|Kennel Club IT system chaos
Computer says no... launch dogged by technical hitches and queries
The introduction of the new Kennel Club IT system recently has not, as some suspected, gone smoothly. Having been shut down for around ten days to allow for the migration of over 40 million records from the old systems, the new system went live late last week.
Since then there has been an absolute frenzy on social media expressing dismay over the perceived drawbacks and failures of the new system. As the old Johnny Nash song used to say, âThere are more questions than answers!â
It appears that there have been major problems for many people in finding their way into their MyKC accounts and some people, even when they get there, have found that not all of their dogs are recorded there â or in some cases none of their dogs are recorded at all. The problem is greatest for those who register dogs under various shared partnership kennel names and we are told that the KC is aware of this and is working to cure the problem.
Other problems are that people are finding it very difficult to find dogsâ health test results. Another major weakness appears to be that while the old system allowed users to see a three-generation pedigree for any dog requested, the new system does not yet have that facility and to retrieve that information it is necessary to scroll back from one dog to its parents and so on, which is something that has angered many breeders
Other complaints have included the fact that it is more difficult to navigate the Assured Breeders Lists and that some of the facilities seem to be operating very slowly. It has been suggested that at times it is the slowness of the systemâs response that is causing some people to give up looking for details and therefore concluding that the facility is not available
Social media uproar
Social media went into meltdown over the weekend which suggests that the Kennel Club staff will have been inundated with complaints and enquiries. As many KC staff are on furlough it is hard to imagine how they are coping with the massive influx of calls. A spokesperson for the Kennel Club commented: âWe apologise for the delays that our customers are currently experiencing when contacting us. We are dealing with increased volumes of enquiries as a result of the launch of our new IT system and website.â
Online comments or those sent to us at OUR DOGS are numerous and have included:
âThe new KC website is awful! Been checking every day and sent messages. I have no dogs showing, which I can understand might take time to get all the info on everyoneâs page. However, the website is rubbish! There were a number of features that were a valuable tool that now seem to be missingâŚ It seems this website has been done with pet people in mind which is fine, but why change the options for breeders? The old MyKC site was far superior! I hope you are covering this in the paper!â
Another breeder said, âI have just been onto the new KC website. I eventually got on to it, having to use a new password, which is a shame as it is the only one I remember, having used it for many years! Anyway, I was very disturbed that I was unable to log onto the KC websiteâs pedigree database. In fact, there is no mention of it at all. Does anyone know if itâs something they are still working on? As there is no mention of Find a Dog anywhere or Tools and Resources. This is something that I go on, on a regular basis and is invaluable to finding out how a dog is bred.â
A common theme amongst the comments was the reason for the update: âHas anyone found anything good about this new website yet? I mean, there must be some reason it needed updating other than to
drive us all crazy. Since compared to the old system, so far Iâve found the new one to be as much use as a chocolate fire guard.â
Another said, âI hope I am wrong but at this point I donât believe I am. It seems the âLook up a Dogâ and âHealth Testâ facility on the new website has been downgraded, or bits have been removed. I understand that if enough people express their need for this facility the KC will re- evaluate the situation. Please email web registrations at the normal KC email address. Here is my own email:
âHello, I am a breeder of 40 years standing, I am also on the management committee of my breed club, I am also the Breed Health Coordinator and in all of these roles I used the âLook up a Dogâ and âHealth Testsâ on a daily basis. I already have a backlog of research that is needed to complete individual queries and issues by dog owners and to my horror I now understand this facility has been removed! I cannot believe in this day and age with your own [KC] promotion of research and health testing, you have seen fit to remove such a vital facility. Please bring this back urgently otherwise I feel I may have to resign as Breed Health Coordinator as my main tool has been taken away!â
FACILITIES STILL TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE
In addition, the Kennel Club has now announced that it has not yet brought back the following on-line facilities but that it now aims to do so by the end of October:
â˘ Find a Club
â˘ Find a Judge
â˘ Find a Show and
â˘ Find a Rescue
For those who have had difficulties, the Kennel Club has published a number of Frequently Asked Questions along with their answers and these can be found at: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/faqs/
Probably the most useful piece of advice in the FAQâs, for those who previously had a MyKC account and are having difficulty in signing in to their new account, is to ignore their old user name and password but create a new account on the website using the same email address that they have used previously. They should then create a new password. This should mean that the person should still be able to see all of their registered dogs.
If they canât or they believe that there is information missing from their account such as the names of their registered dogs, then the KC says it: âmay just need to clean up some of your data firstâ. It suggests that: âThe quickest way to get help is if you fill in the missing information form in your accountâ.
People who, after carrying out those suggested actions, still cannot locate all of their information and records, are asked to advise the KC at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are so many questions arising out of this relaunch of the site and update of the IT system not least of which are the costs involved and promises made at the outset by the KC Chairman at the time, Board and management team who must have supported the instigation and implementation of the whole plan. Many people are asking whether enough (if any) testing was done on the site by getting breeders to have a hands-on experience before the live launch. It has been suggested that the system was available to try on the KC stand at Crufts, but that was over six months ago and how many breeders have the time or concentration to adequately assess something in that environment? It is unclear whether breeders were consulted on the mechanics and needs of the system or whether guidance and input was just from inside Clarges Street.
For OUR DOGSâ comments see our Opinion column on page eight of this weekâs issue.
KC sends apologies
A spokesperson for The Kennel Club commented: We apologise for the delays that our customers are currently experiencing when contacting us. We are dealing with increased volumes of enquiries as a result of the launch of our new IT system and website.
Customers who have used our online services before are being asked to create a new account using an email address they have used previously with The Kennel Club, for example the email address previously used to register litters. This process will ensure that their data on our new platform is more secure than ever before. Where a customer cannot find their information once they are logged into their account, we are asking them to fill out the online missing information form. This will help us align their new, single and secure account to their archive data. Rest assured, no information has been deleted, so please do not panic.
There is also an FAQ document at thekennelclub.org.uk/FAQs which talks website users through how they can access various online services, but please be aware that some features (such as Find a Club, Find a Show and Find a Judge) are not due to be rolled out until the end of October. In the meantime, we would ask everyone to please bear with us while we deal with the increased workload generated as a result of this very important change for The Kennel Club.
KC Mantra Fit for Function - shame they didn't apply this to their web site which most certainly is not
Under "Contacts" given for a Breed Club our Club has over 40 people listed as Club Contacts. Hope this is corrected before Find A Club goes live.
Having created a new account as I couldn't get on with my old details, I find I have no dogs listed, despite completing the online pop up form four times I am still without any dogs showing,once again breeders the KC's paying customers are badly let down.
Why 'fix' something that wasn't broken. I hate the new website. What a waste of money.