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Barron Gymnastics Uses Technology to Heighten Efficiencies Without Losing Personal Touch

Barron Gymnastics needed to move to a web-based class management but the owners had concerns about the cost associated with implementing software. They also had concerns about the impact online processes would have on its face-to-face customer relationships. How quickly they would be able to see return on the investment in the new system? How would they maintain their connection with customers if they weren’t talking to them each month when they collected payments?

“Changing to Jackrabbit has made a big difference in our efficiencies. Automated processes – like online registration – take staff out of the data entry process and give them more time for interacting on a personal level with families.” Joe Barron, Barron Gymnastics

VALUE OF ONLINE PLATFORM QUICKLY REALIZED | Barron’s staff saw immediate improvements in process efficiencies and overall office productivity. The incredible improvements in operations make the cost of the system irrelevant. In fact, customer satisfaction rose right along with efficiency and productivity because customers were ecstatic with the new online registration process.

“Our staff can get ‘business’ out of the way of what really matters to each student’s learning experience.” Joe Barron, Barron Gymnastics

PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS BLOSSOM AFTER IMPLEMENTATION | What Barron learned was this: Their real connection with families had nothing to do with tuition collection and the process of registering but everything to do with the personal connections that being freed from the computer allowed. Instead of losing their personal touch, Barron’s actually experienced even more meaningful interactions between staff and families because the activities in the office no longer centered on entering data, but on teaching and real conversations.

“Jackrabbit’s automated processes heighten efficiencies and encourage growth strategies for us as owners. The system excels in helping us bring customers in online and then look after them as they mature.” Joe Barron, Barron Gymnastics

ORGANIZATION DETAILS | 1 location, 1100 students, 27 instructors, Diane & Joe Barron, Owners

 

Jackrabbit Helps Clients with Business Management & Growth Over the Long Haul

North Raleigh Gymnastics 

www.tumblewithus.com

1 location, 1400 students, 47 instructors

Owners, Scott and Rachel Davis

THE CHALLENGE

In 2004, as NRG’s needs grew beyond the capabilities of the system that he had written, Scott brought the idea of building a system for tracking child and family data to Jackrabbit CoFounder Mark Mahoney – even offering his database as a development foundation. If more robust technology could help manage their business then the two owners could focus on teaching.

THE SOLUTION

As a true management system took shape, Scott and Rachel’s main concerns were with their customers’ privacy and the security of their information – especially since Jackrabbit was developing the first online management system for their type of business. The second concern was parental perception. Would adding a technology system make them feel that customer service would be lacking and impersonal? Scott and Rachel put their trust in the system and it paid off. Jackrabbit showed its value from the very beginning. Even as the system has grown into today’s more mature version, the automation of processes and centralization of information help Scott, Rachel and the office staff save tremendous blocks of time and put information that they needed at their fingertips. The features that the system offers makes basic business needs – like class scheduling, student registration, tuition collection and communication – quick and easy to get done. The reporting features also give Scott and Rachel concise views of their critical business performance – helping them to understand where they stand at any given moment.

JACKRABBIT ADDED VALUE

Jackrabbit gave North Raleigh Gymnastics a powerful foundation from day one and has grown into a vital part of their business operations.

“Being with Jackrabbit from its beginning stages has – in itself – been a benefit to us. We have seen the system mature and that gives us a very intimate understanding of its inner workings. Several components of the system have been business-changing for us along the way and that is how we know that the company keeps our best interest top-of-mind. They continuously seek out and provide ‘that next thing’ that we need to keep our business humming.” — Scott Davis, North Raleigh Gymnastics, ENeRGy Kids

Jackrabbit Renews Rainbow Gymnastics’ Confidence in the Technology That Supports its Operations

www.rainbow-gymnastics.com

1 location, 635 students, 35 instructors

Owner, Michael Little

THE CHALLENGE

Rainbow Gymnastics was searching for a new software system because they couldn’t depend on the performance of their existing one.  The staff couldn’t be effective in completing their daily operational tasks without a system that they had confidence in. Michael’s sticking point was ensuring the security of sensitive data.

THE SOLUTION

Jackrabbit’s meticulous requirements for safe-guarding data passed muster with Michael. The entire Jackrabbit system is stored behind state of the art firewalls and monitored 7 x 24 x 365 in a facility requiring biometrics for entry. With this sticking point resolved, Rainbow implemented Jackrabbit and quickly became acquainted with the system’s powerful feature set and ease of use.

Rainbow’s customers are delighted with the online options available to them via Jackrabbit. The fact that data is real time lets parents register with confidence that their children will actually get the class they selected. Staff has experienced a radical shift in the amount of their time consumed by registration now that it is offered online and enjoys rapid deployment of a critical business operation through automatic payment processing. Family data in the system is also more accurate because there is no re-entry of data required at any point or time.

JACKRABBIT ADDED VALUE

Jackrabbit has restored Rainbow’s confidence in technology and its ability to provide incomparable services to customers.  The system has been a catalyst for operational improvements throughout the office that are an obvious delight to customers.

“Jackrabbit has a lot to offer businesses and owners for management and growth. We immediately saw significant improvements because we could quickly put valuable features to work for us. We identify new ways to get value from the system almost daily.”

— Michael Little, Rainbow Gymnastics

See what Michael says about Jackrabbit on YouTube.

Using Software to Do More with Less

Prior to the onset of our recent economic challenges, consumers were already demanding more for their money and competition practically determined price points for you. After the economic downturn, it became difficult for many to just stay out of the red, much less to actually grow.

How is it possible to get ahead in this game – considering the demands and limitations that owners face?

The answer is software.

Software enables you to do more at a lower operating cost and use your “people” resources where they are most valuable. While that sounds simple, there are a few points that you need to be aware of before investing any of your time or money in software.

Look for software that:

  1. Automates repetitive and people intensive processes.
  2. Keeps all of your information in one database so that all of your features, including your automated processes, have access to it.
  3. Is web-based so you and your staff can access information even when you’re not in the office.
  4. Provides a portal to enable self service for parents in updating their own information as it changes, in researching and registering for classes on their own and in checking and paying their balances – without intervention from you or your staff.

These characteristics are found in some of the business management software solutions offered today. Dig deeply into each solution you consider to ensure that you will be able to fully maximize your business operations with the software you choose.

Let’s dig into each of the areas noted in our points above.
#1 – Automated features give you the power to improve the way your business operates.

Automation can transform your operations into efficient, low-error producing processes that require little to no attention from you or your staff. Several business areas can benefit from automation. Let’s focus on Billing, Registration and Email.

Automation in Billing:
Automated billing will probably have the most visible and consistent impact to your operations. Software can easily perform recurring billing, auto-pay and invoicing processes after initial data is entered one time. Your responsibility in the process may be only triggering the event once per billing cycle – or you may be able to set schedule so that the process triggers itself. The days of processing credit cards one at a time via the phone can be left behind! You can even get software that sends credit card decline alerts to your email inbox.

Automation in Registration:
Registration can be automated so that upon registering, student data automatically goes into a database and never has to be entered again. The process works the same way whether registration occurs online or from a kiosk or laptop in your facility. An email alerts you, as the owner, that a new student his registered. Automation of registration eliminates errors in keying student, family and payment information and is a tremendous time saver for staff and families since the process becomes a self-service one done by parents at a time and in a place that is convenient for them.

Automation in Email:
Automated emails make it possible for owners to communicate with existing clients and to market to prospects without dedicating many hours to the effort. The resulting email “campaigns” are professional and trackable. Because tracking allows you to see how many and who opens emails, you can test various messages, formats and timeframes to see what is most effective for you. Wizards and editing tools make these systems easy for the non-techie users. Delivery times can be automated and entire or segmented lists can be chosen for delivery.

#2 – Database driven software is a must.
Database driven software stores all of your information or data in a single source that feeds all of your software features. All users, regardless of where they are logged in, have access to up-to-date information without the need to sync computers or files. This is an error-eliminator and time-saver. Once data is entered, it never needs to be entered again. This also means that changes – such as new addresses and phone numbers – are made only once in the database.

#3 – Web-based software gives you a platform for the future.
Because of today’s mobile workforce, busy schedules and Internet popularity, web-based solutions are an absolute must for operating businesses in a cost- and time-efficient manner.

Web-based software gives you access to your data even when you’re not in your office, and allows you to get better protection and maintenance of your software than you could afford to provide for yourself.

With web-based software, you and your staff can be more knowledgeable and provide better service because answers are easily found. As owners, you can look across your business data for key performance indicators, such as enrollment and income figures, and see your daily business status – at a glance.

A web-based solution enables you to benefit from Fortune 500 level security and maintenance to your software because you are part of a large powerful group of customers. You are also protected you from losing data if you have a computer disaster in your office because your data is stored safe and secure, redundant facility that is monitored, maintained and managed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Finally, a web-based solution enables you to provide online services, such as registration, directly on your website or through a portal, enabling staff-consuming tasks to transition into self service features

#4 – A portal is a wonderful thing.
Through your portal, you can provide information to customers as a group or individually. Because parents can log in to a secure area, they can manage their own accounts, turning much of your staff’s involvement with customer data into a self-serve process. Parents are thrilled with the convenience of their access and the control it gives them over their own information. You like it because they take the maintenance of their account off your hands!

How much of an impact can business management software actually have?
From my own experiences, I know:

  • Organizations that have eliminated the need for one or more new hires by implementing good business management software. As owners, you know the myriad of expenses and risks that come with each new hire you make.
  • Single location schools that have been able to open second locations without increasing staff because they implemented business management software.
  • Schools that have been able to double and triple student count, instructor to student ratio, classes offered and depth of curriculum because of their business management software.
  • Organizations that have made complete financial turnarounds by streamlining their operations with business management software.

Get back to the “people” part of your business.
When you make the investment in business management software, you bring in the tools that enable you to do more administrative work using fewer man hours. You provide yourself and your staff with the opportunity to be more involved with the “people” part of your business instead of the operation of it.

Monotonous, repetitive, data intensive administrative and operational tasks are better served with technology. Software practically removes human error from the equation and you and your staff are given the gift of time – which is a rare commodity – to spend with students and their families. You, as owners, are able to take on marketing, customer service and class content initiatives that will help you attract more students and grow your business.