Spartanburg County, SC Boosts Engagement with CivicRec
Keys to Project: :
Intuitive Interface, User-Friendly System
County:Spartanburg County, SC
Spartanburg County, South Carolina is a growing community with no signs of stopping. Home today to approximately 300,000 residents, this former mill community is developing a second identity as a forward-thinking industrial hotspot. Keeping up with the demands of new families moving into Spartanburg County can be a challenge for a parks and recreation department responsible for managing over 40 facilities countywide and a land area of approximately 820 square miles.
“We are in a growth phase,” said Spartanburg County Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Jon Woodsby. “We are seeing an influx of individuals who appreciate the quality of life amenities available in Spartanburg County.”
Not only does rapid growth pose a facility management and activity offering challenge, it means new citizens bring with them new and diverse expectations for the county’s parks and recreation offerings and associated digital systems.
“Like many communities across the county we are learning to balance the interests of those who are new to our community with those who were born and raised here,” said Woodsby.
For Spartanburg County’s Parks and Recreation department, a vital component of continuing to ensure the same quality of parks and recreation services long-standing residents have come to enjoy while meeting the expanding interests of new residents lies in the convenient access to program information and registration. When the county realized its former parks and rec management system was not meeting the needs of its progressive-minded citizens and would not keep pace with the needs of the growing community, it turned to CivicRec (formerly Rec1) for a modern, intuitive solution.
We brought in all the staff who were going to need to touch the product,” said Woodsby. “We had special training for staff who would manage the backend, and for staff who would work with citizens to conduct transactions. It was important that our frontline individuals be comfortable walking the public through the system.
Assistant Parks and Recreation Director
Before its switch to CivicRec, Spartanburg County was using a parks and rec software whose maintenance needs were inhibiting the County’s efficiency.
“Our previous system was software-based,” said Woodsby. “The software’s constant updates required time offline, and it frequently needed to be shut down due to glitches. We realized we needed something web-based. Also, we have many staff members who need to use the system who aren’t programmers. The backend of the software we were using before looked like code to someone without advanced tech skills. It was nearly impossible to go into the backend to enter facilities and activities.”
To find a more ideal solution partner, Spartanburg County conducted a formal request for proposal (RFP).
“We received four bids, and they were all very different, especially cost-wise,” said Woodsby. “Some required a large up-front investment, some required an ongoing flat annual investment, and some a percentage of transactions that ranged anywhere from one to seven percent. We wanted a solution that we could afford, that could scale to fit the size of our team, which is pretty lean. We ultimately chose CivicRec because we valued the functionality for the cost. It’s a clean, web-hosted solution, and the financial structure made it easy for us to budget.”
Implementing a User-Friendly System
Spartanburg County relied on the implementation experts at CivicRec to migrate its valuable data from is previous system, to its new database. Also, Woodsby and the Parks and Recreation team participated in two-days of on-site training with CivicRec staff.
“We brought in all the staff who were going to need to touch the product,” said Woodsby. “We had special training for staff who would manage the backend, and for staff who would work with citizens to conduct transactions. It was important that our frontline individuals be comfortable walking the public through the system.”
Not only was the training valuable, the team at Spartanburg County were relieved to find the CivicRec interface much easier to use than their previous system.
“CivicRec really is self-explanatory,” said Woodsby. “That’s what we like about it. It’s not written in computer jargon, and the buttons are clearly labeled to indicate what they do. Our staff has quickly been able to learn how to utilize its functionality.”
Not only has the Spartanburg County Parks and Recreation Department benefitted from consistent access to a more robust parks and recreation management system, the CivicRec team has continued to support the County with customizations.
“Our staff requested weekly invoicing capabilities to accommodate the needs of our large after-school programs,” said Woodsby. “The functionality didn’t exist at the time, but CivicRec agreed such functionality would benefit other municipalities too. They agreed to design the module for us, and we worked with them throughout the design and testing process. We appreciated that individualized level of support.”
Like many CivicRec clients, Spartanburg County has not only benefitted from an easy-to-use piece of software; it has improved and streamlined many of its core workflows thanks to the system’s capabilities.
“Every workflow for us has improved thanks to CivicRec,” said Woodsby. “We went from boxes of paper receipts, and daily attendance records and folders on every rental to an online program we are confident is not going to crash and delete our data. Improving our internal processes and shifting services online is the best thing that could have happened for us. We have trained the public to use CivicRec to make reservations, register for programs, and pay bills all online. So now, we don’t need to spend as much time on internal auditing processes and ensuring we can conduct cash transactions all over the county. We cut the cord on change funds, and it has made all our transactions more convenient. We worked hard to teach all of our citizens how to use the system and got everyone comfortable with it. They realize now that it’s as simple as shopping online.”
If your current parks and recreation management software isn’t doing enough to help you meet your goals, and you would like to see for yourself how CivicRec can save you time, streamline your parks and rec operations, and improve your citizen engagement, click below to take a tour of our powerful software.
Ready to Connect?
Stay up to date with the latest tips and news for local governments.