County: Shawnee County, KS

Population: 178,725

Product: CivicRec

Keys to Project

Integrated Website & Recreation Management System, Activity Registration

Shawnee County, KS Boosts Parks and Recreation Revenue with CivicRec

Located in the northeast corner of Kansas, Shawnee County plays a vital role in the lives of its nearly 200,000 residents. With the state capital of Topeka near the center of the county, Shawnee County is a state hub of activity and a community where hundreds of thousands of civic-minded citizens call home. In 2012, the City of Topeka’s parks and recreation department and Shawnee County’s parks and recreation department joined together, consolidating under a unified leadership to put forth a single offering. With a combined total of 140 parks to manage, the consolidated parks and recreation staff are mindful of the vast array of offerings available to citizens across the county and the need to engage citizens with a digital parks and recreation solution that is simplified and streamlined.

“We chose CivicRec because of its advanced features, the cost and the willingness of the CivicRec team to work with us,” said Lehman. “The quality of the relationship and service we knew we would receive was a deciding factor. Our existing parks and recreation website is powered by CivicPlus, so we knew it would be good to have our website and our recreation management system work together hand-in-hand.”

Josh Lehman, Shawnee County Parks + Recreation Outcomes Program Supervisor

Shawnee County, KS Boosts Parks and Recreation Revenue with CivicRec

Before CivicRec®

According to Josh Lehman, Shawnee County Parks + Recreation Outcomes Program Supervisor, before implementing the CivicRec parks and recreation management solution from CivicPlus®, the department was utilizing an internally designed recreation management system that worked, but did not meet the needs of its patrons in terms of offerings, navigation and aesthetics as the department continues to grow and change.

“We were using a system designed by our IT department,” said Lehman. “It worked well for what it was, but we realized, especially with our expanded services and facilities offering, that we needed to broaden our capabilities and offer easier online registrations and facility reservations, as well as other options unavailable in the old system such as point-of-sale. We wanted to move to a solution that was inviting, easy-to-use, easy-to-navigate,  would allow the public to sign up for activities easily and that we could use internally to promote class opportunities to help generate revenue.”

The Decision to Switch to CivicRec

It was during Shawnee County’s recurring systems and procurement assessment that Lehman and his team decided it was time for an upgrade.

“Every few years we evaluate the systems we are using,” said Lehman. “We realized our recreation management system was, compared to alternatives, not meeting current and future functional needs and outdated. It was time to upgrade to a system that did everything that we were already doing, such as managing class registrations and facility rentals, but also provided more advanced functionality, such as managing memberships and accepting point-of-sale payments.”

After assessing potential software providers, Shawnee County chose the most robust offering on the market—and one that was available from an existing solution partner.

An Efficient, Streamlined Implementation

The process to migrate Shawnee County’s existing parks and recreation data, including classes, activities and facilities into the CivicRec recreation management solution was accomplished through the combined efforts of Lehman, his dedicated team and his CivicRec implementation specialists.

“As part of the RFP process we established a team of six to lead the transition process,” said Lehman. “We assessed our needs and desires, then prioritized implementation items. Working with CivicRec throughout the implementation process, it was important to us that we go live after we had several internal staff members who could confidently serve as internal training resources moving forward. A few of us from the initial transition team stepped into the train-the-trainer role and have been able to, in turn, teach other staff members how to use the CivicRec system.”


After CivicRec

According to Lehman, staff and citizens are enjoying the enhanced functionality and ease-of-use offered by CivicRec.

“Our staff likes what we have today in terms of ease-of-use, aesthetics and navigation, compared to what we used in the past,” said Lehman. “And the word-of-mouth feedback we have received from residents has also been positive.”

It has also alleviated some of the burdens associated with paper-based, manual processes.

“It is much more efficient to attach release, waiver and other forms to the user’s account, rather than carrying crates of paper forms around for camp activities,” said Lehman. “Now, we can just carry an iPad.”

Implementing CivicRec has not only provided Lehman’s team with more robust functionality, and his residents with expanded and more intuitive online tools to self-service their registration and reservation needs, it has also further helped Shawnee County to meet its goal of increasing potential revenue.

“For the first time ever this year we were able to offer online summer camp registrations,” said Lehman. “When we opened up summer camp  registrations this year we brought in $100,000 in revenue the first day alone, and 78 percent of it came directly from online registrations. That alone shows us that the public supports the new system and are comfortable using it.”

If you'd like to upgrade your parks and recreation management system to a modern, intuitive solution,  start your transition by clicking below to take a self-guided tour of CivicRec.

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