November 25, 2007
Whilst it seems such a short time since I attended the last AGM there has been plenty happening over the last twelve months – not least of all two major finals and a promotion!
Having always intended offering my services irrespective of the result of the Director elections held last year, it was still with some trepidation that I agreed to be co-opted onto the Executive Committee and take up the role of Commercial Committee Chairman. Having previously served on the Finance Advisory Group for the Football Club and also having coordinated the computerisation of the Supporters Club’s accounting function I had gleaned a certain amount of knowledge of how things worked. Nevertheless it was still somewhat into the unknown that I was venturing!
One of the first tasks was to convene a Commercial Committee to agree our aims and objectives for the forthcoming year and this was duly done and the committee have had regular meetings since. The main issue facing the committee during this last year has been the performance of the EPOS system that was introduced into both Pirate Leisure and our Kingswood shop. Whilst I am pleased to report that the system has been largely successful “front of house” we are still battling with back-office issues that are preventing us at present fully benefiting from the array of management tools it provides.
The exceptionally high turnover of stock, including many new lines as a result of success on the field placed extreme pressure on the loyal staff and volunteers resulting in less time being available for either training or maintenance of the system. Plenty of effort is still going into this and I am sure we will see the fruits of our labour in the months to come.
The accounts for the 2006-07 season are currently in final draft form in readiness for adoption at the AGM. Not surprisingly merchandise sales and travel income are far higher than in previous years. In addition Steve Burns and his team have sold over £2 million worth of match tickets on behalf of the football club and, with the staffing level they have, this has been a fantastic effort. There have, as we know, been a few problems with regard to ticketing for the bigger fixtures earlier this season and certain procedures have been improved to cope with these issues. With this in mind, we have recently been trialling wireless visa machines in order to speed up ticketing and this will undoubtedly play a part when we take up temporary residence at Cheltenham.
As mentioned, the computerisation of the finance function has now been completed although, going forward, I am still committed to assisting Jane Browne develop her skills in using the Sage package which, combined with the EPOS system, will enable “real-time” reporting, something that is increasingly important given that the SC is tasked with managing the FC’s merchandising and ticketing operations!
I have also been assisting in with the Share Scheme where I have been maintaining the accounting records and preparing management information periodically for David Brain to utilise in reporting on the Share Scheme. It is my intention to publish a short financial summary for the Website on a monthly basis to keep members informed of progress.
Having had some basic website training along with others on the Executive Committee I am now preparing to get more involved in helping to get it up to date and back to being our prime communication tool.
Finally, if any fans have suggestions or comments or would like to consider joining our commercial committee, please get in touch.
Commercial Committee Chairman