GM of Pete Dye Golf Club Tony Kowalski discusses their future plans

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Why did you choose Club Caddie?

The main problem that made us look for a new solution in the first place was getting all of our information into one place and making it all talk to each other.

We were using one solution for our Point-of-Sale and Accounting, one solution for tracking lodging, a do-it-yourself solution for inventory management, and another solution for marketing and member communication. If you wanted to turn any of this data into a useful business tool, you had to take extra steps.

Trying to send messages to our Members wasn’t always the easiest thing to do, because we had four or five databases of contact information that could be used for different things.

All of this information is now in one place thanks to Club Caddie. This has already made it easier for us to keep track of data and manage money so that we can stay on track with our budgets in real-time.

Which software function(s) led you to choose Club Caddie?

I don’t think there was one specific thing that made it convincing. Rather, I think it was the whole package of what Club Caddie could offer. Also, the people who work at Club Caddie showed how much they care about their service.

One of the things that really sold me on them was how willing they were to keep coming up with new ideas. As someone who spent most of the winter researching and talking to everyone in the golf course software market, I can tell you that there is no perfect all-in-one solution that works for everyone.

There are too many differences between clients for what we want to offer our members or customers. At the start of our search, we definitely had the wrong idea that the perfect, all-in-one solution was out there, and all we had to do was find it.

Realistically, it’s more about finding the right partner who can understand your needs as a client and is flexible enough to grow with you. Two months into our relationship, Club Caddie meets and goes above and beyond that need.

How can this software increase membership & service personalization?

We are still in the early stages of using the software and its powerful data generation, but you can already start to imagine what could happen. One of the things that is most interesting to us right now is that the Membership can get information directly.

Because the software is directly linked to the website and the mobile app, our Members can see a clear picture of their interactions with the Club in real time.

They are now more connected to the Club than ever before. They can schedule tee times and make reservations for on-site lodging, get receipts for recent purchases at the Club, or look at their personal Member Profile and preferred payment information.

It has already made our administrative offices more efficient because billing questions or possible problems can be dealt with as they come up, instead of having to go back a month or two to look at old statements.

With the built-in tools for email and mobile app notifications, it’s also easier to talk directly to the Members.

We are in the business of making experiences that people will remember, and that starts with being able to communicate clearly and effectively. Spending habits and preferences are another important part of service that will keep getting better as we gather more data.

Over the course of a full season, our front-of-the-house service staff will be able to use these trends as a training tool. For example, when Mr. and Mrs. Smith sit down in the Grill Room, the server who greets them will know that Mr. Smith always orders a special with pasta and Mrs. Smith likes her hamburger without the bun.

Over time, I can see that it gives us the chance to streamline our inventory and tighten up our cash flow from month to month.

How was the reception of the software among golf club employees?

Overall, people were happy with the new software. Any change can be hard and sometimes seem overwhelming, so it was only natural that there were some growing pains at first, but mostly for the people who were already on the team.

It was more about unlearning the old ways of doing things than learning the new ones. Club Caddie is well-organized, nice to look at, and, in the end, pretty easy to use. People who had never used the old system had little to no trouble learning Club Caddie.

We had a lot of information to move and organize, so trying to get everything set up, and organized, and learn how the system worked at the same time caused us more than a few headaches.

I will say that Club Caddie, and especially Dan Taylor, the Director of Implementation, did a lot to make things as easy as possible and make sure the onboarding went smoothly.

Now, everyone is used to it, and we have a team of people who are just a phone call or an email away, ready to help with any problems that come up.

How will you turn data into information that can be used?

Right now, we don’t have a person who is in charge of data analytics yet, and it’s too early to tell how this will turn out.

Right now, it’s helping us keep track of our cash flow in real-time and giving us a better idea of how our income compares to our expenses. It’s also already let us make a few changes on the fly that will keep us on track for our year-end budget goals.

Since there is still a lot of uncertainty in the supply chain, the Club will be able to stay ahead of the curve and keep its promises if we can make accurate financial decisions as soon as possible.

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