Sonshine Ranch received fifty bookings overnight for their holiday programme. So we wanted to find out what aspects of their culture and business processes, attribute to awesome success with fully-paid enrolments! Administrations manager and camp operator; Tanja shares with us a few insights into Sonshine Ranch's Outdoor Adventure Centre.
Tanja, tell us a little bit about your role at Sonshine Ranch? What do you do?
I am the Administrations Manager. My main tasks are to ensure that everything related to bookings and inquiries, are taken care of. I also support the camp
manager with various tasks associated with running the camp and health & safety.
Why do you do, what you do?
First of all - I love Sonshine Ranch! This place is very special to our family. It's wonderful to be able to share Sonshine Ranch with so many young people, and to provide a safe place where young people can come and experience the outdoors.
Sonshine Ranch run a scheme; Own A Pony. Here they learn the ins and outs to looking after a horse. Staff teach the students good grooming skills, how to feed, saddle and ride.
What do you think really sets your camp apart from others?
The horses are a huge attraction. We run a very busy riding programme which includes lessons, treks, holiday camps and school programmes. Sonshine Ranch provides the opportunity for kids to learn to ride and who may never own their own pony. Alongside the riding programmes, we have other adventure activities that range from the flying fox, giant rope swing, kayaking, waterslide and a huge climbing tower.
In terms of running a camp like yours; what kinds of responsibilities differ to running one that’s less specialised?
We rely on volunteers and trained leaders to assist with the running of our programmes. Sonshine Ranch Outdoor Centre is a Christian based Charitable Trust. Without the generosity of so many people, we simply could not offer the many types of camps and programmes each year.
Sonshine Ranch aim to provide attendees with unique experiences and challenges. The outdoor activites help to foster their character and abilites.
We asked Tanja a few questions about some of the changes to their processing and systems they've recently made.
What kinds of challenges led Sonshine Ranch to using Enrolmy's booking software?
It was only 3 years ago where we were still sending out camp registration forms by email and manually inputting applications into an excel sheet. Systems were very old and time consuming. Cheques were still being sent in the mail. Although many people preferred to pay by DC, we still had to handle the transaction and send out confirmation letters. We then had a website upgrade and introduced online forms, however the processing of camper details and payments were still very manual. I always knew there were much more effective and simpler systems out there, but I didn't know how to find that special booking system which could suit and fit in with our operation.
During your onboarding period, what kind of experiences did you have with the new software?
Once I was shown my way around the administrative back end of Enrolmy, I found it very simple to use and navigate. The more I used it, the more familiar I became. Now that all our camp bookings and riding lesson enrolments are set up with Enrolmy, I find I am using the software daily. The customer support would have to be one of the best things about Enrolmy. Generally I would have an answer to my questions within an hour using their Intercom chat service. The support I received during the set up period was second to none.
Now using Enrolmy, what solutions have you found to the challenges you were facing?
Once the activity was set up, everything became automated - from parents booking, payments being made and then syncing with Xero. There is no paper or money to handle and transferring campers to another activity is now a breeze.
How have parents found the new booking system?
We've had extremely positive feedback from parents so far. Most have commented on how easy and straight forward it is to use.
Were there other systems you were looking at to help solve the challenges you were facing? Why did you decide to use Enrolmy over other options?
We tried another system for 2 years prior changing to Enrolmy. They were also a new company back then and we worked with them for their first year to fine tune some of their systems. They fit with some of our requirements, however after the trial period there were just too many factors and aspects of the software that did not fit with our operation. When I was approached by Enrolmy to look at their software, I was pleasantly surprised by the monthly subscription cost, versus what we were paying previously. Prior to agreeing to change, I informed Enrolmy regarding what I needed from a software. Although not everything is in place yet, I feel they are extremely open to my advice and are prepared to look at ways to improve, and also find solutions to any problems found along the way.
If you were to recommend using Enrolmy to other providers for their camps, what would you say?
Switching to a new system always has it's challenges, so make sure you plan when you want to make the change and that it will fit into your season. When we changed over, I only used Enrolmy for riding lesson enrolments. I ensured I was happy with the setup before switching all our camp bookings and activities over. One of my favourite aspects is the Xero Sync, and the fact that you don't have to pay to have this add-on. I am still in the early stages on working with the camp activity, but so far the system is doing most of what I need it to do which I'm absolutely thrilled with.