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Software Helps Clubs Keep Track

A research project supported by Technology New Zealand has enabled Clubmate Software Ltd, a small Auckland firm, to strengthen its competitive overseas markets.

Clubmate produces software that enables small, volunteer-run clubs and groups to take care of record-keeping, accounts and communications. When the company realised its software needed updating to compete overseas, it sought assistance from Technology New Zealand.

Technology New Zealand invests in research into new products, processes or services as part of the Government's plan to fashion a knowledge-based economy. Clubmate sought a dollar-for-dollar grant to help overhaul the program, which took a year to do.

"The software had fallen behind in the Microsoft Windows environment," says Clubmate's founder and managing director, Roger Thomas.

It has been adapted to work through Windows 2000, and Mr Thomas says it makes things simpler for club committees, secretaries and treasurers.

"We developed this originally for clubs such as Rotary, Lions and Toastmasters, and now it's used by sports clubs, associations and churches. "We saw an opportunity because some of the packages around had been developed for businesses only. Clubs that are run by part-time staff had difficulty adapting them - they were really not suited to the needs of clubs and groups."

Specifically, the new version enables better co-ordination of members by creating a database, and allows customised communications to members. "It used to be letters and mail-merges, but this program means clubs can do it all according to members' preferences - fax, email, merged letters, whatever."

The software also includes "integrated accounting specific to clubs because they're different from businesses," he says.
Although the program is used by New Zealand organisations, Clubmate sells mostly overseas, Mr Thomas says. "We're in 69 countries now, and we do 70 percent of our business in the United States."

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