Rego Rumblings

Regardless of what sport you play, the associations that sit above your club are trying their best to embrace technology. In all likelihood, there is now a mandated online registration system that all players must use directly in order to play in the new season. It's a real "blunt instrument" method, and if we're to be honest, the tools they provide don't really help clubs much at all.

We're finding that associations are starting to revise this approach, and that within a couple of short years, clubs will be given the option of choosing their own tools to take registrations and payments, and at a later stage, electronically "push" registration data to whatever system(s) the associations have in place.

Until that happens, things are pretty painful. To get the most out of Majestri, there's going to be some double-handling. In this piece, we'll attempt to give you an unbiased assessment of the different options available to you the clubs on how to handle registrations in this scenario.

Opening for Registrations

Traditionally, the systems adopted by associations have been very late in opening for online registrations. In fairness to them, they are desperately trying to get things ready quicker and open the gates earlier for all their clubs.

The obvious downside of this "big bang" approach is that 100,000 players from all around the country all go to register online at the same time and the system falls in a heap struggling to cope with the load. We know this has happened, and will probably continue to. The adopted systems are all a little long in the tooth, and haven't been built for the kind of scale that is necessary.

With Majestri, clubs have the complete freedom to open for registrations whenever you like. One of the best things about us is that we do give you that control over your club.

Double-Handling Blues

There are many benefits to using Majestri for registrations and online payments. You can open whenever you like (as explained above), the money comes in nice and early in the season, and most of the work is done before Sign-On Day. Our built-in tools around financial reporting, tracking debts and chasing money are also vastly superior to that offered by anyone else (there, I said it!).

The downside is that double-handling will have to occur somewhere; the question is whether the pain of double-handling is felt by the club committee, or the members. Here are the two options available to handling the two sets of registrations.

1. Capture all of your registrations through Majestri. When it comes time to provide registration data in the association system, get the committee together with some beer and wine, and just smash all the player data into their system manually. Generally, it's only new players to the club that require data entry. Returning players is mainly about checking the details already in the system with what they provided at rego time in the Majestri system.

2. Because the association system is normally open much later than what is possible for Majestri, you can use our communication tools to mail a link to the club members and tell them to register in the association system.

Either option will work, and the pain of double-handling is only felt once during the year because it's only Majestri that has tools for the rest of the year.

Any tools to help?

Not as yet. The main problem is the variation in data quality from the association systems. Those of you who know us well know that preserving the structure of families is of utmost importance to us. Some association systems don't capture enough data for us to infer a family. That leaves us pretty limited.

We are still open to building some tools to help you guys with the double-handling. It benefits both of us in the long run. If you would like to investigate what we could do, drop us a line at support@majestri.com.au and hit us up.

What about online payments?

A lot of associations try to encourage online payments. Depending on what code you are, some merchant charges are less than our 3.3%, and some are more expensive. Hands down, our merchant facility provides the most value (there, I said that too!), but as with any costs to the club, it's worth thinking about whether you want to allow online payment at all. Bear in mind that it will more than likely be the norm within a couple of short years.

Importing after the fact

There are some clubs that want to use the tools that Majestri offers, but desperately want to avoid any double-handling in any form. Fair enough. What options do you have?

The most common request is to import the member register every year, just as we did when you first started with Majestri. Is that possible?

Yes it is, but there are some limitations with it.

1. You don't get any financial records with that import. Managing your members' registration debts must be done outside the system. If you're planning on running internal events through Majestri and/or using our super-duper online shop, then those financials are managed within Majestri, but your yearly registrations won't be. Essentially, you'll be double-handling the financial data instead of the registration data, which is what you were trying to avoid in the first place.

2. Duplicates. When we do the import, we do our very, very best to try and match incoming member records to historical records. The way we do that is by checking First Name, Surname and Email Address fields. If people use a different email address, we have no way of verifying that that is the same person who previously registered with that name, so we have to err on the side of caution and create a duplicate record. You can, of course, fix that duplicate up, but it's still work that you need to do.

3. Time factor. It's really only worth importing your registration data once the bulk of your members are in the association system. Essentially, you won't be able to communicate with your new season members until that happens, and we've subsequently imported the data. You'll be communicating off your previous season's register for the first part of the season.

So there you go. If you can live with those limitations, then it's definitely possible for us to import your member register year after year.
© Majestri Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Australia.