Ever since that fateful (some might say…romantic) night aboard a retired ferry moored on desert island, my main aim with One Minute Closer (OMC) was to provide a solution to a problem. At the time OMC was released, it was the only real time shareable FIFO rostering app available and filled a gap with many thousands of downloads in the first couple of months.
Since then OMC has evolved, thanks to the feedback of its users, to an app that caters for most roster, shift and travelling workers and is continuing to evolve as its audience demands. One of the biggest progressions OMC has made is into the SME management space with small businesses starting to take up, or at least inquire, how this free app platform can help them evolve their business model.
Brisbane Run Squad (BRS) has proven to be a pioneer in this space and is using OMC solely to coordinate their schedule and manage active members. I sat with the two founding members of BRS, Renae Jones and Matthew Lyne to pick their brain and uncover how OMC is helping them stay at the top of the Brisbane Running scene.
Before we jump in the deep end of this pool, lets slide in at the shallow end with some back ground. Renae and Matt are somewhat of a dynamic duo. Renae with PHD roots in Organisational Psychology and Matt an ex Air Force grease monkey, they have both had an extremely interesting path to present day – a teacher / entrepreneurial lab founder and Senior Paramedic respectively.
BRS has been a major part of this evolution also. Starting over 10 years ago as a hobby, BRS has now developed into an 8 coach co-op with over 50 active members. The Jones / Lyne team has taken BRS to running meets nationally and internationally and the blue and white colours are now a constant at all major events locally.
So that’s enough wading waist deep, lets deep dive with the team and find out how OMC is helping them progress BRS into the future.
Some small talk down and after the ordering of our second coffee…and possibly a discussion about a 2pm wine, the discussion went something like…
Me – What was the problem / issue that forced you to go to the market and look for a solution?
BRS – We went through a business model change. We changed from having a three person coaching team to an eight person co-op and coaching team. We knew coordination of this was going to be a challenge, and we didn’t want our members to suffer.
We needed a way to develop a roster for our run coaching team that could be seen by all the coaching team, so they knew when they were coaching and where. Also, we wanted our members to possibility have access so they knew who was coaching and when. This was the major driver for looking in the market for a solution.
Further, our coaching timetable changes each week as some of our coaches are shift workers, so that was an added complication, we couldn’t just do up a standard timetable that was the same each week and stick with it. We need flexibility and agility. Finally, the locations of some of our sessions change weekly, so flexibility was needed to cater for that too!
Me– How did you look / what searches did you do – Google, Word of Mouth?
BRS – We searched for calendar apps, roster apps, and tried using some of the google suite too, such as google sheets and Gmail calendar. None really hit the mark of what we were looking for. Either they were clunky, hard to share, took too long to update and access couldn’t be shared. We searched the app store, google searches, as well as chatting with friends and colleagues about our needs.
Me – How many solutions did you find?
BRS – We looked at a few solutions, but with 8 people having to access and input, it can get pretty ugly. Google calendar was going to be the option until we found OMC!
Me – What about OMC most engaged you for its initial use?
BRS – The real time updating and viewing nature really sold it for us. User friendly design also and I really like the colour palette 🙂 The messaging option which allows us to message each other about any schedule changes is also a winner. The fact all 8 coaches can see it as well as our members is great. We are using it for so much more than we originally intended when we were looking for a solution.
Me – How did you implement OMC into your business?
BRS – We did some testing within our small team first to decide what functionality we wanted to use and how. So this is how we decided to use it. We have been using it for 6 months now and loving it.
1. We set up an OMC log-in with the login in name of : Brisbane Run Squad.
2. We configured 3 OMC set rosters for our sessions, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. We allocated them times and logos.
3. All of the coaching team, downloaded OMC and requested to follow Brisbane Run Squad, which we accepted.
4. One of the coaching team initiates a message stream of their availability over the next 3 months to take the sessions. The other coaches fill the gaps of available shifts where he isn’t available in the messenger
5. The lead then add’s notes to each run day to say who the coach is and the location of the run session. We always have the OMC roster up to date for 3 months out.
6. The coaching team member responsible for programs, also adds notes to let the other coaches know what coaching phase with are in and adds in events and races. We also add in our social events.
7. As soon as each coach has finished their session, they enter the session into OMC as a note. This is so the other coaches know the type of session that was conducted to ensure sessions aren’t repeated and we provide variety and interesting sessions
8. When a runner joins as a Brisbane Run Squad member, their membership includes access to OMC. We suggest they download it and we accept their request. This is an added benefit as they get to know who is coaching when, the event program, the run phases, as well as the sessions in case they miss it, they know the type of session, so they can do it on their own if they wish.
Me – What is the feedback from your group of users?
BRS – Our coaching team loves it. It works really well, and I must say the teething issues were very minimal! We are slowly getting all our members onto OMC. Some members use it to track their own running too which is great.
They add their own notes onto their own roster so they can see when they came to training, how they felt, what they did etc. We are doing a big promo over the next few weeks to try to get all our members on there. Now we understand the true benefits, we are keen to make it a go!!!
Me – Anything else you’d like to add?
BRS – Thanks OMC for offering something perfect for us with features and capabilities we didn’t even know we needed.
This is an amazing example of how OMC is such a cost effective and efficient solution to small business rostering and coordination. BRS have truly integrated OMC into their business and I am so looking forward to working with them to improve and refine OMC and help other small businesses streamline as BRS have done.
Do you have a need for a simple yet effective rostering coordination solution?
Do you have employees, members, or other stakeholders that that you need to coordinate with in real time, safety and securely?
Even fans, followers or if you’re lucky…some groupies that you need updated on constantly changing and updating gig / performance times.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org as I’d love to hear what coordination issues you face as I am sure we can help overcome them to move your enterprise forward. And remember…its free to download and use!!
So, until the next installment…keep safe and stay connected