Club management software experiences a surge in innovation in 2021: Northstar leading the way

Club management software experiences a surge in innovation in 2021: Northstar leading the way

Club management software experiences a surge in innovation in 2021: Northstar leading the way Content

By Srishti Singh

If you think you have an idea of everything club management software can do, it’s time to take another look. Over the past year, advancements have brought new functionality as well as innovations to existing abilities.

Some of the developments were quick responses to clubs’ needs that were precipitated by the COVID-19 virus. “Grab ‘N Go has been a hit among our members. Within 48 hours of coming up with the need for takeout during COVID, Northstar had the system in place and ready to go,” said Scott Kolb, General Manager of Victoria Golf Club.

But that’s just part of the story. Other advancements arose as well. “In addition to the new offerings, our team deployed a number of high-value upgrades to existing functionality to help improve the member experience while helping clubs streamline operations,” said Prasad Suryadevara, Northstar's Founder and CEO.

Here’s a look at the progress our club management software has made over the last year.

Cooking up tantalizing offerings in dining

Adoption of Grab ‘N Go grew for clubs as the realities of the pandemic set in. For Northstar, a continuous improvement approach ensured functionality was tuned to the demands of the time. It started with optimizing navigation to streamline the user experience. It also included adding new abilities such as allowing credit card payments through the app as well as the capability to allow ordering by the public.

Additionally, the offering saw improvements with how it worked with the Kitchen Display System (KDS). Load management was introduced into Grab ‘N Go, allowing the kitchen to restrict ordering based on load factors, helping to reduce the incidence of swamping the kitchen and dealing with members irate about delayed orders. An option was also added to allow members to pre-order for future dates.

The KDS incorporated these innovations, allowing the kitchen staff to see the full queue of orders – from the dining room and Grab ‘N Go. This helped to further improve the workflow, but also to enhance the member experience. For example, when Grab ‘N Go orders are ready for pickup, a message can automatically go out to the members’ app to notify them.

“Shadow Wood recently upgraded to Northstar 6.0 and brought in both the tableside tablets for the dining room, and the KDS screens for the kitchen Both systems have proven to be wonderful additions and have greatly sped up service, as well as accuracy during the order taking process,” said John St. John, Director of Food & Beverage at Shadow Wood Country Club

The value of these optimizations is magnified when you consider how the system can reduce the demands put on your team. In other words, the advancements can help clubs more efficiently manage through a time when hiring and retaining staff is particularly challenging.

Scoring new enhancements for golf

Golf everywhere saw a surge over the past year. For Northstar, upgrades to club management software helped mitigate the challenges of the extraordinary demand, all while improving the experience for both the members and the golf staff.

An upgraded booking engine helped drive the improvements which included new tools to help the golf staff control daily play. Of course, this connected with the members’ app which allowed them to see and book available times, and build their foursomes from a buddy list in the app. “The tee time app has been very well received by our members. It is easy to use and has made some significant enhancements to get the members on the course at the times they want and the people they want to play with,” remarked Ben Hay, General Manager at Crane Creek Country Club.


On top of it all, Golf Events functionality was built to help the golf staff manage tournaments.

Giving check-in the VIP treatment

Check-in was another area that rose to prime importance in the pandemic environment. Northstar responded by developing a front desk self-check-in solution. It allowed guests to scan the QR code on their app or use physical cards and fobs to check in themselves, dependents, and guests. The new technology tied to Northstar’s Access Control Box which triggered the opening of the door upon successful member validation.

But it didn’t stop there. The new development also gave clubs the ability to immediately post guest fees to the member’s bill upon automatic check-in.

Northstar also added upgraded functionality for those clubs needing room check-in. Upon booking, members receive a link for the room booking. The solution allows them to add guests, view bills, enter credit card information, and checkout. All from the app.

Sending a strong message with texting

Texting continues to be one of the most ubiquitous methods of communicating. Unfortunately, most members have to go outside a club app to use this preferred method of communication.

Northstar recognized that requiring the member to leave the club app to text was not optimal – for both the member and the club. As a result, texting was added as a new feature.

The addition reduces steps, making the experience less burdensome for members. For the clubs, it provides numerous benefits. For starters, it allows the club to send a message to a custom list of members based on demographics, interests, and literally hundreds of parameters stored in the member database. This enables precise targeting to deliver a highly relevant message. And since the texting functionality is connected to the database, creating highly personalized messages is simple.

The advancement also allows the club to send automated reminders for a dining or event reservation the member made. This reduces the need for a staff member to manually send notifications. And it helps reduce lost business due to no-shows.

Issuing the first-class functionality of vaccine passports

This year, the pandemic had many places considering the requirement of having visitors show proof of vaccination status.

Northstar saw this as an opportunity to bring value-added functionality to the club management software solution. Now members can take a picture of their vaccination cards from their phones and upload them to the app. Club staff receives notification that the card has been uploaded and they can review and approve. Once approved, the members receive a green (safe) shield on their profile. This green shield shows up in the system whenever the members check in, letting the staff know that they are vaccinated. The functionality even allows the staff to override the system if the member does not have the green shield but presents a vaccination card in person.

For members, the advancement delivers invaluable peace of mind, knowing that there are measures in place to enhance their safety. As Chief Technology Officer of Jonathan Club Chas Boyer added, “Northstar has really risen to the occasion for Jonathan Club by providing a streamlined way for our members to confirm their COVID-19 vaccination status. Members can simply leverage the Club Now app to snap a picture or upload a scanned file directly to their membership account.”

Continuing the never-ending pursuit of an exceptional member experience

Northstar continues to innovate to improve both the member experience and the club operations. The pandemic has created a unique challenge. But with it has come an equally unique opportunity to make the club experience more engaging, convenient and rewarding than ever before.

To get a more in-depth look at all the innovations of a complete club management software solution built on a single database, request a demo, of the Northstar system.