Late last year our partnership with British Weight Lifting saw the launch of the BARS Platform; the governing body’s membership, events, results and administration system. One of the aims of this project was to see the governing body become the UK’s first paperless NGB, and just a few months in to this journey, British Weight Lifting are already taking significant strides towards that goal.
The BARS Platform has transformed a number of British Weight Lifting’s operations by allowing members to create an account in BARS, from which they can purchase memberships, enter competitions and courses, buy coach and technical official licences, sanction events and access results and rankings. In the process, BARS has enabled the NGB to simultaneously improve levels of engage with members, give them greater control over their affiliation with the sport and introduce paperless systems that streamline back office processes which consumed a lot of staff time.
If someone wants to buy a British Weight Lifting membership now, they no longer have to fill out a form, wait for the information to be processed and then for a membership pack to come in the post. Members simply fill out a sign up form on the BARS Platform, pay for their membership online and then receive their membership information by email along with printable and digital versions of their membership card. The digital, or e-membership card can then be added to the wallet app on their Apple of Android smartphone.
David Gent, British Weight Lifting’s Development Director explains that by automating the membership registration process, the NGB has been able to save significant time and money:
“With just the membership process, and aside from the obvious green benefits, the BARS Platform has delivered on a variety of levels. By having an entirely paperless process, membership registrations can be done within minutes rather than days. The member experience is significantly improved because all members have to do is sign up online, pay their fees and they will have their membership information almost instantly. On top of this, it has allowed our team to spend more time on development projects rather than processing and posting membership packs. We’ve also calculated that we will be saving the NGBs thousands every year in printing costs, membership card production and postage.”
Similar online processes have been put in place for club affiliations, event entries, coaching courses, coach and technical official licences, and event sanctioning. An incredibly valuable by-product of doing so, has been that the NGB can access data linked to participation, performance and finance. All of this data is used as intelligence to further improve the level of service provided to members and accelerate the growth of weightlifting in the UK.
In the coming months, British Weight Lifting has plans to introduce more operational areas of the BARS Platform and we will be supporting them all the way to that goal of becoming a paperless organisation.