Sports complex says it’s game for automated registration

A growing sports and entertainment facility is ditching pen-and-paper and automating its entire operation.

SportsPlex Westcoast Roller & Ice Hockey, located just outside Vancouver, said it has chosen Class Software’s CentrServe product to handle a range of tasks. These include program registration for all its hockey leagues as well as facility booking, point of sale, information management, and tender retail that handles debit and credit card transactions, the company said.

Sportsplex opened three years ago and was used to dealing with paper-based forms, according to general manager Bud Pope. But with year-round attendance reaching approximately half a million people, he said it was time to upgrade. The company runs many of the leagues that play on its two NHL-sized rinks and two professional-sized roller hockey rinks.

“”We really needed to just speed up the process,”” he said. “”It really helps us a lot to have all their information in the computer already and then just to register them is a quick couple of clicks on a button and away we go.””

Adam Tesan, a solutions consultant at Class Software in Burnaby, B.C., said the speed at which firms like Sportsplex automate their operations depends on the IT expertise of its staff. In this case, some Sportsplex employees were familiar with Class Software products from their work in other agencies, he said. “”One organization was just building, and we were involved before the building was up,”” he said. “”A lot of our customers were already making the transition.””

The point of sale module simplifies data management for the firm’s accountants, Pope said. “”We have boxes and boxes of files,”” he said. “”People come in and register, fill out a registration form, you put it in that file, that league finishes, you file that box in the back. Then they come in next time and want to register again. To look through all of that is very time-consuming.””

Pope said CentrServe’s reporting module will allow the company to track accounts much more efficiently and accurately than before.

One of the modules, for example, allows the firm to enter e-mail addresses and create a mass mail-out, he said, isolating the recipients by age group, course interest and other factors. In the long run, he said, this could save a lot of money in advertising costs.

Using automation to manage customer accounts is also useful in case the organization gets audited later own, Tesan said, offering users a complete paper trail where they can have finite details on each transaction.

“”You can really do a lot with your planning,”” Pope added. “”It’s good for finding out which courses are making money, whose in them, in what age groups.””

Tesan said Class Software’s core user base is made up of public-sector parks and recreation facilities, but it is starting to see some private sector clients spring up regionally across the country.

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