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Choosing the right supplier for your sports club

Choosing the right supplier for your sports club clubforce blog for 2024

As a club committee, you are the guardians of your club and whether your history is short or long, every committee wants their club to have a bright future. To help make sure of this, choosing reputable suppliers is important. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of a flashy sales presentation or to purely look at prices but whether they’re supplying your catering or your online platform, your kit or your tax audit, it’s important to do your due diligence to protect your club.

Many will be familiar with procurement processes in the corporate environment and it’s relatively simple to adapt the principles of these for use in a volunteer-led sports club. Your due diligence will vary slightly depending on the supplier’s sector but we’ve prepared an easy checklist for you to use when choosing an online tool supplier.

Here are 8 tips to consider when choosing the right supplier for your sports club: 

Data security 

hese days the level of personal information required and stored by sports clubs is increasing. As a club ultimately, you have the responsibility for your data even if you’re storing it in a third-party supplier (who will process it on your behalf). Make sure you ask a supplier about their data security credentials and expect them to share certifications to demonstrate these have been externally assessed.

For example, Clubforce holds ISO27001 certification which shows we have been independently audited and meet the international standards for data security.

Insurance 

What protection do you have if something was to go wrong? Ask your supplier what insurance they hold. Outside the online world, you’d want to understand a company’s public liability insurance position but in the online world, you should ask about cyber insurance. If they don’t hold insurance, you might ask yourself why an insurance company isn’t willing to cover them.

For example, Clubforce holds cyber security insurance from one of the leading providers in the market, Hiscox.

Financial stability

ong-term growth needs long-term partners and the last thing you want is for a supplier you work with to go bust. In the corporate world, you might carry out a credit check, however, in the club environment you should at least ask to understand the company’s financial position – do they have a large enough customer base and/or external investment to continue to support the business in the long term and continue to provide the same level of service.

Clubforce remains the largest provider of online sports club management software in Ireland and has received significant multi-million euro external investments in recent years.

Service and support

What level of service and support does the company commit to? Is it realistic for them to deliver this with the level of support that you’re being promised with the number of employees they have to deliver this service.

In addition to each club having a dedicated account manager at Clubforce, we have a large team dedicated to supporting our customer’s day-to-day requirements, making sure they make the most of the Clubforce platform and helping with any queries.

Investment in infrastructure

What investment is there in the infrastructure to support the company’s product? For an online supplier: are the company using reputable and reliable suppliers themselves to deliver their product and are they investing at the appropriate scale into the servers to maintain their platform at the level you are expecting in terms of service and security.

Clubforce uses some of the best-in-class suppliers to deliver our infrastructure and we continue to regularly review this to ensure that performance remains at the highest level.

Leadership

What experience does the leadership of the company have? Do you feel confident that they understand your needs and requirements and have the experience to ensure the company has appropriate processes and structures in place.

Clubforce’s senior leadership team is led by Noel Murray, formerly a senior Microsoft executive and contains other leaders with broad experience in business, sports management and technology. In addition to their professional experience, the majority of our leadership team have experience of volunteering within clubs and sports themselves.

Innovation

Are the company continuing to roll out new developments and innovations to their product? If they’re not rolling out new developments, why not? Are there financial restrictions that limit their ability to invest in innovation?

Clubforce is continuously rolling out new innovations on our platform as well as ensuring maintenance is carried out to maintain our security standards. Since the launch of the brand-new NextGen platform, the largest update in Clubforce’s history, we have continued to provide additional updates to all areas of the platform.

References

Finally, some of the best reassurance you will receive will be from the existing customers of the company. Ask the supplier to provide you with references from other sports clubs on the platform.

Clubforce is trusted by thousands of clubs internationally across a broad range of different sports to manage their club fundraising, membership and communication efforts. If you’re interested in considering Clubforce as your supplier, please fill in this form, and we’ll show you a demo of our system.

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