MCS significantly reduced marathon registration wait time and introduced a system that allowed management access and track real-time registration information.
The team at MCS Integrated Solutions have such an in-depth understanding of our events, and their experience helps us to continuously improve our overall approach to the registration process for entrants at number collection in the RDS. We have high confidence in their ability to enhance our events continually and would strongly recommend MCS to any event organiser.”
Dublin Marathon is Ireland’s biggest marathon. A handful of employees and hundreds of volunteers run the event which sees approximately 22,000 runners take to the streets of Dublin every October.
In 2014, Dublin Marathon asked MCS computers to help them streamline their race number collection process in order to make it a better experience for their runners.
Every year, runners collect their race numbers at the RDS the weekend before the marathon. Until 2014, runners experienced queues of up to three hours at peak times as an army of volunteers typed runner information into laptops and manually retrieved race numbers from alphabetically ordered bins. Each racer’s ID has to be verified and their name was crossed off a list when the runner collected their number.
At the end of each day, volunteers totalled the race numbers collected by manually counting the numbers crossed off on a printed sheet.
We presented Dublin Marathon with a plan to speed up registration, reduce queuing time, improve the runner experience, create more efficient data management, and allow racers more time to enjoy the exhibition and shop at the Expo stalls.
Experienced project managers from MCS Integrated Solutions carefully reviewed Dublin Marathon’s workflows to understand where the delays originated. We discovered that providing runners with a race number at the time of their original online application unnecessarily complicated the number pick-up process and slowed down the queues.
We proposed that, upon arrival at the RDS, each racer should be assigned the next number in their wave. MCS deconstructed the legacy process and reorganised the workflow so that when the runner arrived at the registration desk their information was recorded by a volunteer who scanned a barcode; then, the runner was simply given the next available race number in their wave.
The bespoke system that we created was easy to use for the teams of volunteers. Previously, volunteers had to manually enter numbers and painstakingly flip through envelopes; now, they simply scanned a barcode and printed out a receipt.
The MCS team held a series of in-person meetings with Dublin Marathon to thoroughly review their workflows; this allowed us to fully understand the organisation’s set-up and needs. We were able to streamline the process by cutting out unnecessary steps, and we provided the organisation with more sophisticated software – but with a simpler user interface.
Working through the customer experience, from online registration to race day, we were able to integrate runner data across Dublin Marathon’s systems, giving them a solution that was holistic, easy-to-use, and flexible enough to accommodate change.
Since 2014, we have worked with Dublin Marathon to make improvements to the system as their race numbers grow and their needs become more complex. Our business experience and good working relationship with Dublin Marathon has allowed us to make incremental improvements to our solution, such as optimising the number of volunteers at stations and achieving more time savings each year.
MCS Integrated Solutions successfully solved this problem because of our ability to build relationships and appropriately insert ourselves into the organisation; we worked closely with Dublin Marathon at every step of the process – from initial problem definition meetings, to deep dives into the organisational data and workflows, to training staff and volunteers. Every race day, we are on the ground with the Dublin Marathon team to ensure there are no IT issues, and we always conduct a thorough review after the event.
According to Managing Director, Conor O’Connell, “MCS staff bring their many years of experience working with Irish companies to bear on this project. We’re proud to be part of such an important Irish event that brings together athletes from around the world. Working with a large group of volunteers can be a training challenge, but it is also a lot of fun!”
Thanks to the MCS solution, the average queue time is now 30 seconds. During peak hours, athletes queue for approximately 3 minutes. This creates a more relaxing environment and gives runners more time to enjoy the carnival atmosphere at the RDS.
Dublin Marathon now has access to accurate and real-time registration information, which enables them to examine trends and make better decisions. For example, the number of volunteers required to run this registration process was reduced from about 100 to 20, and the number of workstations was also optimised.
WHY COMPANIES CHOOSE MCS INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS
Individual businesses have individual technology needs; our strength comes from our close attention to customer requirements, combined with 50 years’ experience and expertise in technology design, selection, and implementation. We work closely with customers to fully understand their problems, and we find original solutions through our detailed knowledge of the customer workflows. We create cost-efficient, integrated, and user-friendly solutions specific to each unique organisation’s needs.