demo of the system and they haven’t looked back since.

The Solution - After LoveAdmin

VJMC’s joining process is now much more streamlined. People join on their website and immediately receive an automated welcome email and as a result, Julie doesn’t have to worry about manually acknowledging them. This has been the “biggest and best change”. In fact, people find it much easier this way and during the COVID-19 lockdown when VJMC expected their membership numbers to go down, they went up.

Making online card payments via LoveAdmin has been simple and straightforward for most of their members and they’ve provided good feedback on this. The club also receives an email when someone pays so they’re always in the know. As for renewals, these are all done automatically – members receive an automated email reminder, and they can simply log in to their LoveAdmin account and make a quick payment. This has been hugely beneficial because of the way VJMC’s rolling membership works. Previously this required a constant cycle of manually searching for those due to renew, and either sending out several emails or cards in the post.

Secure, accurate and up to date data

From a GDPR perspective, Julie is very pleased – “We feel happy knowing our data is secure with LoveAdmin and our members are happy which is the most important thing. If our members have any issues, we simply direct them to LoveAdmin’s T&C’s to satisfy them.” What’s more, is that their members have a LoveAdmin account so they can update and edit their own details which means the club always holds up to date and accurate data.

Whilst the club are still in early days with LoveAdmin, they’re looking forward to making more use out of its functionalities, in particular payment reconciliation reports, events and access rights. Julie anticipates this will be a “really good addition” because she can give section leaders across the country access to their respective groups rather than getting caught up finding this information in spreadsheets,

The Results

Julie said, “LoveAdmin is a brilliant piece of software and in the long term it’s going to make membership admin so much easier. I would definitely recommend LoveAdmin to any club. In fact, I’ve already recommended it to The Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club Australia.”

“The ongoing support is amazing. Anya, who’s been my main support person has been absolutely fantastic and nothing is too much trouble. I also like that I have a direct influence on the system – I can give the team feedback and they actively look into incorporating this to keep things fresh and up to date.”