Benefits of ClimbPoint

September 10, 2009

Most software companies sell their product by creating a huge matrix of features and illustrating that their solution has more ‘functionality’ than competing products.  ClimbPoint doesn’t have all the features of a RecTrac or CSI, but that’s intentional — it’s dead simple to use, ensuring that it remains the center of your climbing operations.

Here are a few other advantages of ClimbPoint:

It saves time

The outdoor program at Western Carolina University estimated that the automated check-in / member lookup that ClimbPoint offers saves them about 1 minute per visit over their old paper-based system.  Extrapolate that out to the 1,000 visits per month that they routinely see, and it saves them about 4 hours per week!  Similarly, Clemson University’s outdoor program estimated that the program saves them 30 minutes per day, or about 3 hours per week.

It saves money

Given that ClimbPoint will save your staff on average of 3.5 hours per week (see above), you could save over $1,000 per year of staff time, given a pay rate or $7.50 per hour.  But enough with the numbers…

ClimbPoint also tracks check-in times and can help gauge wall activity for a given month or week, which can help in scheduling staff, purchasing additional gear, and setting wall hours.

Peace of mind

ClimbPoint helps standardize and streamline the check-in process, making it much more difficult for a climber to bypass the waiver verification and belay certification check before climbing.  Prominent notifications are displayed when a climber’s belay certification or waiver has expired.

So easy

Installing ClimbPoint is a snap, and learning to use it is even easier.  Wall staff won’t need any training to get up to speed, and the software works with your existing magnetic stripe ID cards.  This is one of the main reasons our customers love it.

New energy

It’s amazing how many creative and brilliant new features wall staff can come up with after using ClimbPoint for a few weeks.  Feature requests are combined and included in software updates that are released 2-3 times per year.  The latest release has a number of requested features, and more improvements are on the way.

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ClimbPoint customer feedback

September 10, 2009

Shortly before the launch of ClimbPoint.com and the public release of the first version, I put together a beta program and gathered feedback from six different climbing wall managers.  Since then I’ve continued to gather feedback from new customers and have incorporated a great deal of it into the latest release.

Below is a sampling of comments from those who participated in the beta program.

Easy to use
Installation at all sites was a snap, and “super easy” in the words of Robert Taylor from Clemson. It was great to hear Robert describe how, once he finally got a card reader from the IT department, he was able to plug it in and it “just worked”. Here are a few other quotes:

One of the most intuitive and user friendly programs on the market” – Mark Lattin, University of Kentucky
“The main thing I like is its simplicity” – Mike Maxam, Miami University
“It’s really easy to use” – Lynette Bowsher, Indiana Wesleyan University
“I like it…it’s fairly streamlined” – Jerome Gabriel, Bowling Green State University

Idiot proof
The latest CWA newsletter mentions this aspect as a selling point, and there are a couple priceless quotes on this topic:

“[It’s] pretty streamlined…there’s very little margin for error” – Mike
“It has done wonders in terms of eliminating our administrative errors…You can’t get rid of all the dumb mistakes people make, but this does a pretty good job” – Mark

A complete solution

It has streamlined everything we do at the wall” – Lynette
“All of the functions you need to run a wall are there” – Jerome

ClimbPoint customers have also mentioned that they loved how their staff could now all be on the same page, and how the reporting features save them from running daily numbers on wall attendance. But one of the best quotes came from Lynette, when she said “I can’t imagine not having it“.

Intrigued? Check out the free trial.

The above article was originally posted March 11, 2008 on AnotherStartup, the founder’s personal blog.


Dicey at Best: ClimbPoint 0.9 released

August 15, 2009

This latest release of ClimbPoint is anything but dicey, but the name did inspire me to take on a few features that were a bit more involved.  The full list of changes is posted here, but read on for the highlights:

view_options_2Custom memberships

It’s now possible to specify your own membership types!  You can keep the default memberships of Student, Faculty/Staff, and Guest, or you can easily add/remove memberships or change their display order.  Membership info is now also displayed on the View Climber page, during climber check-in.

Custom-ish gear

Davenport University requested the addition of Crash Pads as a gear checkout option, and other universities have asked about ATCs instead of GriGris — those are both options now, and there is a way to customize the View Climber page that displays before climber check-in.  Now you can choose to hide the gear that your facility doesn’t have or doesn’t want to check-out.

Climber check-out

Another requested feature was the ability to check-out climbers after checking them in.  A first cut at climber check-out is included in this release.  But if you have ideas for improvements I would absolutely love to hear them!

Other goodies, and what’s next…

This release also includes a few improvements to reporting, and in the next release I’ll be able to add weekly and hourly summaries fairly easily.  Though to be honest, I’d like to overhaul the reporting entirely so that ClimbPoint can generate pretty charts and graphs based on more filtering options.  Incidentally, there is now the ability to filter by gender, membership type and classification in this release.

The full list of changes also includes a few other performance improvements — but don’t take my word for it.  Check the screenshots, or better, take a test drive!


ClimbPoint 0.8 released

May 15, 2009

The Cave Cricket has been released!  The list of changes provides a good overview of the updates in this version, but it doesn’t truly convey all the small improvements in 0.8.

A screencast will be ready soon, and I’ve also updated the screenshots with what’s changed.  The biggest change to the look and feel in this releaseupdate_climber was with the climber add and update screens (shown at right).

Now it’s easier to add a climber, and the drop-down menu for memberships will make it easier to accommodate custom membership types (which I plan to add in the next release).

More frequently used fields for phone and email information are now shown on the first page, and gear options are now specified and saved only at check-in.  This will also make it easier to allow the check-out of additional types of climbing gear.

I’m definitely looking ahead to the 0.9 release, planned for August, which will incorporate some of these additional features I’ve been hinting at.  The codename for 0.9?  Dicey at Best 🙂


ClimbPoint 0.8 on the way

May 7, 2009

About a month ago I tweeted about the next release of ClimbPoint (aka Cave Cricket) and wanted to post an update on progress so far.  Although I originally had hoped to release Cave Cricket well before the CWA summit last weekend, my imagination and ambition got the better of me — consequently, this new release is loaded with new features and small but meaningful improvements.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Waiver and certification management is now much easier to use, with better notifications when waivers or certifications expire
  • Emergency contact information can now be stored for all climbers — thanks to NMSU for the suggestion
  • Future updates can be automatically downloaded and installed

There is also a new report showing all visits to the wall — a full list of changes in this release is available here.  All registered users will receive an email when 0.8 has been released, hopefully next week!


ClimbPoint 0.7 released

August 5, 2008

It’s here! The next release of ClimbPoint has arrived, and I’m excited about the possibilities for future versions. Before I begin summarizing some of the changes, I’d like to offer my apologies to those of you who were waiting on the edge of your seats for this release — I’ll try not to keep everyone in suspense in the future 🙂

I blogged about some of the improvements way back in June, but I’ll hit the highlights here:

  • First and foremost, an easier to use main screen — check out the updated screenshots
  • The recent climbers screen is also new, which gives a quick glance at recent checkins
  • New options for reports allow you to specify a start and end date
  • Database backup and restore is now included — take care of your data!
  • Other special options are now available, including the ability to specify half sizes for shoes and to not require a birth date. Look for more options like this in the future!

Along the way I squashed a few bugs, one of which was causing the main screen to seemingly get stuck in maximized mode during special situations. I only had one user encounter this one (thanks Mike!), but one is too many in my book. I also included a couple other optimizations which should make the program more reliable.

In the future I’m planning to add opening and closing checklists, better gear management, scheduled backups, and automatic updates.

To get in on the action, pick up a license or request a trial version.


A sneak peek at “Bedtime”

July 12, 2008

I’m getting very close to releasing the next version of ClimbPoint and wanted to share a couple screenshots with you to pique your interest.  One of the improvements in ClimbPoint 0.7 is an easier to read search screen and a snazzy toolbar.

New easier to read search screen with pretty icons

New easier to read search screen with pretty icons

Also new is a view of recent climbers, to help you get a quick look at who’s climbing and what gear they’re using…

A quick view of who\'s been climbing lately

A quick view of who's been climbing lately

I still have a few improvements to make to the reporting features (no screenshots just yet), but I hope to have everything ready to go for this release in a couple weeks. Leave a comment below with your thoughts on the new look!

PS – The title of this post refers to Bedtime for Bonzo, which is the codename for ClimbPoint 0.7. It was also one of the first routes that I climbed in the Red River Gorge 🙂