— Brookfield P&R — Brookfield P&R — Brookfield P&R

— Brookfield P&R

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How Brookfield’s Parks & Recreation Use SmartRec to Save Hours of Staff Time

~42,000 Population

6,500+ Participants

42 Locations

“I can't say enough about the automated waitlists. All I have to do is go into the system, change the number of spots, adjust the wait list parameters, and send it out. It’s unbelievable how much time that saves. I would hate to ever not have that again. It’s such a great time saver.”
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Lisa Glenn Recreation Supervisor
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With Amilia SmartRec, the City of Brookfield’s Parks & Recreation department provides fast and personalized communications, easy check-ins, and online self-service to their residents with a modernized experience.

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An Outdated System, An Outdated Experience

After experiencing a rise in issues with their Parks & Recreation Management Software provider of 20 years, the City of Brookfield, Wisconsin knew it was time to consider other options. The software wasn’t keeping pace with their community’s expectations. Rather than enjoying a convenient, modern, and personal experience with them, people had to jump through hoops to prove their residency, dig for their physical membership cards in their pool bags, and wait to hear about cancellations or open spots until staff could call them.

They needed a straightforward system that was user-friendly for staff and customers. Lisa Glenn, Recreation Supervisor, explained that in their old system, they had to assign codes and numbers to programs, so that instead of signing up for swimming lessons on June 12 at 9 am, people had to tell them, “I want to sign up for 132-4.”

Then, there were the technical problems. Whenever she’d call customer support, it was hard to get a hold of someone who knew the answer. One summer, Lisa was experiencing so many point-of-sale issues at the Aquatic Center that she had to resort to giving her 15-year-old employees a calculator and a cash box, a less than ideal outcome considering the risks of handling cash in front of members.

Finding a Forward-Thinking Partner

Even with the problems, changing systems felt like quite the project, as Lisa expressed: “It was scary, because it’s a lot of work.”

Brookfield gave their incumbent provider a chance to pitch to them as if they were selling to a completely new customer, but in the end, the city chose Amilia’s SmartRec’s Recreation Management platform. Lisa emphasized how forward-thinking Amilia showed itself to be, noticing that “it seemed like there were a lot of plans to make things even better.” Amilia’s team partnered with them to talk through desired features, why they’d work or not, or explained what was on the roadmap to meet those needs.

While Brookfield did have to put in effort to transition their system away from the old provider, Lisa says it was worth it. SmartRec is easy to understand and “looks and acts just like other websites.” This has even made it attractive for any community members who are hesitant about getting online, and they’ve even told Lisa, “Oh, it was easy!”

A Modern Software Experience for Staff and the Community

Life with Amilia’s SmartRec is faster, easier, and modern. Lisa’s team saves countless hours on program management while community members are getting the personalized and effortless experience they expect.

Whenever Lisa needs customer support, the Amilia team is just a phone call away. But often, Lisa starts with Amilia University and the knowledgebase because she knows she’ll find guidance there. She appreciates that she can always go back if she’s not sure or has forgotten how to do something. When she does talk to customer support, she never feels like she’s left hanging: “I always feel like someone’s working on it or going to get back to me with a status update or a resolution.”

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Saving Hours on Program Management

It wasn’t until they’d switched to Amilia SmartRec that Lisa realized how much time they could have been saving through automation or simply turning things over to people to self-service. Her favorite SmartRec feature is the automated waitlist. “We spent so much time calling people on waitlists before that. Literally, that’s all some staff would be doing, all the time.” When she’s doing daily program management, like adding spots to swim lessons, she just has to log in, change the number, adjust the wait list parameters, and send out the update.

“It’s unbelievable how much time that saves,” said Lisa. “I would hate to ever not have that again.” Now, instead of having to tell busy moms to come in between 8 am and 5 pm to get a spot for their child, she can use automation to let them know an open spot is available.

During their busy summer pool season, people can quickly manage their own pool memberships in the platform, which also saves office staff time since people can self-serve by providing key personal information – such as adding their own picture to their pass – themselves.

An added bonus: Brookfield is also using SmartRec to raise funds for a park in need of updates, and it’s been easy to implement and made donating more accessible when people don’t have cash on hand.

Meeting Community Expectations

Their constituents have quickly adopted SmartRec and find it easy to use. Lisa attributes this to SmartRec’s user-friendly and similar setup to other websites. “There’s not a lot of guesswork on how it works.”

Another convenience they’ve added for the community is getting membership passes onto phones. People love this. Lisa explains, “The last thing moms with a stroller and all their stuff want to do is fumble to find five or six membership cards. But everyone knows where their phone is.” And Lisa loves it too. “It makes us feel so much more up to date and not so antiquated.”

And thanks to SmartRec’s integration with Constant Contact, they can now meet rising expectations around communication. Whether it’s broad or pinpointed, they can share timely, fast information in a way they couldn’t before. When they had a blizzard, they were able to quickly let specific groups know about cancellations. “It’s put us in a way better position to share information,” says Lisa.

Even the senior population is getting excited about using Amilia. They want help setting up their accounts, but once they’re in it, it’s intuitive. Lisa knows they have options for making check-in even easier for this group in the future.

If you are interested to learn how SmartRec could help you and your organization succeed like it helped Brookfield P&R, just reach out to our team. We would be happy to discuss it with you!