(Implementation of the New Computer System – 01/15/2021)
The Committee had embarked on an in-depth study on the management software currently used by our Club and had found the same lacking.
The Committee had also explored and searched for possible solutions to replace the existing management software. During the due diligence process carried out on the potential new software system, the Committee had discovered some pertinent issues that the Committee felt necessary to withhold the purchase and the implementation of the new software system until the Committee is satisfied that all issues raised by the Committee are settled or solved.
Pursuant thereof, the Circular dated 30th October 2020 issued under Rule 27(n) in respect of the implementation of the new software is hereby revoked.
By the order of the Committee
15th January 2021
Here is a summarized update brief about our work towards implementing a new IT system to help advance our Club.
There are 3 reasons why we want to pursue a new IT system:
1. Reduce inaccuracies – wrong charges (under and overcharges resulting in loss of income to the Club)
2. Reducing manual work – Cost we can reduce to save on printing and paperwork. Increases efficiency.
3. Provide amenities & prestige of the Club – Convenience as part of the utility and facilities of the Club. Are we doing justice to the standards that a prestigious club can offer its members?
Here is a timeline brief so members can be more informed about our decision process:
The MC has received many complaints from Club Members and office staff regarding inaccuracies and inconsistencies recorded by the existing Club Management System (CMS) software. Some of these complaints were:
● Bills were inaccurate – events, bill wrong members
● Some bills were posted on the wrong months
● Private info like bills and newsletters were sent to the wrong person
● Wrong billings for S&G group members – some were charged and some uncharged
● Absent members – absent members can come into the Club because there’s no sync in the system.
● Manual process to key in 4,000++ members for e-statement. It takes 3 staff to process this in a week monthly.
● Auto debit – 1 staff uses 1 full week to process this
● Security – current system does not block absent / ceased members
● The current system showed 3,366 active OTM members when there are actually 4,700+, which is the cause of our mailing problems.
● And so on…
As such, the IT sub-committee embarked on an in-depth study on our current software that was purchased way back in 2003.
Following a deep dive with the Heads of Department of the various departments of the Club, a list of issues and errors of the existing CMS was compiled to gain a full understanding of the present issues dealt with.
At first, the IT committee had the impression that it was the office staff that needed to be trained to use the system, and perhaps there were some issues with the system itself that can easily be solved. We had no plans to change the system as we know a new system will be costly, and we should try to optimize operations first before embarking on any new things, especially when there are costs involved.
Even to inform members of the latest happenings, we have chosen to utilize free WhatsApp blasting to deliver important club updates in real-time and convenient to members.
However, we realized that there was more than meets the eye during our course of investigation into the matter.
We discovered that the main problem with the existing CMS is that it is a stand-alone solution and does not properly integrate with the other systems used by the Club (e.g., F&B point-of-sale, accounting software, library system, and more).
As such, even when optimizing human operations, it requires our office staff to do a lot of manual work that can be easily done by computer systems. For example, it takes 3 staff members 4 full days to generate and email out the monthly Member’s Statement one by one. It’s like manually sending out statements to each member who opts for e-statements when we think that all it takes is a push of a button to auto send out to all.
This and many other simple operations that should be automatically done by the software require manual work because the CMS software used has become outdated and cannot be customized any further to our Club’s needs.
Apart from taking up unnecessary manpower, this also adds the possibility for inaccuracies to creep in due to human error in keying in all these details.
The IT sub-committee then tried to work with the vendor servicing the existing CMS. Still, they could not solve the actual issue because the original vendor company that created the CMS has already gone out of business. The current vendor servicing the CMS is someone who previously worked at the original vendor company. However, they cannot make the necessary changes required to solve our issues like auto-senior rate, members billing, section & group billings, and coordination and therefore cannot support more than the basics because of its customization limits. The old system is already premade, and whatever customization we added (like correspondence, personal info, email) has faults.
Despite the limitations, we are currently still paying them RM 38,427.62 annually to support this current system. In case this person doesn’t respond to us, there is no other support from the company to support us in our time of need.
That’s when the IT sub-committee searched for possible solutions to solve these issues and invited software companies to send in their proposals. Three proposals and presentations were considered before the solution by Albatrozz Sdn. Bhd. was selected as the potential solution to replace the existing CMS.
This was because other proposals involved building a new system from scratch, while Albatrozz already has a system that’s already proven, used by other clubs, and has good feedback too. We needed a system made for clubs and used by clubs, not custom-made from scratch, which will get us into this current predicament again.
The proposed solution in question includes a new Club Management System that is integrated with a point-of-sale solution, financial account software, a purchasing and inventory management system, a facilities/events management system, and a library management system. Unlike our current system, this system can sync all data seamlessly so members can be updated in real-time and enjoy the club facilities without worrying about issues on billings, bookings, and other petty matters that our system can solve.
Albatrozz is currently providing Club Management Systems to other major clubs in Penang as well as in other states.
Although there is a budget allocated for this, our committee has also tried our best to further negotiate the price and system requirements before finalizing to gain the best value from our expenditure.
As part of the due diligence process, the IT sub-committee has carried out investigations and checks with Albatrozz’s existing customers to get their in-depth feedback regarding their solution and whether they have experienced any issues with it. We had also done a company search on the vendor and obtained MC members’ declaration of interest.
During the due diligence process, we had discovered some issues that we felt necessary to withhold the implementation of the new system until the MC is satisfied that all issues raised are settled or solved satisfactorily.
IT Sub Committee, Chairman