Author Topic: AUK FINANCES AND WEBSITE PROJECT was: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT  (Read 24167 times)

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2018, 11:51:30 am »
I get the old one needs replacing

Does it, though?

Genuine question - I really don't know whether or not it does need replacing. All I know is that this fabled AUK IT update has been in the offing for about as long as I've been a member and yet the website has continued to function in the meantime - and largely seems to work, as far as I can tell.

The user interface probably could do with a facelift, but does that really require a whole new backend? I'm vaguely aware from past professional experience that anything involving large databases is liable to be extremely complicated but I'm not aware that the case has been adequately made for spending £340k of members' money. Perhaps this has been discussed at greater length on the AUK forum, but I suspect the majority of members will remain blissfully unaware of this situation until they suddenly see a big jump in their annual membership fees and entry fees for events.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2018, 11:56:04 am »
This is really frightening, and could do real damage to the sport.

I would prefer that AUK borrow money to pay this off over instalments to a bank (or even an angel investor?) than double membership fees and hike up event costs, part of Audax's appeal is accessibility to the low-waged and it would be a tragedy if this affair were to tarnish the reputation to come.
Bikepacking bargain basement: reviews of high value kit great for the tourer, bikepacker and randonneur on a budget

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=109048.msg2312359#msg2312359

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2018, 12:06:02 pm »

I'm pretty new to AUK and Audax in general, but I'm curious, how long have the price of rides been the price they are? Has a 4 quid DIY been 4 quid for a while? What about most Calendar events? how do the prices fair?

How long has membership been the price it has been?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2018, 12:06:34 pm »
I don't think phase 2 and 3 will go ahead.
I can't see anyone pressing the button and surviving in the post to tell the tale.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2018, 12:08:06 pm »

I'm pretty new to AUK and Audax in general, but I'm curious, how long have the price of rides been the price they are? Has a 4 quid DIY been 4 quid for a while? What about most Calendar events? how do the prices fair?

How long has membership been the price it has been?

J

This is off topic... it might sound low, but it was enough to have a surplus, so not an issue.
The issue is whether an organisation should invest 4 times its annual turnover on IT

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2018, 12:09:32 pm »
but I suspect the majority of members will remain blissfully unaware of this situation until they suddenly see a big jump in their annual membership fees and entry fees for events.
And then stop paying membership fees and entering events. If those events are still running after the increase in organiser costs mind.

This is really frightening, and could do real damage to the sport.

I would prefer that AUK borrow money to pay this off over instalments to a bank (or even an angel investor?) than double membership fees and hike up event costs, part of Audax's appeal is accessibility to the low-waged and it would be a tragedy if this affair were to tarnish the reputation to come.

Indeed. But I'd rather they just fucked the idea off completely. Utterly bonkers.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2018, 12:10:55 pm »

This is off topic... it might sound low, but it was enough to have a surplus, so not an issue.
The issue is whether an organisation should invest 4 times its annual turnover on IT

The two are intrinsically linked.

Even if we don't invest in the next phases of the project, that does leave the question of the organisations finances. If it's been 19 quid for a few years, I don't see why putting it up by a quid or 2 to help finances, or adding 50p to diy's or some such isn't an idea worth considering.

It does however make me cringe looking at Yet Another IT Project Disaster...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2018, 12:14:07 pm »

I'm pretty new to AUK and Audax in general, but I'm curious, how long have the price of rides been the price they are? Has a 4 quid DIY been 4 quid for a while? What about most Calendar events? how do the prices fair?

How long has membership been the price it has been?

J

The price of events is set by individual organisers, bearing in mind known and predicted expenses - card printing, validation, postage, venue hire, provisions, volunteers' expenses etc. Much volunteer time is used for minimal expenditure.

I have chosen commuted membership (5 years for the price of 4) since I joined AUK in 1993. It's been £14 for at least my last 3 renewals, I think.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2018, 12:15:59 pm »
And then stop paying membership fees and entering events. If those events are still running after the increase in organiser costs mind.

If I understand correctly, if you are not an AUK member, and want to do an AUK ride, you can pay 2 quid to join for the duration of the ride. With 19 quid as the cost of membership, you need to do 10 rides a year before it's cost effective to join (assuming you are only interested in Calendar events).

Increasing the price makes this balance even harder.

For context, membership of the Dutch Randonneurs association is €45 per year, you get less than 30 rides a year, no glossy magazine, no perms, no diy, no ece... Interestingly there are a number of Randonneurs.nl members who are AUK members because it gets us the DIY/PERM/ECE stuff.

J




--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2018, 12:17:08 pm »

I'm pretty new to AUK and Audax in general, but I'm curious, how long have the price of rides been the price they are? Has a 4 quid DIY been 4 quid for a while? What about most Calendar events? how do the prices fair?

How long has membership been the price it has been?

J

We'd been sitting on a massive capital for years, waiting for a rainy day. Cost of membership remained low as that pile was increasing year-on-year.

Price of membership shouldn't follow the same calculations as price of events- events are put on by individuals, not AUK.

TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2018, 12:20:01 pm »
I would prefer that AUK borrow money to pay this off over instalments to a bank (or even an angel investor?) than double membership fees and hike up event costs, part of Audax's appeal is accessibility to the low-waged and it would be a tragedy if this affair were to tarnish the reputation to come.

Indeed. But I'd rather they just fucked the idea off completely. Utterly bonkers.
[/quote]

Yes but they need to pay the supplier - so I would motion to: write off the project and negotiate with lenders to secure a loan, using members and fee levies as collateral, and offering a down payment of a few ten k.

I'm just awed that this was able to happen. It'd probably have been cheaper to hire a professional IT project manager with a clear scope and budget to manage the upgrade, I hope I'm wrong but it seems to me that things have been done by volunteers who necessarily can't give the project full attention and scrutiny.
Bikepacking bargain basement: reviews of high value kit great for the tourer, bikepacker and randonneur on a budget

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=109048.msg2312359#msg2312359

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2018, 12:20:06 pm »

Inappropriate to provide any details here... but not happy reading.

+1, the thread should have been locked immediately and continued on the AUK forum, not appropriate to discuss here

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2018, 12:22:03 pm »
I prefer to discuss here away from the official AUK forum, which should be reserved for quality and helpful contributions.
Bikepacking bargain basement: reviews of high value kit great for the tourer, bikepacker and randonneur on a budget

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=109048.msg2312359#msg2312359

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2018, 12:25:42 pm »
I prefer to discuss here away from the official AUK forum, which should be reserved for quality and helpful contributions.

not what I understood the AUK forum to be solely for, I thought all internal AUK matters were supposed to go there (which this is; the £2 day membership is for insurance, not a licence to get involved in the running of the organisation)

FYI I've joined the discussion over there and am equally unhappy about it.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #39 on: August 20, 2018, 12:29:34 pm »
I prefer to discuss here away from the official AUK forum, which should be reserved for quality and helpful contributions.

not what I understood the AUK forum to be solely for, I thought all internal AUK matters were supposed to go there (which this is; the £2 day membership is for insurance, not a licence to get involved in the running of the organisation)

FYI I've joined the discussion over there and am equally unhappy about it.

Probably, yeah, but this has been made public domain, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2018, 12:33:47 pm »

Inappropriate to provide any details here... but not happy reading.

+1, the thread should have been locked immediately and continued on the AUK forum, not appropriate to discuss here

As mentioned  earlier, the statement is publicly available to non-members on the AUK website. No point shutting the stable door now.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2018, 12:38:25 pm »

Inappropriate to provide any details here... but not happy reading.

+1, the thread should have been locked immediately and continued on the AUK forum, not appropriate to discuss here

As mentioned  earlier, the statement is publicly available to non-members on the AUK website. No point shutting the stable door now.

And by extension, so is the recent filing history of Control F1.
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07284437/filing-history

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2018, 12:47:56 pm »

If I understand correctly, if you are not an AUK member, and want to do an AUK ride, you can pay 2 quid to join for the duration of the ride. With 19 quid as the cost of membership, you need to do 10 rides a year before it's cost effective to join (assuming you are only interested in Calendar events).

Increasing the price makes this balance even harder.

For context, membership of the Dutch Randonneurs association is €45 per year, you get less than 30 rides a year, no glossy magazine, no perms, no diy, no ece... Interestingly there are a number of Randonneurs.nl members who are AUK members because it gets us the DIY/PERM/ECE stuff.

J

Wouldnt want people to get the wrong idea... actually for 45€ you get full NTFU membership - thats including insurance and a nice magazine
(in Dutch) 6 times a year, so around half that money goes straight to the NTFU and not Randonneurs.nl
Regards,

Alan

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2018, 12:53:12 pm »
Phase 1 is 90% complete, there appears to be a quote for Phase 2 and Phase 3 is still to be more formally scoped.

There’s a saying in software - the first 90% is the easy bit; it’s the second 90% that’s really tough.

I haven’t had a chance to look at the board papers (no laptop handy)  but it sounds like the phasing means a lot of money is being spent interfacing the new shiney front end to the old back end, then a later phase to replace the back end...

It also sounds like the project has started with an open ended ambition to replace everything whatever the cost, rather than a fixed budget with small deliverables based on what can be afforded. 

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #44 on: August 20, 2018, 01:04:35 pm »
I haven’t had a chance to look at the board papers (no laptop handy)  but it sounds like the phasing means a lot of money is being spent interfacing the new shiney front end to the old back end, then a later phase to replace the back end...

This is mad. So Phase 1 is something shiny but non-functional, and Phase 2 is to spend ~100K on something that will be thrown away and replaced by Phase 3 (at a cost of a further ~100K).

I'm not surprised by the cost, these things are expensive, I'm surprised anyone thought this was sensible.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #45 on: August 20, 2018, 01:08:31 pm »
I'd say that the balance sheet of the contractor is declining, and that the company is being restructured as directors jump ship. Whether those resigning directors are involved in the IT work in a hands-on sense isn't clear.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #46 on: August 20, 2018, 01:11:02 pm »
Which chairs are due for election at the AGM in February?

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #47 on: August 20, 2018, 01:15:54 pm »
Which chairs are due for election at the AGM in February?

Very few people want to do these jobs, especially when their hand is being forced to spend surpluses. An examination of how any contract was let is the main concern. There've been a lot of changes on the board, so whose idea this was is probably moot.

Samuel D

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #48 on: August 20, 2018, 01:33:40 pm »
IT project in massive cost overrun shocker.

As an outsider, I think effort should be spent on making audax more approachable and less opaque, and that starts with the atrocious website. It’s worse than Masonry and seriously off-putting.

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #49 on: August 20, 2018, 01:38:22 pm »
Agreed, and anecdotally when I've tried to get non AUK people to try an event the website can seem a bit underwhelming to them. Some organisers are better than others at including a useful description, route map, online entry etc.

However, if the website is improved and this leads to an uptake in people riding events, will it just mean that the existing events fill up quicker Bryan Chapman style which could be counterproductive if the new people can't get a ride?
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