Scheduling sporting events for 90,000 students, their parents, & community with Tandem
Athletics play a major role in our community. Our gate receipts and revenue from high school football is what allows us to run as a department and has the most spectators show up.
We offer comprehensive interscholastic athletics at our 13 high schools. We have 13 public high schools here in town. Then, we offer middle school athletics to 3 sports at 27 middle schools in our school district.
Before we started using Tandem, it was very Neanderthal and lots of paper and pencil and hard copy drafts, followed by revisions, followed by more revisions, lots of faxing back and forth of schedule changes or cancellations, and really a massive amount of paperwork involved when you talk about all the entities that need to get a schedule change out there. Changing one game time would require 4 or 5 faxes, or 4 or 5 phone calls, and consume a great amount of time.
We needed to figure out a way that we could get out of notebooks of paper and creating schedules and doing that kind of thing. When you get to the size that our district is and you're putting together a football schedule for 13 varsity football programs and 13 JV programs and 13 freshman programs, to build that schedule is quite a daunting task. Tandem allows us to get our massive schedules out to the public and those people involved.
Before Tandem, going back and changing mistakes or making edits involved a lot of work and a lot of time. Now we're able to input some information and make a change almost instantaneously and, in turn, get that change out to everybody that needs to know about it.
Before Tandem, I would always have to be at the office or be able to get a hold of somebody at the office if a change or a cancellation needed to take place. Tandem has freed me up to where if something happens now at a 4:00pm varsity game and I'm somewhere else in town, I can change it right on my iPhone and get all of that information out to everybody that needs to get it. So, it's saved me a ton of time and has allowed me to focus on other aspects of my job, other than managing and updating an athletic schedule.
Before Tandem I was making copies for an athletic director's meeting, handing them a hard copy and telling them, this is draft 1, you'll be getting a revision in 3 weeks, and then you'll get the final football schedule August 15th. Now we've completely cut that out. We don't give any of our athletic directors or any of our head coaches a hard paper copy of any schedule. Now everyone can log in to Tandem and look at schedules that have been created specifically for their needs.
The communication features of Tandem are why we continue to use it and why we signed up for another 5 years and plan on using it long into the future. It's really cut down a lot of wasted time on our end. When you talk about having to make phone calls to people to tell them, "Hey, a game got changed from 4:30 to 5:30," and letting bus companies know, and letting head coaches know, and letting officials know. Now we have this tool in place that we can make the change and they will all get that information in a very timely manner.
The phrase I would use to describe Tandem is, "Awesome". It's very cool. I've gotten to the point where I have subscribed to the calendar so I can follow it on my iPhone. I get instant updates. It's one of those tools out there that keeps me on top of exactly what's going on in my world and really the thing that I trust and follow, even more than what's on my desk in front of me written down on a sheet of paper. It's become our stone tablet. It is the last word in athletic event schedules. If somebody has something out there written down that says a game starts at 4:30, but the Tandem calendar says it starts at 5:30, everyone knows that the last word and the law is the online Tandem calendar.
I think anyone that has a basic background in using a computer, will find Tandem very easy and simple. The feedback from parents has been very positive in the fact that they have one place that they can go to see a schedule or to figure out what's going on in their son or daughter's athletic life. Everything from, "Oh, it's awesome that I don't have to rely on my son telling me that the game was changed from Tuesday to Wednesday and I'm not showing up for an event that's not going to happen." It's all been very, very positive. They can track and get updates, it's all in one easy to get to site, it's linked to our website, etc. Everybody that has talked about it has been extremely positive and excited about it.
Tandem allows me to start creating schedules earlier in the year. I'm able to get out to the facilities and be at events and actually manage them, as opposed to being in the office waiting for a phone call because officials didn't show up and having to cancel a game and send out all that paperwork. It's allowed me to not be tied to a desk chair or handcuffed to the phone.
I have an iPhone that I create schedules, make cancellations, and edit events from. Driving in my car, pulling over on the side of the road and being able to edit something has made my life so much nicer and easier. It's unbelievable.
Tandem is extremely easy to use. I haven't had a problem with trying to figure out what I'm doing. It's very user-friendly. It has reduced the amount of time and work that I have to put into managing a schedule. That time I've saved is unbelievable.
The support team has been so helpful in trying to make Tandem the best thing for us.
Tandem has become an integral part of our department. I check the calendar every day. I subscribe to it on my smart phone. It's one of those things that keeps me in tune to what's going on. It’s an unbelievable piece of technology. I know, even from our standpoint, we're not using two-thirds of what's actually there that could be used, but it's just made the operation of creating and managing schedules and events in our office just extremely easy and efficient and something that's not a pain in the butt to do anymore.