The Buckeye Swim Club of Central Ohio boasts an impressive record of swim accomplishments that include 3 U.S. Open Qualifiers, 3 Junior National Qualifiers, 7 YMCA National Qualifiers, 1 Ohio High School District Record Breaker, numerous Ohio High School State Qualifiers, 1 Ohio Swimming Age Group Champion and Record Holder, numerous high school All Americans and a 95% rate of honors graduates – just for starters.
With 30 years of coaching experience, Founder/Head Coach Laurie Karr has weathered the evolution of swim software solutions. Spending at least 50% of her time on administration, including payroll, payment collection, communications, meet signups and all the usual small business needs, she wanted a solution that delivered on its promises so she could focus on her swimmers.
Customer since 1995, Laurie was happy with the performance of the ACTIVE Swim Manager® solution she was using, but decided to transition to TeamUnify SwimOffice to take advantage of a 3-months-free offer. Before long, she was experiencing a major frustration:
TeamUnify’s solution enhancement roadmap is determined by a lottery of sorts. Every customer can submit requests for updates, features or fixes, but must garner enough votes from other customers (who each get 10 votes per year) in order to see fulfillment. With thousands of requests to comb through, the system was unwieldy and never worked in Laurie’s favor.
Within 2 years with TeamUnify, Laurie was ready to move on. Before returning to ACTIVE, she tried SwimTopia for a year. “It was a nice product, streamlined, simple, easy-to-learn,” she said, “but built primarily to handle summer teams.” Swim Manager, on the other hand, has a “much better focus of what a year round USA swimming program entails,” she says:
“The ACTIVE support team is incredibly terrific, it’s unparalleled – it beats everybody.” Laurie Karr, Founder and Head Coach
Laurie’s favorite features revolve around payments:
This renders the cost of Swim Manager “budget neutral” and prevents fees from impacting her bottom line as revenue fluctuates – a bonus for a small program. While there are a lot of other program fees that parents must absorb, she says that most accept this as a necessary cost of participating in a swim club.
“Parents can see the practice schedule in their portal – just for their child.”
“Swim Manager has every tool you need to run both your admin side and your swim side.”
“It’s really, really easy. You can easily see who has accepted, invite eligible swimmers or send a mass email by registration group, which is great. This feature is unique to ACTIVE. It now takes only a couple of seconds to compile a meet entry report via Swim Manager to upload our meet entries to the meet host.”
Laurie has seen a lot of success using Swim Manager’s email tool. It helps her to get parents the information they need with weekly emails, and she is able to send out promotional materials to targeted audiences.
She’s also found it incredibly valuable to tell prospects and customers that the easiest way to find her registration link is to go to ACTIVE.com (the world's largest directory of sports and recreational activities) and do a quick search for “Buckeye Swim.”
Laurie typically works with between 75-100 kids each season, but “when we’ve had peaks of 120, the system handles it easily.”
One of the biggest selling points Laurie would share with someone about Swim Manager is “If you need something in the product, it just takes an email or a call. Ask and it’s there within a week to a month. The support team is incredibly terrific. It’s unparalleled – it beats everybody.”
Laurie’s experience with multiple solutions gives her the expertise to back up her belief that “Swim Manager has every tool you need to run both your admin side and your swim side.”She hopes to eventually build a pool of her own, an upgrade that would grow the swim club tremendously.
“Having all my information in one place in Swim Manager, I know I’ll be able to run all admin through it with no problems.”