How Much Are You Really Spending on Club Management Software? Top 3 Hidden Costs to Consider

What is your club currently spending on your software programs? If you think you can find the answer simply by looking at your vendors’ invoices, think again.

Hidden Costs of Your Existing Systems

Your club may be experiencing hidden costs. These costs come in the form of wasted time and are hard to discover because they don’t show up on a financial statement.

Uncovering these issues provides a more accurate view of the current costs of your programs. Resolving them can give your club back hours of valuable time that can be better spent on the member experience.

1. System Inefficiencies
Your people have learned how to use your club software. But is their workflow optimized? Older technologies (those architected 5-10 years ago or more) may contain roadblocks to efficiency – things like only being able to open one tab at a time, tedious workarounds, or labor-intensive reporting. These minor inconveniences add up to significant time wasted; and your peoples’ time is your club’s most valuable resource. A modern platform provides ease-of-use that vastly reduces inefficient workflows and frees up more time for your people.

2. Lack of Integration
While most popular club software platforms are marketed as full-suite solutions, it is rare to truly find everything you need under one roof. Integration is a must. Sometimes your vendors play nice together, and sometimes they don’t. When systems don’t integrate well, it creates hassles, such as having outdated data in one or more systems or requiring manual entry by staff to keep various systems up to date. Working with a vendor that offers improved in-suite options, and who is also flexible and skilled at integrating with other systems can reduce this hidden cost.

3. Unresponsive Support
Has your staff ever complained about waiting for your vendors’ support to respond? And when they do, how often does their solution fix the issue the first time? Support delays and inefficiencies cost club staff valuable time and increase frustration. Working with a vendor that provides responsive support can save your club hours of time wasted and make the support experience more pleasant.

Hidden Costs of Implementing a New System

Implementing the right new system can reduce these issues, but it’s worth noting that such a project comes with potentially unanticipated costs. These factors should be budgeted to set expectations properly and ensure a successful project.

1. Coordination Time
Any new system implementation will take some time from your people to coordinate configuration and data load. A vendor with a well-defined approach to project management and systems implementation will make the best use of their valuable time.

2. Hardware
Early in discussions with a new vendor, make sure you understand their hardware requirements. You may need to upgrade some old equipment and budget for new equipment to be purchased by the club. You may be able to sell unneeded equipment to help offset some of this cost.

3. Training
The vendor’s quote will include costs for training services, but typically won’t include estimates for travel expenses. The club will be responsible for reimbursing those costs, so it’s a good idea to add travel estimates to the budget if you expect the vendor to come onsite. You can also calculate the amount of time the club’s staff will spend in training sessions and add the value of their time as an indirect cost.

It takes some effort and collaboration to tally your hidden costs. One approach is to make a shared spreadsheet with a tab for each department, allowing department heads and staff to log system difficulties and issues. These can include time-consuming reports, duplicate manual entry, reboots due to crashes, time wasted on workarounds, time spent waiting for support responses, and more.

Three months of data should be sufficient to unearth an estimate of these buried costs. Include both busy and slow periods to paint the full picture.

Stephanie Castro
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