Return on investment, or ROI, is the most common profitability ratio used by organizations. While at first glance it seems like a straightforward equation, it’s not always easy to determine ROI, for at least three reasons:
- Not all costs and benefits are easily quantifiable or apparent
- It must be measured over a span of time
- Disparate systems make accurate data difficult to obtain
Focus on Action
Through our market research and customer relationships, we’ve learned that focusing on areas of your YMCA that are Measurable and Actionable provides the highest amount of impact on profitability. We’ve isolated these 4 categories that contain both and will cover each one in a separate blogpost:
Your registration cost is calculated by total time spent on all aspects of this process, per person, multiplied by pro-rated salary, plus any hard costs, such as office expenses. When some processes are managed manually on spreadsheets and information is stored in different online and offline systems, staff costs (and frustration levels) mount quickly.
SOLUTION: Centralize program information and availability online, integrate offline and online registration, and automate as many processes as possible.
STAFF EFFICIENCY IMPACT: 20% improvement*
The cost of poor reporting options is often intangible except in the area of frustration or additional staff time spent on manual reconciliations and tallies, creating rosters, and other tasks that require specific information. It’s impossible to calculate the cost of not being able to compare historical data, share regular reports or dive into the numbers you need, but that doesn’t mean it’s free.
SOLUTION: An optimized reporting system not only tracks and compares revenue by date, session, program, membership, and utilization so that you can make smarter choices, it automatically sends scheduled reports to stakeholders and reconciles credit card fees, so you save on staff hours.
STAFF EFFICIENCY IMPACT: 15% improvement*
Manual pass creation, validation, and renewal are another area of efficiency drain on staff, especially when member information isn’t centrally located. Often, membership types must be limited to make the process manageable for staff. These barriers can also reduce membership revenue, another potential cost that, while difficult to quantify, shouldn’t be overlooked.
Solution: Software that easily creates pass cards, instantly validates membership status, and automatically renews memberships–with no staff involvement–is an instant ROI win. Giving members self-serve access to update their profiles is also a clear win. When it’s this easy, you can create an unlimited number of membership types, providing the variety of options that consumers want!
STAFF EFFICIENCY IMPACT: 5-10% improvement*
4. Member communication
The inability to send automated or mass emails or text messages, to track email metrics (opens, clicks, unsubscribes) or to segment and target specific audiences makes it impossible to take advantage of the incredible ROI of email marketing… estimated at $44 for every $1 spent!
SOLUTION: Imagine being able to identify recipients based on past activity, gender, age, etc, schedule emails to go out to these specified groups automatically, then track email effectiveness to improve future communications (opens, clicks, unsubscribes).
Some directors tell us that every targeted email they send (i.e. past yoga students) that contains a link to a highly relevant registration option (i.e. new yoga schedule) yields immediate registration spikes!
STAFF EFFICIENCY IMPACT: 50% improvement*
5. Cash and credit card transactions
Processing payments can be not only time-consuming and frustrating for staff, it can be risky. Managers have limited oversight on cash handling, therefore increasing the risk of loss or theft. Expired credit cards and failed accounts can throw off financial reconciliation, balancing and forecasting. It’s even worse when Point of Sale isn’t integrated with other financials.
SOLUTION: Use a software that integrates all cash handling, so managers can see who is logged in and what transactions are processed, reducing theft. Automatically update expired credit cards, and spend less time tracking down payments due with automatic retries on failed accounts.
STAFF EFFICIENCY IMPACT: 5-10% improvement*
REVENUE IMPACT: 2% increase*
You can see that streamlining just these 5 processes can make a world of difference in staff morale and efficiency, as well as your bottomline, allowing staff to focus on what’s important to your YMCA: people!
*While these impact numbers are drawn from real ACTIVE Net use cases by a third-party auditor, they are not guarantees. And since the solutions recommended here involve the cost of software, these expected impacts are intended to be factored into a Total Cost of Ownership evaluation for software ROI purposes.