Supervisor of Operations Purdue University
What were some of the first things that caught your attention about Teamworks?
For me, coming in, it was nice, because I could obviously use it to send mass team correspondences, and really expedite the communication process within our program. As good as things were, we have a team that is larger than any team on campus and probably a third of the staff. For somebody in my role who was learning the operations of a major Division 1 program, it certainly helped me schedule practices and make sure everyone was receiving itineraries and team meeting emails.
Without a doubt, it has made our time spent in the office much more efficient in being able to send mass communications, since everyone’s contact information was already integrated into the Teamworks database. It certainly had an immediate impact compared to smaller programs I had previously used. Putting together text chains and typing everyone’s email addresses into a group email takes time. Teamworks has now made this operation much more efficient.
Outside of communication, how have you used Teamworks in your day-to-day operations?
First, logging CARA hours and running an hour count of each event area is really helpful for a sport like Track & Field where we have so many different event areas and so many different practice times and groups. It was nice to be able to consolidate everything into one calendar and know who is practicing at what time and at what facility.
On the larger scale, having our entire athletic department on one page about what team is going to use which athletic facility at which time is huge. We’ll have basketball or volleyball or cheerleading or softball contact the appropriate person to ask to use our facility. They will come to me and say “I see you have this facility at this time, can we get in there at this time?” We can make arrangements for them to use our facility as opposed to potentially double-booking our facility, and having issues that way especially when Track & Field is out of season. I think in that regard Teamworks has made things much more effective in communication throughout our athletic department.
I would say, personally, the biggest value, last year, was when we were on the road. To be able to mass update the group to say “we are leaving at this time” rather than the time we originally set on the itinerary is indispensible. Again, when you’re travelling with 78 people and you make one schedule change, you have a lot of people you need to get in contact with and with Teamworks, you can do it immediately. I’m able to send out a PDF or a group text from the app updating our shuttle times or our dinner itinerary. I think that was the biggest stress reliever: to be able to open your phone up and send out a text when you don’t have your laptop right in front of you. Nothing slips through the gaps.
How have the athletes responded to Teamworks?
I know that they really enjoy the fact that we can send out team messages, especially via text, because there are athletes who will never open their e-mails no matter how much you harp on them, but they will look at their phones 100 times a day. We know that the messages are getting through and they are not going to be missing meetings or practices due to a lack of communication.
How has the staff responded to Teamworks?
I think very positively because it keeps everybody integrated and on the same page. When I send out an itinerary, Sports Medicine gets it, Compliance gets it, and our secretary gets it, so everybody knows what’s going on and there is not a moment where the Administration needs to know where we are. They can look in and see what our itinerary says.
I would say it has kept everyone in the know throughout the department and cleared communication among staff. If Coach Greene needs to change up his practice time, that might effect what time the trainers need to be out there, so we send out a message and everybody is informed immediately. We don’t have to worry about if everybody received the message because we can go in the app and see if they opened the message.
Coming from smaller programs to where I am now is day-and-night different in terms of communication. You try to get everything in one email and get it out as early as possible just to hope everyone sees it in time. Teamworks allows you to message whole groups immediately and know that everybody gets the message. Teamworks also gives you the ability to set up reminders on the athletes’ calendars, which is super important when you have 130 athletes and a full staff to worry about.
How would you rate the implementation, training, and overall customer service at Teamworks?
Definitely a 10! There were several times last year when I needed a form change or needed a more effective way of pulling in massive amounts of information and I was able to call the Teamworks staff. Within 30 minutes, I had all of my questions answered and could recreate an entire form that made it efficient and effective to get all of that information I needed. When you consider the man-hours it would take to accomplish that with pen and paper forms, you are talking at least a week’s worth of work with that many athletes. That changed the game for us.
What would you say to a program that hasn’t heard of Teamworks?
It is definitely worth exploring, especially for a sport like Track & Field where you have so many facets that you have to keep organized. It is one of the few sports that you have so many different areas within a program that collectively form one program. The throws, the jumps, the hurdles, the long distance, the middle distance, and they all might have their own event coach and their own practice times. They may not be able to sit down daily and get on the same page with everything, but we know when it comes down to competing we are all on the same page and organized. It is definitely worth exploring for any program just to make communication effective and efficient so the program can be focused on performance.