Sutherland Shire Apps Logo
CASE STUDY : A Martial Arts School
(Southern Cross Jiu-Jitsu Academy)

We need to start this case study with a disclaimer … Southern Cross Jiu-Jitsu Academy (SCJJA) and Sutherland Shire Apps not only share the same building in Caringbah … but are both businesses run by Rodney Ellis. Most people who visit 1A / 2 Resolution Drive know him as the 11th Australian graded to black belt in BJJ … but ... he has always worked full-time in the IT industry and is a Microsoft Certified Professional and Solutions Associate & Expert in designing and building databases!

Given his unique skills, it made SCJJA the perfect first customer for his new business Sutherland Shire Apps!

Problem 1 - Class Check-In and Fee Collection! $$$

The first problem Rodney wanted to tackle was getting members to check into classes themselves … which would eliminate the need for the instructor leave the mat, go to the reception computer and then read the often illegible names from the sign-in sheet and enter them in one-by-one into the gym system.

To solve this problem, SS Apps created an App with two different modes. One for the members to download to their phone and one for a tablet to live at reception.

Now when the customers of SCJJA arrive, their either pull out their smart-phones and “check-in” to the class they’re doing … or go to the table at reception and do it there. Either way, it’s quicker and comes with an even more important benefit …

Previously when a member was due to pay fees, it involved the person on reception duty to walk over to that member (often after the class had started and was in progress) and ask them to pay. Now however, it alerts the member immediately that their fees are due, and they cannot enrol into the class!

Problem 2 - Member News

Sometimes news alerts need to be sent, and sent straight away. An example would be that it’s now 3.30pm and there is a class scheduled for 5pm … but the coach who was going to teach it just called in to say his car won’t start...! What to do?

  • You could go through all the members who normally do that class and ring them, but this is time consuming ...
  • You could sms them … but again this is either time-consuming or you need to pay a 3rd party provider and pay them on top of the cost of the actual sms ...
  • You could email them … but who reads all their emails these days? So much spam!

Here’s what we did … push notifications! Now when this happens, the on-duty manager brings up all the members due for that class on the gym computer. Then the manager drafts a message to those members with the important message and sends it as a push notification to those members who have installed the app.

Then … to double check ensure we don’t waste members’ time … the manager is then brings up another screen to see which members have seen the message! This allows the manager to then give it a bit of time and then follow up with a phone call or sms!

Best of all … this is virtually free! *

Problem 3 - Entering of the Blue Form!

At SCJJA the blue form is the name given to the form that all new members complete upon induction. It’s not major, just collects their name, address, email, phone and emergency contact details … along with a couple of paragraphs of legal jargon explaining insurance etc … (SCJJA just happens to use blue paper for this so it’s easily identifiable … hence why it’s called the blue form).

But just like with the entering of the class enrolments, entering this data into the computer is a pain in the neck ... plus the handwriting of a lot of people isn’t exactly clear … sometimes we need to take it to the pharmacist!

So as part of the app on the tablet at reception, is a simple enrolment document. This means the member fills out the exact same “blue form” but on the tablet in lieu of the paper. It not only ensures that the data is entered quicker than if it had to be done later by staff … but also means there is less bad data entered and that the primary member is over the age of 18 years (something required for insurance).

This saves time … removes errors … and saves SCJJA staff from having to continually buy blue paper and print blank forms (saving a little bit of money in the process)!

Problem 4 - Members tracking their classes!

Compared to the others, this is more of a minor consideration for the gym, but the members like it.

On the app, the members are able to see how many classes they’ve done, and get breakdowns of the class types. For example, they can select a date range and then view how many classes they’ve done in that range, broken down by class type (assuming the member does different types of classes).

When we wrote this, it was done more for us to test writing some graphs … but the members really like it so we’ll probably do some further development so as to aide the members compete with each other to get more classes! (Let’s not forget that the more classes the members do, the more money the club makes)

* Push notifications are sent via google’s firebase service, and fees are chargeable after a certain threshold.