Case study of a stack
Ten years ago a Perth martial arts institute had 400 students, was at one location and employed less than 10 casual, part time or full time staff.
It has now grown to more than 1700 students, 40 staff and runs branches at three locations.
The institute continuously refines its technology stack because it has not found one system that does everything.
If the organisation needs a function and it’s not available, staff find another way, employ someone with the knowledge and/or invent their own.
General manager Michelle Pitter has been with the company for a decade. Here’s the technology stack her team has developed.
Server: Office 365
“This has helped a lot because we haven’t had to worry about a server because our server ran out of licence. We thought, do we get another server or do we go in the cloud?
Now, it doesn’t matter how many locations we open because there's no a strain on a server.”
It also uses Sharepoint as part of Office 365, which manages and stores documents and information. It is highly configurable and collaborative.
Accounting and payroll: Quickbooks
Pitter is a certified BAS agent and business analyst so with the help of a consultant she researched accounting software to find something specific to the company’s needs.
The company wanted to separate payroll according to which branch a staff member worked at and chose Quickbooks for this function. She also likes Quickbooks because if she has a problem, she phones someone in Australia and they talk her through it.
It links with Quickbooks so she can quickly create budgets and see variances with actual. She can set a budget for each branch and it consolidates that too.
Every week Pitter and the business owners monitor the Calxa reports.
CRM: Moving from Clubware to Whitebelt
The institute found Clubware didn’t have the reporting functions they wanted, nor a database for managing student gradings and tips.
So, in partnership with programmers, the organisation has developed its own CRM called Whitebelt. Other martial arts schools are now using this CRM.
Once fully installed across the organisation, Pitter estimates Whitebelt will reduce administration time by 75 per cent.
Human Resources: Training portal (currently in development)
Payroll goes through Quickbooks. To suit their specific needs the company uses a combination of software for HR. This includes its accounting program and a training portal it’s currently co-developing.
It also subscribes to a service to help customise important documents such as contracts, policies, employment agreements etc. You can find out about CCIWA’s subscription service by contacting the Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660.
Lead Generation: ActiveCampaign
The institute tried Mailchimp and other systems but ActiveCampaign best suited its needs.
Information from Facebook marketing, inquiries, referrals, emails, all go into their lead generation software.
“It takes a bit of time to develop and tailor to your needs, it’s a bit of a process. We used a consultant to help us. When you have it working to suit you, it makes things easier,” Pitter says.
Putting it together: Klipfolio
All of the above are separate software, but they work together. Pitter has appointed a consultant to help customise the app Klipfolio.
This app gathers information from an excel spreadsheet on the company’s Sharepoint and makes finding and using the information very simple.
She can use her phone to see different dashboards that she needs, whether it be new members, cancellations, Quickbooks or leads.
Mistakes and failures have led the company to their current system.
“In a small business you don’t necessarily need those systems in place, but if you don’t have them, it’s very hard growing from a small to medium business,” Pitter says.