Building a healthier community is the ultimate goal for a parks and recreation agency. But in the past few years, budget and staff cuts have made it harder to focus on that goal given the time spent on day-to-day rec management. However, technology can help parks and recreation agencies manage processes better, faster, and easier:
1. Move Recreation Brochures Online
Many agencies have opted to move their recreation guides online. Offering an online recreation guide makes sense for three reasons: cost, time, and visibility. You’ll save money on printing and mailing costs, your staff will save time in distributing physical copies, and you'll increase its visibility on your website and through social media.
2. Simplify Memberships
Membership management is another time-consuming task for parks and recreation agencies. With membership management software, you can create and sell many types of memberships, make ID cards, and automatically validate time and access limits. This will help your staff save time creating and validating memberships. Also, you’ll be able to see usage rates, revenues, contact information and more in one place. The membership process will be more efficient and you’ll be able to see how your members are using your classes, programs and facilities.
3. Go Paperless With Registrations
If your agency manually processes registrations, you know how time consuming it can be for your customers and staff. A customer will visit the center and fill out a paper form only to have your staff copy that information manually into a system. With an automated activity registration program, you can eliminate double data entry and save time.
4. Offer Online Registration
To save more time and offer better convenience, consider offering signups online. Customers won’t have to call or come in to register for programs. On top of that, your members can set up and manage their own accounts online. This reduces the number of phone calls about receipts, registrations and changes in information. Your staff will save time and your customers will have an easier way to register.
5. Use Reporting to Make Decision
Getting a real-time view of your business (finances, registrations, reservations, scheduling, etc.) is a time-consuming task if you’re managing processes manually. However, with a recreation management system you can generate reports with just a few clicks. These reports help you better understand which classes are filling up, what facilities are being used when, and more. With these reports, you’ll save time making decisions about new classes to offer and how to better serve your community.As the time and resource crunch continues, it’s important to work more efficiently as a parks and recreation agency. Try out a few of the recommendations above and see how it helps you, your customers, and your staff save time. With the extra time, you’ll spend more time building a healthier community rather than pushing paper behind the desk.