Wildwood Stepping into 21st Century
We’re modernizing our technology to deliver the next level of member self-service and operations productivity.
Over the past years our community like many others has struggled with keeping up with Information Technology advances to optimize our operation and services we provide members. While many other businesses (banking, retail, travel, restaurants etc.) have gone online, and leveraged new internet based solutions, we have lagged behind.
Our IT infrastructure consists of a variety of old outdated systems that don’t talk to each other thus making things like member related information inconsistent across functions like security, admin and golf.
We still use a lot of paper forms, which require manual input by staff into various systems. The trees around us should be afraid, given the amount of paper we still print. A lot of great work is done and documented by Committees only to be lost because we have had no online way to organize documents online.
Well, all that is changing. With the internet, and advancements in wireless technologies like 5G, we have the opportunity to make an exponential leap in productivity, services and communications.
The LWA team has worked together to put in place our technology strategy through an incremental project to bring Lake Wildwood up-to-date with our online capabilities and position us to take advantage of future technology advances.
For Members, it will mean more online self-services for security guest access, restaurant reservations, updating member information, signing up for events and requesting services. For our operations staff, this means less redundant data entry, and improved ability to track services, projects, and measure success.
For our leadership, our board, committees, and Management Team, it gives better visibility into operational results and trends to drive future planning. Also, these groups will have online portals to store and organize documents, knowledge, meetings, and track tasks. Best of all the information stays with the Committee Portal even after members turn-over, and new ones come on board. No more redundant work and lost knowledge!
Serving Multiple Generations of Members
With all of the great strides in technology, are we going to leave those out who do not use computers? The simple answer is no. We will continue provide services from the Administration Office, take phone calls in Security and/or the restaurant, etc.
We will be sensitive to those who prefer to do business the traditional way while enabling those who prefer to work online to get what they need as well. Eventually though, most Association business will be captured online.
Lake Wildwood’s Technology Plan – in simple terms
Simply put we took the time to step back and review all the parts and pieces of the LWA operation.
We reviewed what member data we need to manage in order to deliver services to the community. Here are some of the key objectives of our Plan.
1. One place for all Member information. Consolidate Member information, Assets (cars, boats etc), Amenities, and Activities into a central database which is accessed by all systems.
2. Enable Self-Service for our members. Expand the members site to support self-service online web forms which bring data directly into supporting systems.
3. Provide Portals for Groups (Board, Committees, Departments, etc) to share and organize. Use Office 365 as a common system for email, document management, task tracking, event calendars and collaboration in groups.
4. Implement Communication methods which are more timely and two-way. Extend beyond live meetings and TWI to online blogs, discussions, and polls.
5. Deliver more visual business measurement with Dashboards and KPIs. Put in place reporting and business intelligence tools to clearly measure operational success visually.
From these objectives we have laid out a phased approach to upgrading our technology infrastructure, some of which you have already seen.
First, we have implemented our core HOA Accounting, Jonas. It will be the core of our financial reporting and member records. From this we will be building our Member Profile database which serves as the core membership information across all systems.
Next we will be implementing Microsoft Office 365 which moves our email system to the cloud, and provides us with new capabilities to manage documents, roll-out group portals, deliver KPI dashboards, and automate business processes. We are already rolling out portals for the Board and select Committees.
To improve member communications, you have already seen the Board Blog, which has been a real success so far. We have made major improvements to e-Bits and the website, and are utilizing a survey tool within our website that allows for quick polls and other online communication features.
Over the next year we will be working to provide new online forms on the member site for Security Access, Restaurant Reservations, and for the Annual Amenities process. With additional online services coming beyond that for Public Works, EMO and other service requests.
Later this year we will be selecting and starting to implement our first major new system, a new security application for gate access, patrol, and guest access management. This should improve guest access tracking, speed the entry process, provide patrol with online information, and potentially lower operational costs with member self-service.
Next year and beyond we will be adding Asset and Work Order tracking for Public Works and Golf Maintenance, with support for member service request tracking, EMO violation tracking, and more.
Overall we should see better service to Members and improved efficiencies for our staff which will improve productivity by fielding fewer inquiries and service calls, and greatly reducing manual data input. It will set us up to take advantage of new technology that comes in the future with ever-increasing wireless bandwidth and communication capabilities.
Imagine EMO being able to go out to look at a property and bring up a satellite view on a tablet to identify tree coverage or lot lines in real time, capture the image and attach it to a member record! A neighbor walking their dog who sees a storm drain clogged after a rain would be able to snap a photo and submit it to Public Works. This is all possible and more!
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