Enough Rope

Clubs that have been with us a while will recognise that the system allows them to do a heck of a lot in terms of streamlining operations across the club. Strangely though, there are certain aspects of the system where you guys have to contact us when you want something done.

It makes sense to highlight some of these areas here and explain why we decided to do things that way.

Grab yourself a cuppa and a couple of Tim Tams, and let's discuss how giving you too much rope may hang both of us.

Member Register imports

Those of you who have been through the process will know that you send a CSV file through to us, and lo and behold, your season just ended is suddenly full of some very familiar names.

We have had the odd club who wants to do the import themselves, and who can blame them. I'll outline the process that we use to import a member register, and it might give you some insight into why we currently control the function.

The most important thing about registration data is preserving those family structures. If we can get them right from the outset, then subsequent years go very smoothly as families are kept together on the one registration form.

No offence to any clubs out there, but most of that initial data that you provide us is poor quality. Funnily enough, the member register that has been maintained manually is in a far better state than a member register that you exported from your association's system. Blowing our own trumpet a bit here, other systems just don't care about the quality of the data as much as we do, and we REAAAALLLY do! It improves the experience for everybody considerably if your starting data set is accurate.

Common problems are the lack of parent information for kids; no email addresses or nonsense phone numbers, and inconsistent parent information (same parent with different email addresses).

When we first get your member register file, we eyeball it for anything obviously wrong. Then, the import function itself has an analysis stage, where we've written a sophisticated piece of software that analyses all records and looks for any anomalies that it can detect. It reports back to us any errors that will be a barrier to importing the register. There are also some warnings that, whilst not show-stoppers, may affect the quality of your starting data.

If there are errors, we manually go through your file and fix it up as much as possible. Only after those iterations, when we are satisfied that the data is as clean as possible, do we let it go through.

That process is time-consuming, but worthwhile for both us and you.

Fee Schedules

Even the system that your association mandates has the ability to build your own fee rules. It's clunky as all get-out-of-here, but it works (in a fashion). The problem is that it's so confusing for parents to have to "choose" how much they should be charged. We're willing to bet that there are a lot of registration errors that occur and very little in the way of mechanism to correct them.

Take a step back from it all. Different clubs have different rules for their registration fees. A lot of clubs have age groups as an indicator for price, but then introduce other calculator rules like family discounts and volunteer levies, and questions on the form that can conditionally lead to more charges.

Fee schedules and calculations are complicated pieces of logic. Make no mistake about it. We at Majestri have a history of building very complicated pieces of software, and some of your fee schedules are right up there in terms of complexity.

Could you imagine trying to build a designer that lets you model those rules? We're experienced and we wouldn't even know where to start. There are so many permutations across our clubs, that it'd be nigh on impossible. It'd be so complicated; you'd struggle to use it, you'd end up hating us; we'd cry and wish that we'd never started this whole thing.

We decided to fall back on what we do best to solve the problem; write you some software. These little custom pieces encapsulate your logic and rules just for you. Your members just have to register their players and answer all the questions. The fee calculator we built for your club will do all of the work calculating what they owe.

We don't muck around building them for you either. The sooner you get your rules to us, the sooner we build your fee calculator. We don't charge you for it either; it's all part of the service that your subscription covers..

Registration Forms

Same deal as the fee schedules really. A form designer is generally considered quite complex to build. Sure it starts off simple enough when you're capturing just text information, but then suddenly you want dropdown lists that can have a range of values, and then a field is tied into the rules of your fee calculations.

It's easier for us to build you a custom registration form to go with your fee calculator. Again, all part of the service. 

Updates to your web site

One of the most popular parts of the system are the tools to update your web site. It's simple, and it's meant to be. But what about that banner that takes up the top part of the page? What about the right-hand gutter and the footer? How do you embed your Facebook or Twitter feed, or create links that point to your associations? How do you swap those images in the slideshow that's on your home page?

Again, we could try and build you an editor, but that'd mean we're heading into WordPress territory. If you're IT-savvy and after that kind of control over your club web site, you may be happier with WordPress, but spare a thought for what might happen if you were to leave the club. Could anyone take over from you in the WordPress space? We prefer to keep everything simple.

If you want changes made, just send us an email at support@majestri.com.au. We'll happily do simple changes to your banner, right-hand gutter, slideshow and footer. It's all part of the service.

© Majestri Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Australia.