Hippocrates.se has visited Uppsala Pony Club to find out how they experience the use of Hippocrates business system Academy for riding schools. - HippocratesHippocrates

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Hippocrates.se has visited Uppsala Pony Club to find out how they experience the use of Hippocrates business system Academy for riding schools.

May 27th, 2022 | By: Joakim Krassman

Gabriella Pernler - Operations Manager at Uppsala Pony Club

Tell us a bit about your business, how many horses and staff do you have at the moment?
We have 43 horses, half ponies and half big horses. We have just over 9 full time positions but there can be up to 25 people on the payroll if you include extra staff, hourly workers and temps.

What challenges did you face before the systems in terms of logistics and administration?
The challenges back then were largely time consuming. It took a lot of time to administer. We have about 850 members and just writing envelopes, folding paper and putting it in the mailbox every time you had to inform about the start of the term and such took a lot of time, of course. There was also a very large postage cost, we sent about 5000 letters a year.

There were a lot of challenges that maybe we didn't see as challenges when we were in it but that you think about now in retrospect.

Where did you get the information about Hippocrates business system?
We got it through Upplands riding school managers group during a meeting, it was another riding school that told us that they started using the system. At that time the system was quite new so we went over to their riding school to see when they were using the system. Soon after, we got started ourselves.

What made you decide to go ahead with Hippocrates Academy ?
We have looked at several other systems in the past but backed off as we didn't think they were good enough to give them a chance. There is so much work that needs to be done to change their practices and so we felt it was important to find just the right system. Once we saw Hippocrates 's system, it felt just right.

What features of the system do you use on a daily basis in your business?
There are quite a few! One is the messaging function, we always check which members have sent questions, there are a lot of people who do that. It might be messages that they can't sign up for something they want, then I can go in and check if there's something wrong registered on their student card and fix the problem. It could be that they want to let me know that they are ill and need to cancel their lesson. It could also be that they want to split their payment or other extra information.

Another feature I use on a daily basis is the one where you enter which horses the instructors can use, I do this every day so I can keep track of which horses are entered in the correct groups. Then I know that the right horses are getting walking time and being used.

I think the best features by far are the invoice run and the financial control, they make our business easier on a daily basis.

In what way do you feel that Hippocrates has facilitated your work?
On the one hand, we save a lot of time when it comes to closing. Previously, a huge amount of staff time was spent cancelling and booking pupils. Previously, this communication was done both by email and between riding lessons.

Something that is appreciated and facilitated both for us and for our members is the payment and invoicing part. It is so easy for members to keep track of their payments and they can always see what is pending. It's also incredibly convenient that everything is booked automatically, something we previously had to do manually. The systems do all this directly with each other, which is nice.

And it's also nice when you need to have quick contact. For example, now during Corona and there are new restrictions all the time, it's really helped to be able to send out notifications to all the groups with what's going on. With just a couple of keystrokes I can send out information to 850 people.

Who would you recommend to use the system?
Anyone really, because it's a very good and complete system that's easy to use. You don't need to feel that you need to know a lot about systems or computers, most people can use it. I myself am used to working with paper but I have not had any major problems learning all the functions or getting to grips with it.

Sometimes you can hear that some clubs think it is too expensive, with the service charge etc, but for me that money is earned immediately. On the one hand, we can use the time it used to take for our horses and on the other hand, the service is appreciated by our members. They can go in 24/7 and check their accounts to cancel lessons, book lessons and book extra rides.

The best part is that we can always go in and check to see if anyone is booking whether there are red days or anything else that means they can't be at the riding school to check emails.

So that service fee is easily earned on the system, no problem at all.

Can you see any measurable results in economy or time savings after you started using the system?
Absolutely, before I could start every day spending 1-2 hours answering emails and once you have answered an email you get a reply back. So before, you could email the same person 5-6 times a day before you got anywhere. We still use email but it's a completely different volume because our members can do so much themselves through the system.

Another measurable result of usage is our control over finances. You can see immediately how much money is expected to come in and how much will be invoiced next month. In addition, the mistakes that easily occur when you sit and handle money manually have completely disappeared. It's reassuring to know that the finances are so well controlled. Especially as a non-profit organisation, it's members' money we're working with, so it feels extra secure.

Erika Karlbom - Riding instructor at Uppsala Pony Club

How do you use the Academy system as a riding instructor?
Via our shared laptop we take attendance of the students and distribute horses. In the system we see if the students have reported absences and which horses we have available for each lesson and then we distribute them to the students.

Thanks to the system, we have a good overview of how much the horses go and which horses each student rides during a term.

Do you feel it is a challenge now compared to before you had a system
The only thing is that you need to have the computer running and you have time to fill it in. We do it between lessons so it has to be smooth for us, which it is with the system.

What are your activities like?
We have classes daily, from 15:30 to 21:30 in the evenings and on Saturdays classes start in the mornings. So it's busy with children and adult lessons on both ponies and big horses.

How do you use horse records in the system?
Each riding school horse has its own journal where we record health status, feed status, shoeing, vaccinations and all the things you might need to know. So it's always available to go in and look at when you need to.

Emil Sigstam - Riding instructor at Uppsala Pony Club

How do you think the system has helped you as a riding instructor?
It has made it super easy. When it comes to handing out horses to students, you can easily see who has booked off and who is present.

My favourite feature is the messaging function, where the pupil can let me know if they are not coming or give other information that is important for me as a riding teacher to know.

I think the system has been very smooth, it was already here at the riding club when I started my position so I don't have much to compare it to. But I can imagine that it is easier to sit at home and fill in the horses that have gone than to have to sit in the stable office on a Friday evening. It's super convenient that you can do things from wherever you are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od8NVEZ0Kdw&t=102s&ab_channel=Hippocrates.se.

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