AUK Finances

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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TrevA
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AUK Finances

Postby TrevA » 22 Sep 2018, 7:43am

I had an email today from the head honcho at Audax UK, saying they have to put their membership fees up to pay for their new website. An increase of £4 to £23 a year. It's likely that ride entry fees might go up as well, as they are increasing costs to organisers. I'll still affiliate as I consider even the increased membership fee good value for money, given that you get 3-4 magazines a year included. A likely £1 increase on ride entries won't bother me either. But I'm wondering if they really needed to spend all that money on a new website? I've read figures of it costing around £400,000 or more, in total, due to cost overruns. I work in IT so I know that developers don't come cheap, but it still seems a lot of money and, to me at least, there's not that much wrong with their current website.

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Paulatic
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby Paulatic » 22 Sep 2018, 8:10am

I agree, I see nothing wrong with the current web site. The current site reflects well the niche of traditional Audax riders. I was a member during the period Arrive changed from A5 to A4 and everyone who needed one was a bought a computer so at least everyone was on the same system.
There will be current members who feel the organisation must move on with the times. They maybe wrong they may be right only time will tell. I won’t be rejoining whichever way. I’ve been there got the T shirt (several) got wonderful memories. I’ll leave it there.
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mjr
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby mjr » 22 Sep 2018, 8:12am

Is the world governing body requiring certain features? £400k sounds a lot without knowing what they're buying.
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Postboxer
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby Postboxer » 22 Sep 2018, 8:32am

Maybe they're hoping the shiny new website will attract shiny new members, 20,000 more?

thirdcrank
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Sep 2018, 8:50am

In %age terms that's a huge hike in fees. It's facetious to mention conversion to charity status but there may be some similar features such as a growing remoteness between the top shop and the so-called grass roots. To prosper, most organisations need the good shop window provided by a decent website and that can be extra important to attract a younger generation of people who do everything online but I wonder how many new cyclists are looking to ride really long distances from the outset. By the time they are, they won't need an expensive website to attract them.

IT projects grow legs of their own. The former charity Age Concern went belly up after losing over £22 million when a project - not just a website - ran out of control. The local membership had been kept entirely in the dark about what was happening.

Richard D
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby Richard D » 22 Sep 2018, 9:09am

I would be amazed if the recent GDPR changes have not resulted in higher operating costs.

brynpoeth
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby brynpoeth » 22 Sep 2018, 9:28am

Richard D wrote:I would be amazed if the recent GDPR changes have not resulted in higher operating costs.

That much higher?
..
Maybe all such organisations need slebs, as greenpeace does*
I thought a lot of such work could be done by volunteers

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PH
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby PH » 22 Sep 2018, 12:04pm

TrevA wrote:I had an email today from the head honcho at Audax UK, saying they have to put their membership fees up to pay for their new website. An increase of £4 to £23 a year. It's likely that ride entry fees might go up as well, as they are increasing costs to organisers. I'll still affiliate as I consider even the increased membership fee good value for money, given that you get 3-4 magazines a year included. A likely £1 increase on ride entries won't bother me either. But I'm wondering if they really needed to spend all that money on a new website? I've read figures of it costing around £400,000 or more, in total, due to cost overruns. I work in IT so I know that developers don't come cheap, but it still seems a lot of money and, to me at least, there's not that much wrong with their current website.


Just a couple of corrections for accuracy - membership renewals are going up from £14 to £18, the £23 is a one off for the first year of membership or renewing if you let it lapse. The increase in ride costs for members is around 30p a ride, the additional £1 is for non members.
The figure I've seen quoted for the website is up to £340,000 of which I think £150,000 has already been committed or spent on the first phase, which had an original estimate of £90,000. The latest figure takes into account that the problems encountered in phase 1 might also need overcoming in phases 2&3, it's also based on all the work being carried out by a contractor, there's now a possibility of volunteers taking over some of it.
It all seems like a lot of money and those with far more knowledge than me are saying it could be done cheaper. Like many volunteer organisations run by a few for the many, most members are probably just glad someone is running it rather than being concerned how well they're doing so. In the same way you'd view a commercial enterprise - if I'm getting value I'm not concerned where the money goes. On that level AUK represents outstanding value, the magazine alone costs £11 a year, event entry is peanuts and for me it's rarely the major expense of doing one (Those being - cafes, transport, accommodation) I expect they'll be some huffing and puffing but come the AGM the majority of members will support the board, much like any other cycling organisation :wink:

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Re: AUK Finances

Postby PH » 22 Sep 2018, 12:07pm

thirdcrank wrote:In %age terms that's a huge hike in fees.

In fairness it's the first increase for many years, it's been £14 for as long as I remember. Up until now AUK has run a considerable surplus, what to do with it has been an AGM item for several years, well they've solved that.

thirdcrank
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Sep 2018, 12:45pm

PH wrote: ... Just a couple of corrections for accuracy - membership renewals are going up from £14 to £18, the £23 is a one off for the first year of membership or renewing if you let it lapse. ...


In %age terms, the difference between £4 and £14 is pretty big so thanks for the clarification. Fourteen to £18 seems little more than keeping up with inflation if the lower figure has been held for a long time.

awavey
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby awavey » 22 Sep 2018, 2:49pm

PH wrote:
TrevA wrote:I had an email today from the head honcho at Audax UK, saying they have to put their membership fees up to pay for their new website. An increase of £4 to £23 a year. It's likely that ride entry fees might go up as well, as they are increasing costs to organisers. I'll still affiliate as I consider even the increased membership fee good value for money, given that you get 3-4 magazines a year included. A likely £1 increase on ride entries won't bother me either. But I'm wondering if they really needed to spend all that money on a new website? I've read figures of it costing around £400,000 or more, in total, due to cost overruns. I work in IT so I know that developers don't come cheap, but it still seems a lot of money and, to me at least, there's not that much wrong with their current website.


Just a couple of corrections for accuracy - membership renewals are going up from £14 to £18, the £23 is a one off for the first year of membership or renewing if you let it lapse. The increase in ride costs for members is around 30p a ride, the additional £1 is for non members.
The figure I've seen quoted for the website is up to £340,000 of which I think £150,000 has already been committed or spent on the first phase, which had an original estimate of £90,000. The latest figure takes into account that the problems encountered in phase 1 might also need overcoming in phases 2&3, it's also based on all the work being carried out by a contractor, there's now a possibility of volunteers taking over some of it.
It all seems like a lot of money and those with far more knowledge than me are saying it could be done cheaper. Like many volunteer organisations run by a few for the many, most members are probably just glad someone is running it rather than being concerned how well they're doing so. In the same way you'd view a commercial enterprise - if I'm getting value I'm not concerned where the money goes. On that level AUK represents outstanding value, the magazine alone costs £11 a year, event entry is peanuts and for me it's rarely the major expense of doing one (Those being - cafes, transport, accommodation) I expect they'll be some huffing and puffing but come the AGM the majority of members will support the board, much like any other cycling organisation :wink:


400k sounds like a well over budget website for this IME and Ive worked for blue chip companies that sell this kind of stuff to big corporates/charties and they never charge that much to put together sites, makes it feel like theyve got you not just paying for the coding, but the hardware, server room and installing the leased line direct fibre connection to the internet.

I mean you can just goto Amazon web services and literally for a couple of quid have a web server and service content up and running in 10mins

ianrobo
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby ianrobo » 23 Sep 2018, 6:03pm

I have no issue with 18 quid a year I mean still far less than one standard sportive and I feel part of a community I adore !!

and an extra quid or so for a ride, no issue is it ?

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honesty
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby honesty » 23 Sep 2018, 9:18pm

It’s not the website it’s the database in the back end that’s costing so much. By the sounds of it there’s all sorts of fanciness built into it like GPS route authentication etc.. I’m not a coder but I sounds reasonable if on the expensive side for bespoke software development...

pwa
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby pwa » 23 Sep 2018, 9:49pm

If GPS is to replace manned controls and information controls I suppose the net result could easily be better, more attractive routes, freed from the shackles of having to stick to routes on which corners cannot be cut without missing out a control. That would be worth paying for.

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mjr
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Re: AUK Finances

Postby mjr » 24 Sep 2018, 12:13am

ianrobo wrote:I have no issue with 18 quid a year I mean still far less than one standard sportive and I feel part of a community I adore !!

and an extra quid or so for a ride, no issue is it ?

Yet another extra quid each ride for non-members and higher charge for new members all feels a bit like "go away newbies" but you may remember from other threads that I was unimpressed by audaxes (not as unappealing to me as UK sportives though) so I'm probably not the target market.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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