encouraging people to do their duties
encouraging people to do their duties
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Dell Quay Sailing Club Case Study

It's all change for the better at Dell Quay Sailing Club since the switch to DutyMan

Looking at the tranquil waters of Fishbourne Channel today it is hard to imagine that in Roman times this was a major commercial waterway, its banks dotted with industry. Or that as recently as the 17th and 18th centuries Dell Quay was one of the most important ports in the country.

Today Dell Quay Sailing Club nestles peacefully on the eponymous jetty but, in the absence of Roman slaves or paid stevedores, the club's Flag Officers have their own man-management challenges – encouraging members to turn up and do their race management and patrol boat duties.

At Dell Quay a combination of factors, common to many clubs, led to a new approach to duty roster management.

Founded in 1925 and set in one of Chichester Harbour's most picturesque locations, Dell Quay Sailing Club enjoys spectacular views and members participate in a wide variety of on-the-water activities in the harbour's 22 square miles of water - as well as in the Solent and beyond.

Catering for all types of sailing enthusiast, the club currently boasts some 760 members, including many families and couples.

“Don't know what we'd do without it”

Commodore John Nash takes up the story. “Our duty roster management was all done by hand on bits of paper. It turned into quite a complex process and a lot for our duty co-ordinator to manage properly.”

When the post changed hands a couple took on the role. “They found out about DutyMan and introduced it to the club. It was quite groundbreaking for members at the time. They were more familiar dealing with printed lists and not a little disorganisation.”

Dell Quay was among the first sailing clubs to try DutyMan in February 2006 and has never looked back. In the words of John Nash “I don't know what we'd do without it now.”

Resistance - then benefits

Initially there was some resistance. “In the early days there was a lot of doubt among members but we persisted and early benefits of DutyMan soon began to flow,” John adds.

“For example, duty rosters were printed in our Year Book but, not everyone renewed their membership and with new members coming on board during the year, the duty rosters information was quickly out of date. At the same time members were swapping duties with the result that nobody really knew who was going to turn up on the day. All this changed with our use of DutyMan.”

The pre-DutyMan days were stressful for the duty roster co-ordinator, but great news for his phone provider. “With the old system, he received phone calls from members who had been allocated a duty, saying they couldn’t do it. He then had to phone around to see who could. But now, thanks to DutyMan, nearly all swaps are arranged online by members themselves.”

“Always accurate, saves time”

John says “DutyMan is great. Why? Because it’s always accurate, saves time, doesn't lead to stress and piles of paper, and is always in place and working with minimal human intervention. It has given us a process that is successful for us regardless of who is in charge of duties.”

“And, like most computer programs, it delivers order and imposes a discipline without upsetting people. More and more members are at ease with these aspects of computers, which can only be good for the club.”

Automatic reminders

A key feature of DutyMan – and often the most popular with duty co-ordinators - is that it sends reminder emails to members automatically. “That is great because it saves us a lot of time and is another load taken off our shoulders,” says John.

Already, over 90% of the membership have email, “and this percentage can only increase with time”, John adds.


John describes DutyMan as “brilliant– I can’t praise it enough. It's a perfect system for a sailing club, enabling it to handle duties with minimum effort and the greatest degree of accuracy.”

Further information about Dell Quay SC can be found at www.dellquaysc.co.uk  External link

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Covid-19: How DutyMan Can Help

Free use for charities and volunteer groups

Many charities, health departments and medical practices have found that DutyMan works well for organising volunteers and duty rotas. If you are part of, or know of, a group helping out during the coronavirus pandemic and who need a quick and easy way to marshal volunteers then they can start using DutyMan straightaway with a free trial. Trials are nominally for 90 days but we promise to extend them indefinitely for free to support people involved in Covid-19 response.

Payment Holiday

We appreciate that some of our customers will suffer financially in the coming months so our message is simpleif you can't pay your subscription right now, just don't We won’t turn anybody off and we’ll sort it out in an amicable way when this is all over.

Member Communication

It is now particularly important to get information to your members quickly and electronically. The DutyMan Mailer can be really useful so we have now made it available to all free of charge during this shutdown period. Enable it at >Set Up >Additional Features. If you need help with setting it up do get in touch.

Also Events & Duties Manager has a quick way to cancel an event and automatically advise those on duty.

How you can help us

If you are not running events right now please don't send duty reminders! You can delete or cancel the event or stop sending reminders altogether. That will free up capacity for more essential emails.

If you need to get in touch please email support@dutyman.biz rather than phone. Emails provide a written record and enable us to work more efficiently.

And finally, we expect the DutyMan service itself to be unaffected by Covid-19.

Thank you and do stay safe and well.
The DutyMan Team