News Article

Curtin Student Guild expands their digital horizon with the MSL System

November 2021 - "The MSL System was recommended to the Guild as an all-round digital engagement platform and we quickly realised that we could have all our digital needs supported by one established provider with lots of experience working with Australian students’ organisations."

Curtin Student Guild events image navigation

Curtin Student Guild pCurtin Student Guild logorovides the 50,000+ students at Curtin University, Western Australia, with access to support services, representation, entertainment and a strong sense of community from over 100 academic, special interest, religious, issues-based and international clubs. It is these clubs and their enthusiasm for encouraging participation with university life that lead the Guild to a digital review in 2020 and to the MSL System.

Snapshot of engagement in the first two months of using the MSL System:

  • 125 societies supported
  • 34 events promoted
  • 492 products sold through the website
  • 84 articles published
  • 2,372 article views
We’d had a clubs management platform in place for some years but as our requirements started to change, we needed to look at alternative ways of doing things. The MSL System was recommended to the Guild as an all-round digital engagement platform and we quickly realised that we could have all our digital needs supported by one established provider with lots of experience working with Australian students’ organisations – Slade Lever, Technical Services Manager, Curtin Student Guild

Supporting clubs and member engagement

Curtin Student Guild societies pageThe Guild’s clubs are at the heart of the student experience at Curtin, running events, social activities and professional networking opportunities. The value these clubs bring to skills development and leadership experience – in addition to the overall enrichment of life at university – is recognised and rewarded by the Guild through the funding it provides.

The Guild began to research solutions which would provide all the basic clubs management tools plus financial and engagement reporting and the flexibility to integrate with existing systems. The Guild’s Chief Executive was initially keen to work with an Australian provider. However, having been recommended to look at the MSL System’s digital engagement capabilities by the Guild’s IT Department, the Guild decided to widen the scope of their requirements and see what else could be delivered as part of the project.

Our clubs have a certain amount of freedom to run their own operations, developing their membership, putting on events and selling their own products. But they are not independent entities as the Guild provides funding to support their activities. We wanted to make them more accountable and for the Guild to have the data and processes in place to track their achievements – Slade Lever, Technical Services Manager

Planning for a digital transformation

The Guild was already in the early stages of scoping out their requirements with another membership management provider – but the minimum estimate of 12 months’ extensive bespoke development work pushed the Guild to consider alternatives.

Web tours with the MSL team revealed more of the core engagement, student voice and reporting that the Guild, the clubs and their members would benefit from and which would help the Guild better understand what participation looked like. What started as a focus on clubs management was expanding to become a digital transformation project including more of the Guild’s wish list, notably a student loyalty program.

We had been considering a clubs management platform from an Australian provider which would blow our budget or a solution which would do everything we needed but only after a very lengthy development phase. So when we saw the existing capabilities of the MSL System which are already in use by colleagues at other guilds and associations, we knew we had found our new platform - Slade Lever, Technical Services Manager

The implementation phase began with MSL to include integration with the Guild’s point of sale provider, SwiftPOS. The Guild’s project lead reflects on the implementation process:

We worked closely with the MSL team during implementation on everything from student data to website design. Our requirements were quite complex and some things took longer than originally expected. Fortunately MSL’s implementation process is flexible enough to allow streams of work to go ahead at different paces - Slade Lever, Technical Services Manager

Rewarding loyalty, encouraging participation

Curtin Student Guild events page image navigationThe integration with SwiftPOS formed part of the implementation plan and saw the Guild, MSL and SwiftPOS technical teams sharing knowledge and processes. As well as providing point of sale features for the Guild, the SwiftPOS integration will support the loyalty scheme which is the next item on the Guild’s digital roadmap.

A crucial part of the loyalty scheme is the requirement for targeting and data segmentation which is central to the MSL System. The granular view of participation it provides will allow the Guild to reach out to students who aren’t engaged or to tailor campaigns of interest to specific groups such as international students.

We have planned for a loyalty scheme for students for some time now, but we needed a system with the capability to capture and share information from our student data, point of sale and member activities.  The MSL System gives us that so we’ll be able to see who is attending which events, buying products, taking advantage of free services and then reward them with discounts and points towards purchases and activities - Slade Lever, Technical Services Manager

The digital roadmap with MSL

The Guild is looking into the next phases of implementation which could include the MSL Door Entry & Venues Management module to support the events which form a huge part of life at Curtin and the MSL StudentLink app which brings together clubs, shopping, tickets and voting on the Guild’s own branded app.

But the priority is for MSL Elections as Slade Lever explains why:

Elections take up a huge amount of time at the Guild currently as pretty much all staff are involved for a full week of preparations beforehand. We are already looking forward to getting more students involved with student voice and representation as well as reducing the amount of staff time spent on admin tasks, all of which MSL Elections will help us achieve.

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