Customer Story - Island Cruising New Zealand & Down Under Rally
Who Are Island Cruising & Down Under Rally?
Island Cruising was founded in the 1980’s to help sailing enthusiasts sail to different parts of the South Pacific, including Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu and between New Zealand and Australia. The company trains and teaches sailors how to cross the ocean safely and then leads tours or rallies of yachts to the South Pacific Islands. Their goals are to increase the skill and knowledge of sailors and increase sailing tourism to the South Pacific Islands and New Zealand.
In 2021, Viki Moore bought Island Cruising and took over running its day-to-day operations using their existing membership system.
In 2023, Viki had the opportunity to expand Island Cruising by purchasing Down Under Rally. This Australian business did much the same thing as Island Cruising but was based in Australia rather than New Zealand. The two businesses had worked closely over the past few years, and combining them into one business made sense. While buying and merging the businesses, Viki was introduced to the system that Down Under Rally was using to help manage their business and members, Member Jungle.
What Problems Were Island Cruising Having Before Member Jungle
Viki inherited the old website and management system that Island Cruising used when she purchased the business. While it worked fine for them, she found it too much of a manual, time-consuming process.
Viki Moore explains, "As we grew quite considerably throughout the first two years, I found that I was spending a lot of time manually processing members sending out invoices and then adding them to various mailing lists and checking that their payments and things had come through and I realised I needed more of an automated process to help streamline things because I'm a one-man band. So I need to be able to automate some of my systems and processes."
Why Did Island Cruising Decide To Use Member Jungle?
At this stage, Island Cruising and Down Under Rally were combining to become one business, but they were using two different systems. The real question here is why Island Cruising chose to move to Member Jungle rather than Down Under Rally moving to the system Island Cruising was using.
"I originally asked my current provider back a few months ago to see whether they were able to improve the existing website. I was kind of resistant to change because I realised it was going to be a big amount of work to transfer all of the resources and things over to Member Jungle. But it was going to be quite a lot of effort for them to be able to modify their system to be able to do what it was that I was asking them to do."
So, while purchasing Down Under Rally, she looked at their Member Jungle system and spoke to John Hembrow, Down Under Rally's previous owner, about his experience using Member Jungle.
"The Member Jungle platform really just had a lot of the systems that I wanted already built in. I was talking to John when I was doing the Down Under Rally purchase. John had done quite a lot of research himself going through the process when he set up his page, so I didn't spend too much time shopping around. He had already done a lot of that work for me, and what he showed me, I thought, looked really, really good. So I thought I'm just gonna go straight away with Member Jungle," Viki said.
What Changed After Island Cruising Implemented Member Jungle
Island Cruising has only been using the Member Jungle system for a few months. It is still very much in the process of combining Down Under Rally and Island Cruising. So, I asked Viki about her experience with setting up the Member Jungle site and how using the system is going so far.
Viki said, "It has been a bit of work getting everything changed over, but I was really impressed with the support that Renee gave me, and I'm pleased that I paid the extra (for the accelerator) to have her help me get things set up from the outset the way that I wanted it,"
"Processing memberships and new sign-ups and renewals have been a lot easier for me in terms of not having to manually reconcile transactions on the bank statement because people just pay automatically by credit card, which is a huge time-saver. Just changing emails to be in the one place being sent from Member Jungle, so I don't have to add people to different places or update different databases and things and have it all in one spot. It's definitely already saved me quite a bit of time for sure."
Viki has also found that the Member Jungle online shop has been a great new feature for her to be able to promote and on-sell some of the great products her partner businesses provide. Viki believes it will be very useful to her Members in the future.
"I'm quite enjoying getting some things set up through the online shop and working my way through how that might work going forward because I sell items on behalf of other businesses like cruising guides and training resources. So I'm looking forward to promoting down the line, "Viki explained.
Viki has also found the documents library to be a super helpful feature that is really helping her organise which members can see and get which training documents. Something particularly useful as not only do her members span across several countries, but are constantly travelling between them.
Viki said this when asked if she would recommend the Member Jungle to other clubs and associations.
"I would say definitely give it a shot. It's been a positive process for me with the transition, and I've really enjoyed the help that I got, just sort of showing me the features and benefits and then Renee's support with getting everything set up that's been amazing."
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