Melbourne startup Rosterfy is helping train and mobilise workforces for large sporting events

- December 16, 2015 3 MIN READ

Creating rosters from excel spreadsheets may seem very 2003, but companies still continue to use them. Time and money are wasted on rosters, staff training and creating accreditation, with poor online solutions that are yet to harness social media platforms and innovative data management technology. Melbourne startup Rosterfy has created a solution, an event staff rostering and management system that engages with event workforces to help manage their recruitment and culture around their organisation.

Rosterfy, cofounded by Shannan Gove, Bennett Merriman, and Chris Grant, was born out of the need in the sports event industry for an end-to-end workforce management system that supported clients rostering staff for events. Not only does Rosterfy manage data and rosters, but the company also provides a volunteer portal to assist in recruitment.

“Rosterfy targets the clients in the industry who have their own staff but don’t have a good system in place to manage their staff and volunteers. Rosterfy comes in when excel spreadsheets just don’t cut it,” said Merriman.

Merriman and his team have created three products for rostering, training and accreditation that are all located on an online system as a complete global solution for managing and training staff. Their roster software was designed as an online solution for registration, communicating shifts, post event reporting, timesheets and thank you certificates. Communication with volunteers can be sent out months in advance through automated time and email templates. A unique user portal targets volunteers directly and notifies them of their account details, upcoming events, communication history and contact details.

“Often event organisers don’t have enough time to look at what else is out there. We have that personal relationship with them where we talk to them and discuss what they need,” said Merriman.

To create a vibrant culture of volunteers and create a better understanding of the roles staff are required to fill, Rosterfy have included in their product a volunteer training module. This module provides event workforces with visibility on what kind of training staff have completed or still require. All volunteers are located on an online database that makes it easier for them to find work opportunities.

“We’re looking to build a global volunteering community where events can actually include an opt-in, but not on their registration form, where the volunteers can join the Rosterfy event volunteering database,” said Merriman.

Merriman understands that many times a workforce goes in blind with their volunteers and lacks the time and solutions to build a personal relationship. Sporting event workforces like the Olympics can handle thousands of volunteers at one time, making it hard to create personal and skilled relationships.

“In the past, a lot of volunteers would do one event, then not come back and do another event. Whereas now they can actually log in to their portal, see their upcoming events, past event reports and even photos of them at the events,” explained Merriman.

“You’re getting a lot more loyalty out of volunteers. So in a way, it will reduce their time recruiting and help them hold on to those current volunteers,” he said.

Along with training and rostering portals, Rosterfy also offers large sporting event companies a flexible accreditation system that customises branding and layout specific to each workforce. They provide companies like Tough Mudder with customised printing accreditation passes to be used on event days.

Currently Rosterfy manages, or has managed, Lagardere Unlimited in New Zealand, the Netball World Cup in Australia, and Tough Mudder’s global workforce. They service Tough Mudder across 55 events between USA, UK and Australia, with up to 90,000 volunteers in their database. This means that they are rostering between 1,500 and 2,500 workers every weekend.

Rosterfy officially launched last month and is at the stage of global expansion with a workforce spanning across 12 countries. For the next year Rosterfy will look for investment to help validate their product in Australia. However at this stage the opportunities in America seem to be far greater than those in Australia, as the US is known for its large sporting and money-making events. The US event sport market indicates quick growth and Rosterfy believe that within 12 months they will have one million event volunteers on their community.

“After such great success in their first 12 months, the team are set for further exciting expansion of their software in the USA,” said Merriman.

Image: Shannan Gove, Bennett Merriman, Chris Grant. Source: Supplied.