The expert advice to answer your most pressing questions. This month, John Smith, the assistant director of Intramural and Recreational Sports at the University of Louisville, shares advice on software.
JS: We use Daxko (formerly CSI) and have been using it for about five years now. That was my decision. At the time we decided on a software, Daxko’s reporting functions were stronger and gave us a lot of options. We all need to show things like impact on retention and various other data. Daxko’s reporting platforms let me do a lot more than the competitors at the time.
JS: We do facility access with it, which is nice because we can control IDs. We can put notes on someone’s account so when they check in, a box shows up with a note in there and we can give our student staff instructions. For example, if someone has a piece of equipment checked out that they didn’t return, or if a membership is going to expire in two weeks, we can give them reminders. We also use it for scheduling. It has a very good scheduling function. Last year we did over 2,000 reservations for different rooms and events in the building. It has a great scheduling platform. Our personal trainers use it to make appointments with clients, and it does point of sale as well. So it does just about anything you want to do from a facility management standpoint.
JS: In the university setting everyone is very concerned about retention from a budgeting standpoint and from a student success standpoint. We want to be able to track users so we can do studies about the frequency of use in recreation centers and average grade point average, which shows a direct relationship to retention. That is a big thing for us, because everyone is being asked to justify their existence right now.
JS: I think you really have to answer the questions: What do I really need this to do? They all do the same core things, but what are the other things that I want to get out of this? Identify those functions because different programs have different strengths and weaknesses. If I was starting the process over again, I would really answer all of my own questions first before I started talking to the companies and then talk to them about what their products can do.