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Digitization in the club - 6 good reasons for the change

"Digitization" - a term that has been tossed around 20 years - and still a goal for a lot of companies, organisations and also clubs! And yet there is a huge gap between our intentions and our actions. A lot of clubs are miles behind when it comes to digitizing work processes, files and information flows. Yet digitization has an incredible number of benefits!

In this article, we'll take a look at some of the advantages of using digital solutions as a sportsclub. Of course, we know that not every sportsclub has the same challenges. If there's one thing our years of experience with sportsclubs have shown us, it's that every sportsclub is unique. And yet, especially in the area of digitization, there is a common thread running through the problems faced by clubs. Basically, all clubs want the same thing when it comes to digital administration and communication: for everything to be handled quickly, easily and securely, and to have more time for the important things in the club: The sport!

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1: Less paperwork - more time to play

Most clubs already have a sophisticated filing system for their various documents. Membership applications, consent forms of all kinds, and membership lists are just a few of the documents that most clubs have to sort away. But even the best file storage system needs to be maintained. New documents are added, old ones have to be removed, and data protection doesn't make things any easier. Also, who has access to these folders in the first place must be controlled, which is usually regulated by locks, which also must also be controlled and logged.

The right digital solution enables clubs to have decentralized access to documents and files with appropriate rights management. This means that a club can digitally control who has access to which documents and, who is allowed to edit them. In addition, document maintenance also becomes easier, because everyone in the club can potentially help out. Members can maintain their own data, coaches those of their team and department managers those of the entire department.

2: Delegate tasks even easier

Decentralized access to the same digital solution not only has the advantage that different people can have access to different data sets. Task management also becomes much easier. Even though many tasks in the association are permanently assigned to the same person, such as the treasurer taking over the finances, there are also many tasks that are only temporarily relevant. For example, if there is a major event coming up in the club, everyone usually takes on a small task. Delegating these types of tasks can be a challenge. Especially if it is a larger event, it may well be that tasks have to be swapped or reassigned. Keeping track of this can be a bit of a challenge. The right digital platform allows clubs to easily and clearly display tasks so that everyone knows who has to do what. Some systems even allow clubs to send push messages via app or emails to exactly the right people if something changes that the person in charge needs to act on, such as someone bailing out of a task that needs to be reassigned as soon as possible.

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3: Security

Many clubs are aware of the benefits of digitization and would also be willing to take the plunge into the digital world, but then become uncertain when it comes to the issue of data security. It's one thing to know how to handle your own data on the Internet, but quite another when it comes to the sensitive data of others. Absolutely understandable, because in the digital world it can be difficult to keep track of everything. And yet most clubs are already out and about in the digital world, even without being completely aware of it. Emails, cloud storage and WhatsApp are just a few of the examples that many clubs already use. To completely escape the digital world is now almost impossible, and if you're already immersed, why not take full advantage of it? Analog systems also have their security gaps. Data carriers become obsolete, are lost or damaged. Just one computer burning down, a dumped coffee cup over the document, or water damage can spell the end for analog data. A good digital platform allows associations to store their data securely in a protected cloud, where they know exactly who has access to the data. Optimally, the data would then be encrypted, so that the association would even be protected if it were to fall victim to a hacker attack. Most digital solution providers are aware of their responsibility and take various measures to ensure the data security of their customers.

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4: All information always at hand

Even if you make the greatest effort always to sort your folders, lists and documents away immediately and correctly, it can always happen that something doesn't end up exactly where it belongs. Especially with analog data, to which several people have access, it can happen that people have different ideas about where something belongs. This can make it difficult to locate a specific document. Digital data is much easier to search. A good digital system allows you to create a filing system that maps a structure that makes sense to you, and at the same time allows you to search the files in new ways, such as by date, type of file, or who uploaded it. In addition, digital data has the advantage that it can be found in more than one place. A good digital solution will allow you to access your files from any Internet-enabled device, no matter where you are.

5: New communication possibilities

Something that is often forgotten about digitization is that it's not just about optimizing existing systems, it also opens the door to a completely new world. Younger generations in particular can hardly be reached via traditional communication channels such as e-mail and postal mail. That's why many clubs are currently turning to one of the most popular communication channels of the 21st century: apps! Apps are small programs that run on smartphones and tablets. Especially in the field of communication, apps have become indispensable: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Threema, Signal, Telegram, Skype, Teams - they have all found their way into our smartphones and have become an integral part of today's media landscape. That's why many associations also rely on apps to get and stay in touch with their members. A good digital app will allow your club to go beyond the necessary communication and create a bond between everyone in the club without losing control. Not only does this make your club interesting to new members, but it can also help keep existing members even more loyal to your club.

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6: Less effort than you think

What scares many clubs away from diving into the digital world is the amount of effort it takes to deal with something new, and that's all too understandable. Introducing something new always requires a certain amount of effort, and not just from you, but from everyone else involved. However, there are two good arguments that can help you to take this step anyway. The first is that a new system may take more time in the short term, but it will save you time in the long run. The second is that most digital solution providers will help you get started with the new system.

SportMember is one of many digital solutions for clubs that brings all of the above benefits - just drop us a line or give us a call and we'll find out if SportMember is the right solution for your club. And if this is the case, we will be happy to help you with your first steps in our system!

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