Interview with Damien Vincent at MAC, Birmingham

Earlier this year we visited the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham and took the chance to catch up with their Head of Customer Services, Damien Vincent, to find out how they were finding their migration to Yesplan.  

The reasons for selecting Yesplan

We had to find something that was at least as efficient as our previous system without the restriction of users being locked out because we didn’t have enough licences. The Yesplan approach to licensing, where the whole organisation can access the system, has made a massive difference to the way we work. We used to have people locked out and then things would get forgotten or just put into their own spreadsheet. 


The approach to the implementation project 

We took quite a big decision, at the start of our implementation, to manually key all of the information into Yesplan, so that we were building the system around our business requirements. This was a risk as it took a lot of keying, but what we got from that was a very high level of understanding as to how the system fits together and how it can further benefit our business. It was during this process that we put together a project team to drive the project forward and we also engaged the wider team to make sure that all requirements were covered. I think this was an important step as it made sure everyone understood what we were trying to achieve and enabled them to have an input into the implementation process and beyond. 


Ongoing engagement 

We’ve made sure that we are able to keep the whole team engaged by developing our own tutorial videos. Obviously, you have a great Help section in Yesplan, but because it’s so configurable, we wanted to make sure that our team would be able to refer to a customised set of tutorials that contain information specific to us and how we work. 

We’ve developed an internal portal where the whole team can access our tutorials and can ask questions, which can be responded to by the project team, or referred back to Yesplan if we don’t know the answer. We’re going to start running quarterly workshops internally so that we can keep the discussions going about how we can use Yesplan even more than we do already. We’re keen to dive further into the reporting side of things. 

“The Yesplan approach to licensing, where the whole organisation can access the system, has made a massive difference to the way we work. ”

Timesaving tricks

We’re running all of the information needed for our digital sign boards straight out of Yesplan – it’s saving us around half an hour a day. Next, we are hoping to get that as a direct integration with digital signage. 

I was talking to a customer a couple of days ago who was interested in hiring one of our spaces. She called me three times to check availability, which is fine obviously, but must have been frustrating for her! What we’re going to do is have availability of the hireable spaces shown on the website so that instead of having those multiple phone calls, customers will be able to check availability themselves. There’s such a huge amount of competition with room hire that when we’re able to offer this service it will provide a much easier process and I’m sure we’ll see the benefits. 

We’re using a Dataview [Yesplan’s simple data extraction tool] to extract all the event information from Yesplan to go into our brochure. Again, that’s saving a lot of double entry of information.

Yesplan is all about lots of these incremental wins. You start stacking them up and they’re actually saving you money and allowing staff to focus their efforts on strategy or customer service. 


Advice to others

Don’t just think about replicating what you do already. Take time to think about what you would like to achieve and areas where there is unnecessary duplication of effort in your organisation. 

Would you like a Yesplan demo?

Request your personal online demonstration with a Yesplan consultant.