If you manage a livery yard you’ll know how important it is to offer a range of packages to your customers. By offering more choice you can attract more customers with prices that work for them and make financial sense for the yard.
But in the past choice has always come with more complexity - for every new type of package you offer and for every extra service or perk within that package comes additional admin work - and as yard manager it means that work normally falls to you!
But not any more! At The Yard has been helping remove ‘admin work’ for years. Meaning you can offer greater flexibility without spending extra hours in the office. It lets you automatically track:
Any one of these offerings would have required lots of work to track what a customer had used then more still to work out how much to charge them for any extras they had. All of them combined? Well… it’d just not be practical, you’d never leave the office!
Not the case with At The Yard, everything is automatically tracked and billed for you - nothing falls through the cracks!
Offering included options as part of a package is great, but what happens once they’ve used up their allowance? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to encourage them to make the most of more of the yards services - generating more revenue for the yard - whilst still offering them a discount in recognition of the monthly fee they pay to you.
Or how about your customers on smaller packages such as a DIY livery or someone who pays a membership fee for the year upfront - being able to offer beneficial pricing to them encourages further uptake and recognition of their ongoing patronage and the relationship you have with them over that of an unknown one time guest.
To support this, and the many other scenarios, we are releasing Subscription Dependent Pricing. This new feature lets you offer discounts for additional services and facilities to your customers - managed by the subscription to a livery or membership package that they have.
Let’s imagine you have 3 Livery packages and an Affiliate Membership package that external visitors can sign up for.
With these 4 packages you’d like to offer a discount for riding lessons based on the package a customer has with you (with increasing benefit coming with the larger the package they have signed up for)
With Subscription Dependent Pricing you can offer the following:
|Riding Lesson with School (Standard)
|School Rental (Discounted)
As you can see the Subscription Dependant Pricing allows you to offer benefits to your customers, helping you retain liveries and build long term affiliate members (for customers who are regulars but don’t (yet??) stable their horse on the yard) by offering them a discount over your standard prices.
Not only does this save the customers money but improves cashflow and income predictability for the yard all whilst requiring no extra work on the admin side.
This is only a simple example and we look forward to seeing how our customers use this new feature. It’s available today to all existing and new subscribers and a How To will feature in a following blog post with details on how to set up Subscription Dependant Pricing for your yard.
Today we’re taking a look back at an existing feature - Included Services Schemes. This feature was introduced to allow the setup of Livery/Membership packages which include a number of services.
For example your full livery may include:
With Included Services Schemes we can setup the allowances within At The Yard and track how many services a horse has used. Then once they exceed the included allowance the system will automatically raise a charge for any additional orders for a service.
When we combine this feature with At The Yard’s Included Facilities Schemes (https://www.attheyard.co.uk/blog/2020/1/7/included-facilities-schemes)) and Included Products it allows us to codify, track and automatically raise a charge for any extras that are not included for a customer.
Included services can be setup on any of your ‘Continuous’ services e.g. Livery or Membership. To start the process go to the Admin, Services page and locate your service. To the right hand side of the service’s row you’ll see a button with a drop down. When you click the dropdown you’ll see a list of options (shown below) which includes Edit Included Services Schemes. Click on this to start setting up your first scheme.
To begin with you’ll see an empty list of existing schemes and also, of more interest to start with, a button called New Included Services Scheme. When clicked it’ll bring up a page allowing you to choose the type of scheme you wish to create.
This screen will explain the types of schemes you can setup. At the time of writing there are 4 types of scheme; Weeks Allowance, Months Allowance, Per Week Allowance and Per Month Allowance.
Each of these are explained in the dialog. In this example we’re going to create two different schemes to achieve a basic setup for a livery package.
The first is a Weeks Allowance Scheme will be used to setup the allowances for turn outs and bring ins. The second, a Per Week Allowance, will be used to setup an exercise allowance.
Once you’ve selected the scheme you wish to use you’ll be presented with an interface to set the allowance for each day.
You have the option to setup an allowance for a single service or for a category of services. In this example we have created the category called Horse Movement which includes both Turn Out and Bring In.
You can then choose how many of these are included as part of the package for each day in the week.
In this example we’ve setup your typical 5 Full/2 Part style livery in which over the weekends they only get to choose from either Bring In or Turn Out where as in the week they get both included as part of their package.
Once you’re happy you can click on Create and your new scheme will be ready.
The per week allowance is slightly different in that, instead of allowances being on predefined days, a user is given the choice of which days in a given week their allowance is used. Because of this the setup screen is slightly different.
Again you can choose a category (in this case Exercise) and set the number of these included in a given week.
Once you’ve finished creating your schemes you can click back on edit for the service and get an overview of everything included (shown below).
This not only allows you at a glance to see what subscribers to the service will receive but also lets you see what services are part of a given category. As you’d expect you can also go in and edit the scheme or remove it entirely.
For a user to receive these schemes they simply need to have an active subscription to the service and from there At The Yard will automatically track everything, meaning both the yard and user can go ahead and order services without having to worry about manually keeping track.
Keeping track of billable costs at a livery yard is much more than just charging for livery and any extras. You have to be able to calculate costs incurred for usage beyond what’s included, whether it’s for extra services, products or facilities.
With the included services schemes feature we’ve looked at today you can keep track of everything automatically. This not only ensures you’re paid for additional services you provide your customers but also makes things fairer for everyone - it makes sure that one horse at the yard is not excessively using the yards resources without paying their fair share.
It’s a win win - the yard realises the revenue it should already be receiving and customers are happier due to the equitable service received for their livery bill.
Within the invoicing side of At The Yard you have long been able to track payments for your invoices. This means, at a glance, you can always see how much you’re owed and which clients owe it to you!
Today we’re making this tracking more flexible by introducing Prepayments.
Prepayments allows a customer to pay a lump sum upfront and for you to apply this payment to invoices going forwards. There are numerous use cases for this. for example:
Getting started with prepayments is simple, at the top of the admin invoices page there is now a button called Record Prepayment.
Simply click on it to bring up the new Prepayment screen.
(Note: You can also click the dropdown which will allow you to see all existing payments and their status)
As you’ll see it’s the same as the payment form you’ll be used to seeing when recording payments for invoices. Similarly when recording a payment for an invoice you can record to which account the prepayment was made and by which method it was paid.
That’s all it takes to record the prepayment and have it ready to apply at a later date.
When it comes to invoicing time you simply go to Record Payment on an invoice as usual but now you’ll see a new option to Assign Existing Payment.
From this screen all you need to do is click on Assign To This Invoice and choose how much of the prepayment you want to apply.
As with our entire invoice and payment tracking system we support syncing these payments and allocations to both Xero and Quickbooks, meaning you can keep your accounts as organised as your yard.
Due to our commitment to sync data within At The Yard to various accounting packages there are a few limitations with prepayments at this time. We are, in general, dependant on the integration options provided to us by the 3rd party packages we sync with and so whilst we are looking into working around these limitations we wanted to make you aware of them for now:
The cloud has revolutionised the way we all work. It lets us access our data and work wherever we are in the world and of course, the last year has shown this to be more true than ever!
Beyond just flexibility there a many other advantages to the cloud. Our favourite is the ability to integrate different packages together and have your data flow seamlessly between them. With integrations it means that instead of choosing a single product which is a ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’ you can choose from a number of bespoke packages, picking the best suited to your needs in each area of your business.
At The Yard is built on this idea - build a product with equestrians for equestrians. By focusing on this we made a system that was easy to use and focussed enough on the needs of livery yards to meet all their needs. Then with integrations we could hook into other software that has taken the same approach be it accounting or marketing or whatever you need. Together building a toolkit to help you run your business.
So back in 2018 we built the first of our integrations (for another accounting system). Since then our customers have been using this constantly to great effect - keeping the two systems in sync, quickly and easily managing their yards whilst also managing their accounts.
Today we’re excited to announce the BETA test for our Quickbooks integration. This integration is built on top of our in house flexible accounting sync system that’s been developed over the last 3 years and will bring the same convenience to our customers who use Quickbooks as their accounting solution.
We’ve already started testing with our users but are now looking to expand the number of testers in the system. So if you are a customer of Quickbooks and run/own a livery yard we’d love to hear from you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a current subscriber to At The yard or not get in touch. We can help get you setup in your existing At The Yard account or set you up with a free (special extended as a thank you for your help) trial of At The Yard to test the integration.
Last November we released a major upgrade for the Dashboard (which was known as the Control Panel back then). The update introduced the Today View which meant that users and liveries could see at a glance everything happening on the yard that day and allowed them to book the school (or other facilities) all from the front page.
The changes to the dashboard received a great response and we also received some great feedback on how to make it even better. Today we’re announcing two small updates to the dashboard as a result of this feedback.
Forecast View has been available for staff since the early days of At The Yard. It’s a great tool for a busy yard, helping them manage their day to day schedule and plan for the days and weeks ahead - giving them a quick and easy way of seeing everything that’s happening and everything that needs to be done on the yard.
However throughout the day staff, like normal users, are often looking at their dashboard view in At The Yard. To make this view more useful for them we’ve introduced a Staff View option in the main dashboard. This means along side their own services and bookings staff can choose to get an overview of the entire yard.
The today view offers an accessible and quick way to access todays information in more detail as it is focussed on short term bookings and information. If you are a user who prefers to book further ahead you may find a larger week view may be more useful to you.
Because of this we’ve introduced a simple toggle switch. By clicking on the Hide/Show Today View button you can choose the view that works best for you and because you might have different needs depending if you’re on your phone, tablet or computer you can set a different choice for each device.
We hope you’ll enjoy these small tweaks and enhancements to the dashboard. If you have any suggestions to improve the dashboard or any features in At The Yard please feel free to get in touch.