In summer 2018, Piota welcomed new customer Bristol City Academy football club. We developed a football club app , available on Apple and Android, with the aim of reducing staff time spent on admin whilst also improving parent experience.
Bristol City Academy background
Bristol City FC Academy has 120 players from U9s to U18s. Communication with families and carers was absorbing a great deal of academy staff time and yet was not working smoothly. Fixture lists, team sheet information, contacts details and more were all e-mailed out to parents. Parents then tended to email or text questions directly to coaches and admin staff members. Each message required an individual reply and often needed to be forwarded internally too. The workload kept escalating.
A football club app to save time and improve communication
With experience of creating school apps for several years, Piota knew the improvements that the Academy wanted were possible. A mobile app from Piota would create a readily accessible central information store and communication tool. After an initial development period, the Academy tested the football club app at the start of the season and launched fully in October. By the start of December, there were 350 downloads of the app and time saving and parent experience objectives had been met.
“The app has transformed everything we do. We hardly get any emails now. By 10:30am on a Friday (team sheet day) I used to have 30 emails already. Asking which team my child is in, what’s the fixture postcode, when is the squad being emailed and so on; now I have less than 5. We have told the parents we will put the squads and match details on the app by 12 noon on a Friday. Even if they miss the notification when it goes out, now they can immediately check the answer without having to ask us.” Emma Jolliffe, Operations Manager
Data capture and analysis much easier
The app also brought another unexpected benefit for the Academy – data collection and analysis. The academy knew that in the two months since launch, there had been 139 absences from training reported via the app. They also had greater insight into absence reasons, which hadn’t previously been able to be recorded.
“The absence form is the best thing for me. We now have much better data about why players are absent. We can use that positively whether it’s a welfare matter or by adjusting our bus routes to help those players with transport difficulties. Before when a parent text their coach about an absence the coach might forget to relay that to the bus driver. He would then wait 20 minutes for the player to not turn up! Now we simply email the spreadsheet of absences straight from the app to the drivers so they know the exact situation.” Operations Assistant, Niamh Brown
The football club app gets a big thumbs up from staff, but what about the reaction from parents?
Parent feedback has also been very positive and centres around how it makes their lives easier
“This App is awesome. It simplifies things”
“Loving the new way of uploading squads… so much easier to see.”
Parents already had access to PMA and Hudl for match videos and analysis but the football club app from Piota fills in the everyday communications gap. It makes all the training and fixture schedules, team sheets, change-of-plan updates and safeguarding information instantly accessible on their phones. Upload articles and send reminders or alerts using push notifications targeted to each squad or even to individuals.
Piota Apps – solving parent communication issues and saving time
We are always really pleased to hear positive feedback from our customers. At Bristol FC Academy, we’ve helped to solve a problem, improve internal efficiency and provide a better experience for parents and coaches alike.
“It has a professional look, is simple to use and the app is secure and GDPR compliant. The service from Piota has been quick and efficient. They have visited us twice, updated the design of the app when requested without extra charges and provide clear detailed email replies to questions. We may extend the app to internal staff communications as well next year. But the reason we got it was to solve parents communications and save our time and it absolutely does that!” Emma Jolliffe, Operations Manager
If you would like to discuss how a Piota app could help your sports club streamline communication and become more efficient, please do get in touch. Use our online form or contact James Dickson directly on 07726 224 060.