The Check-in system is a versatile tool which can be customized to suit your Church. The system can be expanded to check-in adults if desired, but this guide focuses on how to make it work in the context of your youth ministry.
- Using Barcodes with Tithe.ly ChMS Check-in
- What Label Printers are Compatible
- Security and Session Codes
- How to it works for your church
- Quick Check-in
Using Barcodes with Tithe.ly ChMS Check-in
The Check-in system can be used in conjunction with a barcode to help speed up the check-in process. There’s just a few things you need to consider:
Settings you’ll need to set:
Under Settings > Check-in Settings, change your code type to ‘Manually set a code at first check-in’.
This will allow you to have a collection of pre-generated barcodes on hand and issue a new barcode to youth when they check-in for the first time.
Your Family Codes setting can be set to either option.
Each person within a family must have a unique security code
- This setting gives all members in a family a unique security code and as such, they’ll have different barcodes to scan.
Allow family Members to use the same security code
- All members of the family can use the same security code and as such they only require one barcode.
Either setting works with barcodes, it’s up to you how you want this to work for your church.
Equipment you’ll need
- Barcode Scanner.
Any cheap barcode scanner from eBay or Amazon should work fine, but the higher quality, the better.
There’s a number of online tools you can use to generate barcodes, but there’s also offline tools which include things like add-ons for Microsoft Excel.
This tool by Avery is a useful, free online tool that you can import CSV files into and generate a series of barcodes with.
Alternatively, for single barcodes the Dymo Software can also be used to generate and print barcodes.
What value to use for the barcode
The barcode value should line up with an individual’s security code. When adding a new person or family, it is suggested to have a pre-existing set of barcodes handy so that you can simply scan the new barcode in for the member’s security code.
What Label Printers are Compatible
Tithe.ly ChMS currently only supports DYMO label printers. We hope to bring support to Brother and Zebra label printers in the future, but their developer tools are not yet compatible. DYMO label printers work well with Tithe.ly ChMS to allow a seamless integration with the check-in system.
We are confident that any DYMO LabelWriter 400+ will work with our check-in system. We have currently tested the following models:
- DYMO LabelWriter 400 (takes twice as long as the 450 to print labels)
- DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo
- DYMO LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo
For help with setting up your label printer view this article.
Security Codes and Session Codes
To give your youth a layer of security when checking in, you have the option to use security and session codes to help protect youths’ information.
In the Self Check-in settings, if you disable searching by phone numbers or last name, people will only be able to search by security code. This code is unique to the individual, or the individual’s family if set under Settings > Check-in Settings.
If you are having the security codes randomly generated, you can specify a format to the codes, with a predefined suffix or prefix.
Session codes are an optional, additional level of security that can be added to the check-in system. When these codes are enabled, the session codes will be printed on any labels printed. You can then use these session codes to verify that the labels the parents who are coming to collect youth are the correct labels for that session, as every time people are checked in, they will get a new session code.
In a similar fashion to security codes, you can specify the format of the codes that are used for session codes.
How Check-in can work for your Church
Self Check-in frees up your volunteers and allows the parents of youth to ensure that youth are checked in correctly. The parents of youth go to the check-in desk print out their labels and then can drop their youth off at the room where they’ve been checked into. This frees your volunteers up from having to check youth in so that they can focus on looking after the youth.
Alternatively some churches have their staff check-in using the self-check-in page to make it easier for their volunteers.
Having your staff perform the check-in procedure can help ensure that all your youth are correctly checked in, and the correct labels given to parents.
A common method to help achieve this, is to giving your team members tablets allowing them to check-in youth as they arrive and allows them to make sure that the youth are checked in correctly, in case something happens. It also allows your volunteers to check for any information they need quickly.
How it works
Your volunteers simply have a iPad or similar tablet where they access the ‘Check-in’ screen. Once you have your print stations set up correctly they can then check youth in as they enter and have labels printed at the correct print station.
Quick check-in is a variant of self check-in that is designed to work with barcode scanners. Quick check-in allows your members to simply scan a barcode that relates to their security code and check-in, no further interaction required.
If the person or people that the barcode relates to only has one possible room to check-into and only one possible service it will that automatically check that person or people into that service.
If there’s multiple services or rooms that the person or people can check-into they will be asked to make a decision if possible.