When the opportunity came up to develop a mobile app, the IT Committee recommended Elcom based on timing of the project, price and quality of solution. Elcom could provide functionality that other vendors couldn’t as they were able to integrate the app to our membership system. This meant members could go to a drop zone, show their app and qualifications to staff, and the data on the app and the club’s system would be consistent.
The member app project was a significant piece, and it was fairly seamless. It was on time, on budget, and the deployment ran smoothly on both major releases. Our Project Manager was always responsive, and on top of that, we had direct access to the technical team. It really makes a difference when you can get answers and feedback quickly to help with decision making.
We don’t have a dedicated technical team in-house at APF so the Elcom developers produced test files and wrote user guides for us so we could be assured we were implementing a solid solution. That was a step above what we would have otherwise expected from a vendor and this support is invaluable to us.
The mobile app has now replaced the physical card that members show at a drop zone to verify their qualifications. Members download the app and login. It then shows their membership details including status, affiliated clubs and qualifications. APF can also send push notifications to members through the website publishing interface.
Most of our website is custom built and serves as our membership system. Each club can access a dashboard which lists out which students will be arriving on a given date, along with member information and any account issues. Most of our clubs use this to manage their operational day.
Some of the bigger clubs have separate systems for day to day management. They utilise our API to integrate their system with our membership system. This means clubs can implement software that is best for their needs, and new student membership information on our database is immediately available in their system.
Forms and workflows are critical for us. We’re able to write a database query that retrieves data and presents it in a form to the user. For example, members can select from a field which Chief Instructor should be reviewing their form. Our Chief Instructors can see forms assigned to them in their ‘to do’ box. Because it’s coming from our database, the options in these form fields are automatically updated when appointments change.
The flexibility of the platform allows us to have three variations of the member search. The first is the member search on our public website. Because of privacy reasons, you need to enter exact personal identifying information. The second is the search available to clubs, which allows club staff to put in nicknames and wildcards. This is invaluable as we have members who are known only by their nicknames. Then we have our administration search, which has the same criteria but once you click through to the profile it gives you the ability to edit the data and view additional fields.