Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Iphone, Ipad, and now the Ipad Mini

Excellent communication is the key to many businesses in today’s market place. Organization and execution is a close second. Here in the golf course maintenance business we are no different. When I got into this business back in the 70’s the easiest form of communications was to run out to the shop and leave a message on the chalkboard for the person to see, then in the early 80’s we had a post it note. My how times have changed today!

I really thought we had come full circle in the computing world when we all had desktop computers and took home a laptop computer to do some work in evening. Now we have the next generation that we all use, the smartphones, the notebook style computers and now the Ipad minis.

I thought I would take a few paragraphs to tell how these items really help our staff, myself and other key employees in our day to day operations here at the Club. All of us in key management positions have a smartphone of some make or style. They have different operating systems but ultimately they all speak the same language and they can talk to each other. We all have a club email address, sounds simple but it is so much more. We are all hooked to an exchange server which enables us to have access to our emails on several different devices or computers, so you are never out of touch. You also have all of your contacts and calendars right at your fingertips. We all set reminders, to do lists and keep organized while we are out on the golf course.

Here at the club the management team uses certain apps on our devices to make our communications even better. We all have a Dropbox account and we have shared Dropbox folders to share information. I have inventory lists, event lists, to do lists, employee phone trees, past parts or paint orders all at the touch of a finger. Two of the best things that we have are a map of every golf hole on Dropbox. This map has all of the irrigation system on it and also other key infrastructure items. If we make a change to a map everyone that has access to it is instantly updated. No one has an outdated map in a book anymore. The other item is a single calendar that we all can update with information on events but we all see the same one. Real time information like this is priceless to have.

Other apps that we use almost daily are Google Maps to help us find our way on parts runs. We also use the Weather channel app for the weather. Sun Seeker to check on sun angles and tree shade. I like the Google Translate app to bridge language barriers, Logmein Ignition enables us to have access to our irrigation system from remote locations. The USGA just came out with the Rules of Golf app – nice to have if you have a question on golf rules. We also use Leafsnap to identify trees, GotoMeeting to take a webinar during the winter or on a rainy day; we couple this with Apple TV for larger viewing audiences. One of the best things is having a camera close all of the time. I take photos and post them to my blog page, or to Twitter for people to see or just to keep a record in Evernote. Evernote and its use is an entire blog story for another day. Make sure you follow me Twitter, you can see updated Twitter feeds about the golf course to the right side of the blog page or you can follow me on your smartphone to see updated golf course information.

Today's devices do sometimes get in the way but I have found a way to get out of the office and still stay connected and be able to connect to the outside world from the seat of the golf cart. Information that is real time and up to date at your fingertips!