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Author Topic: Car Club Committee Member? Read on..  (Read 9549 times)
RET
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richard.e.thomas ret56fe
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« on: August 05, 2011, 01:10:26 PM »
+1

I'm working on a project at the moment, and I'm interested in comments/feedback/interest.

Having been involved in club committees for a long time, it's been my experience that managing the list of current members is an important but thankless task for the person charged with doing it. Usually, the list is an Excel spreadsheet on their PC. Some clubs have a locally maintained database (perhaps using Microsoft Access or FileMaker Pro), or an Address Book (like Outlook or Entourage). There are some clubs that have some form of shared resource, such as a file on Google Docs or a copy of the spreadsheet saved on the club website for download. And then there are some clubs that riffle through the receipt book to track current memberships.

Unfortunately if it's not done properly, it can have a really serious impact on the club as a whole because:
* current members aren't getting timely notifications, which leads to low turnout at events
* new members may be getting no information at all, which leaves a poor impression of the club
* money is wasted on posting stuff to members who aren't financial

So I'm working on a web-based membership management application designed specifically for car clubs, allowing committee members shared access to the club's data. Pricing would be based on the number of members in the club. I'm looking at some sponsorship possibilities, or possibly a "freemium" model, where some features are provided free of charge, and some others require a subscription. Anyway...

The features developed so far or under immediate consideration are:
* management of "people": past and current members: addresses, contact details etc
* management of "subscriptions/renewals": who's "current", when are renewals falling due, who's recently become non-financial, life-members etc
* management of "vehicles": register of vehicles part and present, with as much or as little ID information as the club wishes to maintain
* management of "the daybook": recording the movements of club-plated vehicles, if this is required in your jurisdiction
* management of "contacts": other clubs, sponsors etc who you need to keep in contact with
* ability to export mailing addresses, email lists or phone lists of the "current" member-base
* built in "mailing list" service, so members/committee can just email yourclub@myservice and the message goes to current members (and only current members), plus sponsors, other clubs etc
* built-in SMS service (like NSW used at Orange), to text all your members with event info.
* ability to store custom information as required by your club, so you can choose to store club-specific data about your members (i.e. you're not constrained to just the data elements I thought were relevant)
* customising look, upload logos etc to "brand" the site with your club's name, colours etc
* initial data load service (uploading whatever computerised data you have into the system, so you don't have to re-type everything.)

Features being considered depending on take-up:
* Inventory management (club merchandise stock on hand)
* Web-store: managing sales of merchandise, processing renewals via credit card/pay-pal etc
* End-user updating: allowing actual club members (rather than just committee members) the ability to update their own contact information
* Member-only file repository: central store for club committee documents etc
* Event Management: managing payments, proposed attendance etc for large upcoming event

So, I'm interested in whether:
* your club would be interested in such a service?
* you see sufficient benefit that you would be happy to pay for such a service?
* you would be interested in beta-testing this application?
* you have features you think would be useful that I haven't included/thought of above
* any comments or suggestions

The beta programme for the app is available here: http://test.ourcarclub.com.au
You won't be able to do much without a username/password, which you can request from the "Beta" tab on that page.

Thanks for your time.

cheers
RET
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OurCarClub.com.au is a web-based data management application, custom built for car clubs and their volunteer officials. More info...
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2011, 06:59:16 AM »
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Its a great initiative RET and an area that I know is the most difficult for car clubs to manage. Whether you can convince them to take it up is another issue. Have you sent this to all of the Clubs? Have you thought of getting a sponsor for it such as the CMC, I'm sure Tony O'Donnell, whom I know well, would be interested. JV with Shannons in lieu of event sponsorship? Sorry for all the thought bubbles Grin

This would have application for Clubs generally, is there proprietary software out there that does this?

Cheers
John
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RET
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richard.e.thomas ret56fe
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2011, 03:53:02 PM »
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Hi John,

I am looking at sponsorship possibilities, and hope to demonstrate the app at a CMC meeting in the not too distant future.

What started me on this was the fact that although there are web solutions for sports clubs (ie soccer or baseball), there was nothing that really suited the specific requirements of car clubs. The generalized CRM packages out there are very hard to bend to this purpose, as others who've tried it will attest.

This kind of thing is one of the things I do in my day job, and having built PC-based car club databases before, I'm in something of a unique position to do this.

At this stage I am looking for beta testers, clubs willing to try it out. Those that do also get the opportunity to shape its design. Ultimately, yes it could assist other sorts of clubs, but I'm focussing on car clubs at first, because it's my area of expertise.

It's not just for Holden clubs though! The Alfa club would be most welcome to participate.

cheers
RET
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2011, 08:39:08 AM »
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Hello RET

Looks like a good idea, EH Holden Car Club of Victoria would be interested in being involved, please email me with more details.

Regards & thanks

Keith
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2011, 11:33:58 AM »
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RET
Having been a membership secretary and President i fully understand the importance of a concise database and love the sound of the proposal. i would think the vic club would be very interested.
Brett
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Brett Gillard
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richard.e.thomas ret56fe
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2011, 12:51:58 AM »
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Just a quick update.

I've now got members of about 6 clubs who've offered to do some beta testing. That's most appreciated. Some have come from this site, and some from elsewhere.

I've implemented the following features over the last couple of weeks:
* Committee member details, history of members who've held positions on the committee.
* Event Management - details of the members and cars that have (or will be) attending past (or future) club events.
* Various interface improvements - too many to list here Wink

As of today, I've got a production server well on the way to being implemented. Hopefully by the time the weekend is out, that will be up and running.

If you're interested in trying out this app - get in touch by sending me a PM.

cheers
RET
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richard.e.thomas ret56fe
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2011, 03:15:55 PM »
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Although I've updated my beta-testers with news on my app's status, I realised I haven't updated this thread in a while.

I gave a demo of the app to the committee of the CMC about a month ago, and it was quite well received. I understand it was mentioned at their last general meeting. (Unfortunately we were away at the time.)

Here are a couple of screenshots - sometimes a picture tells a thousand words...

Home page - Overview or 'dashboard' of recent activity




New Members Tab - Details of most recently added members




Categories - The Club Categories page shows details about the club, your business rules, metadata and so on. Every club has its own list of member types, event types and so on. In each case, there are default sets available to get you started.




Member List - Fully searchable, exportable and page-able list of current members.




View a Member - All the details about a single member - address details, vehicle details, committee position(s), events participated in and so on.




View a Vehicle - All details about a vehicle, including current (and previous) owners, events participated in, and so on.




Adding a new member - A new member and their car can be added from this single screen.




Updating an Event - Participant members and their cars can be easily added to an event, for tracking eligibility for club points and other purposes.



The system is getting closer to being production-ready, but I'm still keen for more beta-testers or early-adopters to get involved and let me know what's good, what needs improvement, what's missing and so on. Please get in touch if you'd like to know more.
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RET
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richard.e.thomas ret56fe
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2011, 10:41:43 PM »
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Just a quick update:

The functionality for broadcasting messages to all current members is now built and fully functional. An email sent to yourclub@ourcarclub.com.au is automatically broadcast out to all (and only) your current members. What's more, you can personalise the emails, so that if you write:
Quote
Dear %recipient_fname%,

at the top of your email, everyone will get their copy of the message such that it reads:

Quote
Dear <their first name>,

Cool, huh? A message is posted to the wall (see the first screen-shot, above) to record the fact, that reads something like:

Quote
Email from Fred Nurk <elprez@someclub.org.au> entitled 'We're using OurCarClub and we love it!!!' sent to 82 addresses (emailer, 2011-12-30 19:16:28)

In the works:
* An option to allow you to choose whether any current member can send a message to all members, or only nominated users (i.e. committee members).
* An option to post "public" club info straight to your club's Facebook page (if you have one)
* SMS all members - this is getting closer to being ready.
* Existing data upload function - you copy/paste your existing info into my Excel spreadsheet template, and I will upload it into the system for you (so no manual data migration from your existing system.)

I'm still open to offers for beta testing, so let me know if your club would be interested in participating.
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RET
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richard.e.thomas ret56fe
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2012, 07:04:10 PM »
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I'm pleased to announce that OurCarClub.com.au is now in full production, and available for any clubs interested in using it for maintaining their club's membership database.

There are options to trial it, as well as importing your existing spreadsheet data to get you started.

You'll find prices and details on the official site at http://www.ourcarclub.com.au

I've also published a few screen-shots with explanatory text here: http://www.facebook.com/ourcarclub

Thanks to everyone from this board who has tried the app out and provided feedback. I would be more than happy to discuss some special pricing for any of the beta-testers who want to start using the system for real.

cheers
RET
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richard.e.thomas ret56fe
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2012, 06:26:30 PM »
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It's a long time since this thread has been updated.

OurCarClub.com.au is now in full production, and has a number of clubs already using the service. I've added a lot of new features over the last couple of months, including the ability to send SMS to all or individual members, Member Renewal Management, Reports and more.

If you're interested, there is a 'Community' site (a bit like this forum) where the details of all updates are posted, as well as a Q&A area for users who need assistance.



If your club would be interested in finding out more about the system, please get in touch. There's a Register link on the site, or you can PM me.

Thanks for your interest.

RET
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richard.e.thomas ret56fe
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2013, 08:50:17 AM »
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I haven't given this a bump for quite a while.

I now have clubs in New Zealand and Canada using OurCarClub, as well as quite a few in Australia. Thank you to all the clubs who have tried the system out and helped me spread the word.

I thought people might be interested in a significant new development that's been added to the application. It is now possible to store details of Committee Meetings, including attendees/apologies. More importantly, you can track Tasks that get created at committee meetings - the member responsible, the due date and so on. From this, the application will generate formal meeting Agendas and Minutes. Individual committee members can easily get a list of Tasks they're responsible for.

Get in touch if you'd like to find out more.
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RET
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richard.e.thomas ret56fe
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2013, 08:05:25 PM »
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Another new feature added to OCC today. If you are using the system to send emails out to your members, you can now track any emails that were unable to be delivered, and why. Located under the "Categories" menu, the "Email Failures" option allows you to see the details of any email you sent that bounced back, for up to 90 days.

You'll know that a member is not getting their correspondence before they do!

Enjoy.
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2013, 09:23:36 PM »
+1

Just so it doesn't look like RET "blowing his own trumpet" all the time.
The Street Machine Association of South Australia recently changed to OCC, all in all a pleasant and pain-free experience. The current users are getting on with little or no training/help, a very intuitive and easy to use system that is so rich in features you'd be hard pressed to utilise them all. We are managing 3000+ records with around 400-500 current members with ease so smaller clubs would be an absolute doddle.
Of course the best part is having a system that is secure (no physical discs or computers that can be lost or stolen) and able to be used by many at the same time.
Highly recommended.
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2014, 05:54:46 PM »
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Just an update that may interest some of you.

OurCarClub continues to be developed and extended, and I didn't realise how long it's been since this thread was updated. There are quite a few significant features that have been added in the last 12 months. I might come back and detail some of those in the near future.

But for anyone in a club in Victoria, you may be interested to know that OurCarClub has been updated to provide the ability to store multiple vehicle images as required by VicRoads for your vehicles on CPS.



Get in touch if you'd like to know more.
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