A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to cheer on the Ironman competitors in Whistler. The week before the event I watched all the volunteers in Whistler Village doing what they do best – keeping the event running smoothly. With their walkie talkies, tablets and laptops the volunteers clad in bright yellow t-shirts were a delight to watch in action.
Just like large sporting events, sports associations live and die by the time and effort put forward by volunteers. Volunteers from the executive, managers, coaches and parent volunteers give of their time to keep your players playing. And just like Ironman volunteers they want to know that what they do makes a difference.
It surprised me to see that not a single volunteer had a clipboard – they were all using technology to complete their tasks. When I spoke with Liz, a long time Ironman volunteer she was so ecstatic about how easy manning the registration booth was using the iPad that she signed up to volunteer at more of the events.
Using technology to help make volunteers more effective isn’t new but has been out of reach of most sports associations due to cost. When you’re running an association on fundraising dollars utilizing available technologies hasn’t always been a viable option.
When it comes to uniform ordering, your volunteers probably spend approximately 30 minutes to handle ONE uniform order for ONE player. If your association has 500 players, that’s almost 250 hours. That doesn’t include the updates, mistakes and customer service time involved.
A typical ordering process a team volunteer goes through:
- The team meets to discuss the ordering process
- Assign roles and responsibilities + training if required
- Prepare paper flyers to be distributed at practices, games & events
- Collect the orders and money
- Chase down the stragglers
- Enter the order using some sort of spreadsheet
- Handle change requests
That’s a lot of time spent on manual work when it doesn’t need to be.
Team volunteers can reduce the time spent on uniform ordering by between 75-90% through automation. That’s right – even at a 75% reduction, your team or association can save almost 175 hours just by automating the process.
By automating uniform and team wear ordering here’s how the new ordering process would look like:
- Spend 10-15 minutes entering or uploading their team spreadsheet online
- Spend 1 minute clicking “Send” to send a personalized email to each player with a link to order and follow up emails to remind them that their team store is open for business
- Spend 10 minutes per week tracking orders and sending stragglers auto-reminders to get their orders in.
Like the Ironman volunteers, giving your volunteers the tools to streamline the uniform ordering process through automation will make them more effective and guarantee they feel like they DO make a difference.
If you’d like to learn more about how to make your volunteers more effective, visit us at TeamOrdering.ca to see how we can help your association!