“Digital transformation is another [term] for what I call business transformation,” says Thom Groot, digital director at car breakdown company The AA. “Digital is at the heart of businesses and in my view it’s a reflection of the fact that customer behaviour is changing. The digital age has accelerated that change and therefore businesses need to be fast at changing themselves to meet that customer behaviour.”
Source: Marketing Week
Example: Kop Hill Climb
Moving from paper, print and postage to web and email.
This event originally ran until 1925 and again as a one off event in 1999. In 2009 the current iteration of the event was founded with just a few dozen vehicles being invited with their entries being processed on a spreadsheet and with printed paperwork via the postal service.
The Legacy Systems
David found himself volunteering at the event and helping the Entrants Team leader Mike organise the hundreds of vehicles in attendance. It was this first hand experience of spreadsheets, printed documentation and envelope stuffing that prompted the suggestion to transform the management processes from disparate 'office documents' on many computers with printing and postage to a centralised web based system delivering event documentation digitally via email.
The Transformation Starts
The decision to move forward was made when it was realised that the cost of paper, printing, envelopes and postage over many years would disappear with the new digital platform. Planning started in November with a go live date set the April, this requiring a full analysis of the existing spreadsheets, documents and paper based processes in use.
Before spreadsheets and documents could be converted to databases business processes were mapped using a flow chart that described the journey a potential entrant goes through when registering for the event. Once this process was signed off by the event management team the database structure was created, the foundations were laid.
Building the platform
Planning soon moved onto coding with several wire frame designs being worked through to arrive at user interfaces for the various parts of the new 'event registration system' as it was called.
Access and security levels where designed in for event entrants, car clubs, sponsors and exhibitors as well as multi layered access control for the event organisers. Key to this was the ability for all participants to 'self serve' and for all event staff to be able to manage their own portfolios of organisations and vehicles attending the event.
The platform delivers digital versions of the old paper based systems, delivered over email and web pages. The digital entrant and parking passes incorporate bar codes for security purposes and QR codes to enable smart phone users to scan and retrieve more information and a photo of the vehicle via the web.
Event administrators have access to a wide range of event and audit reports to enable comprehensive management of individual and group bookings, event pitch locations and spectator parking.
Documentation was drawn up and supplied to the customer as an ongoing process with early training sessions to iron out wrinkles in the implementation and make changes where agreed. The focus being on hitting the go live of April to open for registrations which is now the annual opening date.
Each year the customer has asked for updates and changes and we've also suggested optimisations and changes to improve the platform which now allows just three team members to easily manage, review, select and reject around 800 vehicle registrations for each event in batches or singularly, complete with audit trails to handle issue resolution and bank reconciliation with the built in online payment facility.
The platform is now available commercially as the Motoring Event Registration System (MERS) and is in use at other similar events.
Additional services are available to enable us to deliver a complete digital solution for your event;
- Design of branding and web site implementation
- Email and online collaboration systems
- Bulk email marketing and SMS messaging
- Print services incorporating all required printing and delivery to your event.
- Sign On desk package, leverage our expertise in planning, setting up and running a sign on desk.
- Generic consulting to assist with motoring festival type events, view our landing page here.
"Dealing with nearly 400* registrations was never an easy task but so much easier now with our new Entrants Registration System."
(* MERS Now handles 800 vehicle registrations for Kop Hill Climb)