The transition from pen and paper, to technology and cloud storage saves time and money

Street Soccer Scotland, their Digital Transformation

Written by Scott Hollinshead, Operations and Governance Manager at Street Soccer Scotland

Approximately 4 mins read time

Street Soccer Scotland is a non-profit organisation that changes the lives of young people and adults from a range of socially disadvantaged backgrounds. We deliver our services in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. We aim to provide hope and inspiration to our players. Our inclusive programmes and sessions bring players together, without labels or stigma and offer a chance to grow, meet new people and access support and mentorship when needed.

Since 2009, where Street Soccer Scotland was first founded, the processes in place were very dated, especially around collecting and storing information. However, progressively, we have transitioned from pen and paper, isolated email accounts and paper records to where we are today; with a CRM system in place, mobile form technology (Prontoforms) and online cloud storage. We also have a collaborative and secure email service which is now backed up and can be used on numerous formats.

In 2017 alone, we transitioned all disclaimers, sessional registers, cancellation forms, incident reports to digital formats with all disclaimer records automatically syncing with our CRM system (Salesforce) to give coaches more time for building relationships and face to face interactions with the players. We decided to improve productivity and free up time in the team’s very busy diaries, so we moved to several digital systems that automate certain pieces of work to reduce work pressures and to also maximise time available to work with players.

With the increasing demand for reporting and growing the presence of Street Soccer Scotland through our networks, it was essential that we moved with the digital age, to cope with the demands of the organisation, but also to ensure that we keep pushing the standards of our services to all players, supporters and partners. The plan was to eradicate stress from the process, increase time spent with the players to work to their needs and collectively increase productivity across the whole team.

We were at our limits responding to requests on the old system, so motivation to change and improve was not only significant but vital.

So how did we do it ?

Firstly, we needed to address what the main issues were for the whole organisation to see if there were any common themes across all the regions. This was completed using the ‘Measuring Up’ tool that was part of the Fit for Impact Programme delivered by Sported. The results from this report outlined the ‘headline’ tasks that needed addressing in the first instance but also gained endorsement from the team.

Liaising with different organisations and companies that deliver similar work to Street Soccer Scotland, gave a good understanding of what can be achieved in an ideal world to demands and learning curves that other sectors have experienced.  This added knowledge and direction was then applied and tailored to the organisation’s structure and working environment.

The Impact:

We have seen a significant change not only with time, but also with attitude when completing ‘paper work’. We have estimated that to complete a sessional register on paper would have taken a coach 43 hours of their time per year. Currently, we have been able to save 30 hours of admin time (per coach per year) on just one document utilising the Prontoforms system. We have received excellent feedback from the whole of the coaching team, as the new system has eradicated any technical support that was needed with excel spreadsheets, whilst providing an increased output of data, required for review, reports and internal use.

We have since moved away from paper and pen for the following reports: incident reports, cancellation forms, disclaimers, absence leave requests, event tracker and training logs for staff and volunteers. We have also added additional tracking information on volunteer names, hours and coach feedback for every session that is delivered.

Utilising Salesforce, we have been able to automate the information from online disclaimers direct to Salesforce which again removes admin time and effort from the coaches when logging a new Street Soccer Scotland player.

The ability to report in real time, create dashboards and receive in depth analysis on each piece of data that we record now gives us very accurate and timely reports with data that we can pro-actively work with.

The Challenges:

It is always difficult to change the ‘normal’ process of day-to-day working habits, as with implementing any change within an organisation.  We have varying levels of computer literacy within the organisation, so certain changes were resisted. To try and reduce any stress or problems with the digital change we have always tried to explain why the changes are needed but also to give support with training to increase their knowledge and understanding.

This article was originally published here and was reposted with permission.


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