Recently, we asked camp and class directors about their top challenges. Out of the 2600 respondents, an overwhelming 67% chose “daily administrative tasks are taking over my life!” This post is the first in a 3-part blog series to introduce the 3 things effective directors rely on to manage their operations.]
Do You Have Any of These Problems?
- You can’t access your files unless you’re in the office
- You can’t answer a quick question about a student or camper unless you’re in the office
- You can’t find paperwork
- You can’t easily tell who has paid and who hasn’t, or whose waivers and forms are updated or missing
- You manually create rosters, groups and teams
- “Running a report” means updating and connecting your Excel spreadsheets and using AutoSum on a column.
- You have to look at several sources to find out a participant’s profile information, attendance history and payment status
THE 7 WONDERS OF CENTRALIZED DATA
One Place for Everything
A centralized database means that each student or camper has one primary record, with their contact information, history, payment status, allergies, preferences, and photo in one place. When you want to update a phone number or email address, you only have to do it in one place. When you need to find any of that info, you only have to look in one place. Imagine how much time you’ll save just by eliminating SEARCHING FOR PARTICIPANT INFORMATION from your job.
Your “virtual filing cabinet” keeps each user profile in its place, rather than buried somewhere in a stack of disorganized papers on your desk or in one of your many Excel spreadsheets. Along with each profile are payment records, waivers and forms, purchases, contact information, special notes such as allergies or custody issues, and a photo.
Centralized data is also the secret to pulling accurate and meaningful reports. Your reporting tool can automatically blend the data from multiple sources. Rather than manually combining data on an Excel spreadsheet, your software should be able to display many reports on a dashboard for at-a-glance review. Or it can seamlessly export to the spreadsheet in a format that allows you the option of viewing it from multiple angles.
Data integrity means your files can be trusted. This is virtually impossible with multiple data sources. It’s simply too difficult to make any and all data adjustments to every single place where data exists. This problem is multiplied when there are multiple data users. As mentioned above, any edit only has to be made in one place.
Easier File Sharing
Communicating with parents, employees, entities requiring documented compliance or the gal who does your taxes is much simpler when everything is in one place–and in digital form.
There are those who train you on operational systems, and then there are those whom you train. (Unless you’re lucky enough to have someone else support and trains others for you!) Imagine the time and confusion when multiple systems are at one place or another in this process. When it’s all happening on one system, there is a congruity and harmony that many organizations tell us is life-changing. (And business-changing. Read how ACTIVE software transformed this art studio.)
Someone to Call When Things Go Wrong
Service, support, help with set-up and troubleshooting when you have questions. Who you gonna call? Yes, you could probably find someone to help you with those Excel spreadsheets, but how much time will you end up spending to get the answer you’re searching for?
Fewer Administrative Headaches
Of course, there’s no way to eliminate admin work completely, but the previous six benefits of centralized data will have a cumulative effect on those headaches, frown lines and the general frustration of inefficient processes.
One Place = Saves time + Saves headaches + Saves support resources