FIVE TIPS TO DRIVE TECHNOLOGY SUCCESS
Technology is changing the world, but to ensure success clubs must mitigate the business risks they can create.
The promise of what enhanced technology can bring to a club is a compelling proposition: better information, increased productivity, improved accuracy, cost efficiencies, delivering an enhanced experience to members and guests. But while new technology can often be the source of these tangible advantages, it can be the gateway to unforeseen issues and risks – ones which can easily go unnoticed if not supported appropriately or utilized correctly.
Technology is a tool like any other, it fulfills its purpose when it’s being used properly. To embrace emerging technology, clubs must identify and select the right tool for the job, map out their implementation approach, restructure their existing processes, if necessary, and define targets against which progress will be measured.
Through his extensive work with private clubs across North America, Global Golf Advisors partner Derek Johnston has compiled the top five tips successful clubs are following to ensure the successful integration of new technology.
Five Tips to Drive Technology Success:
- Use evidence to inform your decisions
Based on business intelligence and current performance indicators, what are the areas of improvement you have identified? Technology solutions should address those areas directly to realize productivity, accuracy, cost efficiency, or other specifically identified improvement objectives.
- Be selective
Scrutinize the technology proposition as it relates to its ability to address business needs and make significant improvements when compared to current processes.
- Take a phased approach
The majority of clubs are not blessed to employ extensive teams with broad and rich skillsets dedicated to technology implementation, training, and maintenance. This typically reduces your capability to take on multiple new forms of technology all at once and be effective in doing so. Prioritize and take a phased approach to how you introduce new technology.
- Invest in staff training
While learning can and does take place ‘on the job’, ensure the relevant staff members are appropriately trained on an ongoing basis either by yourself or your technology partner. This will ensure you maximize the benefits of the new technology to your club, avoid improper use and protect against too few individuals owning the knowledge connected to the technology.
- Set goals and targets
You may be investing on the promise of increased efficiencies, but unless you set targets and put in place the necessary measures to track performance, it’s impossible to assess the effectiveness of the new technology. Clear expectations and targets will help your staff buy in to its introduction and encourage your technology partners to best assist you in achieving them.
Although these steps may appear to be extensive, they should in no way be viewed as a deterrent to change. Why? Because there is also risk attached to inaction, standing still while the wider world continues to evolve.
As the trend towards mobile and digital continues to grow and evolve, if your club becomes disconnected from this trend it could be seen as old-fashioned, traditional, or in ways simply incongruent with what your club really stands for. While clubs should never feel technology should be forced on them, they should at least consider what existing members and prospective members want; what the club needs to operate efficiently and effectively fulfill its mission; and what club leaders require to effectively develop, monitor, and maintain the club’s strategic direction. Most importantly, clubs should be prepared to act on their findings with an open mind and pragmatic, data-driven approach with the support of members, stakeholders and staff.
Whether the aim is to increase productivity, reduce costs or deliver a better experience to members and guests, those invested in the success and sustainability of the club will recognize the intention to improve. Not only will this protect against the market forces of standing still, it will take those invested in the club on a journey towards a better, brighter, more sustainable future.
About Global Golf Advisors
Global Golf Advisors (GGA) has provided industry-leading advisory services to more than 3,000 clients worldwide including private clubs, hotels, resorts, residential golf communities, developers, homebuilders, government agencies and municipalities, financial institutions, investors and lenders. Operating out of three global offices in Toronto, Phoenix, and Dublin, GGA is a highly specialized consulting firm focused on club and leisure related assets with a professional services heritage as the KPMG Golf Industry Practice. The firm’s expertise lies in its ability to effectively meld club management and operational expertise with highly capable professional strategists and experienced business analysts. GGA personnel include former club managers with experience leading exceptional clubs, along with alumni of Arthur Andersen, Deloitte, KPMG, Pulte Homes, PwC, and Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets. For more information, please visit www.globalgolfadvisors.com.
Derek Johnston, Partner at Global Golf Advisors