Unhappy with your current software? Afraid that changing to a new provider will be risky and time consuming? A lot of karting tracks, trampoline parks and other activity centers feel stuck with their existing software, paying too much money for a system that doesn’t deliver the features they need. You also might be dealing with a lengthy list of vendors taking care of only one aspect of your business and you’re realizing that you can make your job easier and save money by consolidating software vendors. While you may be aware that your current provider(s) is not a good fit, it can be an overwhelming process to convert and you are afraid to make the switch - so much so you become stagnant and avoid change altogether. This is arguably the most harmful approach of all and results in lost revenue, inefficiencies and an apathetic team that isn’t excited about being there. It’s time to embrace change and give it a hug because it can transform your business. Here are 4 tips for switching software providers.
Here is your step by step guide to creating an action plan.
Jot Down your Business Case
This can be a useful step if you are feeling resistance personally, internally, or with your business partners. The simple act of laying out your business case to include why the change is positive, the value, benefits and the risks for and against the change can help simplify the process of a major project like vendor consolidation or transitioning to new software. Try to stay away from cost comparisons. While you can let it be a consideration, pricing reflects so many dependencies that it’s almost never an apples-to-apples comparison. For example, if you select a solution that costs more, it may result in significant improvements in performance and even increased revenue. Definitely worth the change. If you jot down your business case and it starts to feel more complicated, the following steps of this action plan will certainly help.
Timing applies to a number of different aspects of your business so let's start with the time of year. Does your activity center have a slow time of year? Is it located in a climate dependent location? The off-season can be a good opportunity for making major changes. Be wary though. This can also backfire. Depending on your situation and how in-need of the change your business is, waiting can be more detrimental and even more costly than waiting.
The next time you’ll want to consider is the best time of the week and day to make a cut over. Especially if there is new software involved. Select non-peak times to reduce any disruption to your business or your customers. A good software provider will help facilitate this and make the transition as easy as possible.
Action Plan & Timeline
Work with the vendor(s) to create a clear project timeline for executing each stage of the project. If there is a requirement for exporting assets, files or any other data, they will help facilitate that process. You're not required to be the expert in switching or consolidating software providers. Remember, they do this all the time and can help you prepare for what to expect and what you can do ahead of time. A good software provider will act as a partner and work alongside you and your team to ensure a smooth transition. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open to avoid any set backs.
Training & Communication
Lastly and possibly the most important, have a plan to train and communicate the changes with your team. The more prepared they feel, the less resistance you will face. If it’s a matter of getting trained on new software, your provider likely has documents and resources for your team or they may even provide your team with a certain number of training hours. Either way, it is important to allocate dedicated time for your entire team to get trained rather than leaving it to them. Selecting a point person who is a good leader and that is excited for the change, is a great way to help delegate and communicate a positive message the entire team can embrace.
Don’t be nervous when it comes to upgrading to a new software provider or when consolidating providers! Software solutions like Clubspeed offer streamlined processes that allow venue managers and employees to optimize their time on the job. They require minimal time and effort on your part, meaning you and your team can focus on what really keeps your business running - your customers. In the long run, your operations will be far more efficient and you’ll provide a better experience for customers when they come to your facility.
Are you an activity center looking for a software solution to help with venue management. Clubspeed can help. Visit the Clubspeed website to learn more.