Established in 1901, The Camping and Caravanning Club is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to delivering the highest quality UK camping holidays to its 750,000 members. With a network of over 100 club sites across the UK, the Club’s membership levels have boomed in recent years as increasing numbers of people have opted to holiday at home as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.
The Camping and Caravanning Club’s sites across the UK were managed via manual processes. The Club’s property and development department and operations team at their head office all had their own systems to manage the assets they controlled, often based on bespoke Access databases or Excel spreadsheets.
With the software versions they were using no longer supported leading to an increasing risk of data loss, the Club’s objective was to move to an out-of-the-box solution that would offer them increased stability and security. The Club was also keen to free up time spent by its team members on lengthy manual processes and double entry of data, allowing them to focus on delivering a better experience for Club members.
The Camping and Caravanning Club carried out an intensive vendor selection process in September 2021, carrying out a business-wide discovery process and setting up a requirements matrix against which to score potential vendors. The Club carried out initial introductory calls with 16 vendors and narrowed this down to a shortlist of 5 suppliers which carried out pitch demonstrations to stakeholders from across the business in November 2021.
After reviewing the proposals, The Camping and Caravanning Club selected MRI Evolution (formerly FSI Concept Evolution)’s SaaS and mobile solution, as well as the Evolution GO digital workforce solution and the Reach self-service portal.
Rebecca Rea, Senior Digital Project Manager at The Camping and Caravanning Club, explained why the team made the decision to purchase MRI Evolution:
“We were looking for out-of-the-box functionality with as many configurable features as possible, so we could configure things differently for individuals without the need for bespoke development. We wanted to avoid developing bespoke systems instead of taking on an industry standard system, so out-of-the-box capabilities are important to our business.”
Julie Southorn, Projects Team Lead at The Camping and Caravanning Club, added: “Evolution stood out to us because of its ability to configure options to fit a diverse range of different user profiles and needs. Our site staff are recruited because they love the outdoor lifestyle and have the skills to ensure our campers have a great holiday, so the software needed to be quick and easy to learn and work with day-in, day-out.
The Club has varied and specialised areas, so we wanted a supplier who understood this. We were impressed that MRI tailored its pitch to the equipment we had on site.”
With a wide range of internal teams to migrate to the new system, each with varying requirements and varying levels of data quality in their current systems, The Camping and Caravanning Club worked with MRI’s consultants to plan an implementation strategy that would take advantage of quick wins whilst working around the seasonal trends of the business, avoiding major change during busy periods. To do this they ran several scoping workshops to review the Club’s requirements, as well as configuration sessions to collaborate on the best way to configure the system to meet individual needs.
The team selected the Club’s property and development department for a pilot project, rolling out Evolution across 7 sites and a small number of contractors and Evolution GO users.
“Going from Access databases into a tried and tested system like Evolution, there’s a lot of work and data input required”, explained Julie. “We wanted to get something in place as soon as possible with minimum data processing on our side. We chose the property and development department to start with as their asset data was in a more ready state.
“The initial setup process was really positive, and testing went well. People here are passionate about the work they do and want it to work the way it needs to, so the team were very engaged. From scoping through config and development through to test took from February to May, so it was rapid.”
Training and support
As part of the implementation process, the Club received in-depth training and support from the Evolution team. “We ran a three-day foundation training course which had some really positive feedback, and we have takeaway documentation to help us keep current”, explained Julie. “The in-product search options are a fantastic resource for quick answers to how the system works”, added Rebecca.
The Club’s team also kept in regular contact with the MRI implementation team throughout the process.
“From beginning to end we had checkpoint calls both internally and with the MRI team, and we caught up weekly even if there weren’t any pressing issues to discuss”, said Julie. “Often when we raised issues they were able to change things as we were talking, so the turnaround was very quick on resolving matters.”
Increased efficiency and ease of use
The pilot project ran through May and June, and received positive feedback from sites and contractors alike. With a more streamlined and user-friendly process, the teams are looking forward to rolling their upgraded processes out across the entire organisation.
“The pilot project went really well, and feedback was positive”, said Julie. “Having a single process to raise tickets has been a big time saver, and our site teams appreciate they can just log in and see the status of their tickets rather than chasing via email. We’ve already seen the ease of use across our sites, and once they’re using it for everything the benefits will be even greater. We’re keen to roll out to the rest of the campsite network.”
After the positive impact of their initial investment into MRI Evolution, The Camping and Caravanning Club has signed up to a 2-year recurring services deal to continue the development of their implementation.
Julie explained “We are going to work on product strategy within the business and build for the future. We have big plans for Evolution – firstly, focussing on operational assets, and then looking to our head office and what assets we could include in the system from there.”
Louise Gregory, Senior Account Manager at MRI Software, said: “Everybody at the MRI team has really enjoyed working with The Camping and Caravanning Club. Having such an easy transition has been a breath of fresh air, and teamwork and collaboration are key to that. We’re delighted that the Club has invested in a recurring services deal. A product like ours really benefits from longer-term investment so it’s good to have that commitment to continuing to keep up with the technology.”
Looking to streamline and modernise your FM solutions? Talk to our team today about how MRI Evolution could work for your organisation.