Bryan Furgusson300pxAs time goes by my enthusiasm for the role as President hasn’t changed. I have met and continue to meet great people as I travel around the country attending various meetings and functions. On the whole clubs seem to be in good spirits although I acknowledge this year has been tougher than previous years.

Our new manager in the South Island Keith Ballantyne who started with us mid-September will make a difference. Nothing beats having people on the ground helping with day to day issues in clubs and Keith’s experience will help as has Dave’s continues to do in the North. At the time of writing this Keith is travelling the South visiting member clubs so I am looking forward to getting an update on the health of our member clubs down there.

Keith’s employment compliments the National Office and coupled with Dave’s work plays a crucial role in fulfilling the strategies identified by the Board to assist in future proofing our business. Member expectations are always at the forefront for the Board and National Office team, which leads me to another important strategy involving our commitment to keeping pace with technology. Staying with what we have done for the last 15 years is not good enough and it would be irresponsible if we didn’t look for new and innovative ways to be better.

Technology creates the best opportunity for Clubs to provide a range of value-added services for their members. Developing this in a national way will provide extraordinary opportunities. No doubt nationally we are and can be a powerful force.

There are many possible national technology-led products and services, which can improve the cost efficiencies, increase productivity, and provide innovation to clubs. They include items such as access to discounted power and energy products, broadband internet, a human resources management system, future opportunities such as online committee training courses the list is endless. All of which the National Office Team are working on to not only provide income to clubs but to achieve compliance and recognition from the regulators of our law.

There are a few obvious non-financial benefits associated with developing and delivering nation-wide services, these include important legislative matters such as establishing consistency when it comes to minimising gambling harm, building a best practice governance/committee regime, enhancing capabilities in club committee’s and creating genuine national partnerships with corporate and community partners.

Most of all there are significant financial benefits that come from leveraging the scale of the national club industry, both in delivering cost savings to clubs and generating opportunities for new revenue. All these are part of the thinking and I feel excited about what’s ahead.

I am looking forward to catching up with the managers at their conference at the Mount Maunganui Club later in November and I understand our conference and expo in Wanganui next March is also on track. Keep an eye out for further information on our website for both key events.

I think it unwise to discuss politics in this column but my message has never changed, keep close to your local and central political people as the uninformed have the ability to change the face of our industry with the stroke of a pen.