16 Sep 2021 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2015 issue 9

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Leisure Management - Gladstone

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Every successful leisure business strives to provide consistent, high-quality service to its customers. But behind every seamless customer experience there is a raft of back-of-house administrative tasks that are no less essential to business success

BPM is fully customisable for clubs
If classes have unfilled spaces, BPM can auto-email the waiting list
BPM enables a range of booking options, from phone apps to self-service kiosks

Just like the serene swan that paddles furiously beneath the surface of the lake, making sure all these processes run smoothly can put pressure on both your staff and your software. Every business requires software that can meet its operational needs and support its business strategy. But while bespoke software solutions are often prohibitively expensive, off-the-shelf software can be too restrictive and offers no competitive advantage.

To overcome this, Gladstone has developed Business Process Manager (BPM): an off-the-shelf software solution with pre-configured business processes, but which can also be fully customised to meet the individual needs of your business. What’s more, with access to the functionality within Gladstone’s Plus2 membership management system, links to third-party applications and an internal scheduler, BPM can also be used to automate a whole range of manual tasks, streamlining your business and saving considerable staff time.

Using BPM, operators can stitch together multiple tasks to design complete business processes, which can be scheduled for a specific time or several times each day. For example, if you have availability in an upcoming class, BPM can automatically fill the spaces with members on the waiting list and/or by searching for members who have previously booked the activity but are not currently booked in. The software then emails those members a ‘one click to book’ link, simplifying the sales process for staff and customers alike.

“Leisure customers today expect to interact with operators using whatever method suits them best,” says Gladstone’s sales and marketing director, Tom Withers. “Our range of booking platforms, from self-service kiosks to online booking to our smart phone app, is designed to offer something for everyone. But if a customer does fall through the sales net, operators can now rest assured that BPM will proactively sell to them.”

BPM’s potential is not limited to sales, however. Other possible functions range from automating registration emails to new customers to streamlining financial processes such as direct debit cancellations. “BPM has been designed to support operators with the smooth running of their unique business offering,” says Withers. “Used to its full advantage, it has the potential to become the heartbeat of any leisure business.”

“BPM’s assistance with direct debit cancellations was a huge win for us”

Everyone Active has been working with Gladstone since 2006 and was already using the company’s Plus2 membership management system alongside several of its other products when Business Process Manager (BPM) became available.

As a growing company, we need to streamline procedures, and the capability of BPM to automate many repetitive processes was very appealing. In particular, the fact we could use the system to assist with direct debit cancellations was a huge win for us, as we knew this could save us a massive amount of time and money.

On average, Everyone Active processes somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 direct debit cancellations every month, the majority via BACS notification (ADDACS). Previously, we would run these notifications through Plus2, but in order to ensure that the direct debits stopped correctly we also had to run several cancellation wizards – for example, to enable us to change a member’s status twice (once after their membership was cancelled and then again after it actually ceased) as well as to remove any outstanding member actions, unpaid sales and so on.

Once BPM was installed, Gladstone worked with us to create a process within the system that now does all of this automatically. We estimate this is saving us approximately 50 hours of staff time every month – time that can now be spent processing new sales to grow our business.

We’re very pleased with the results we’ve had from BPM so far, and we’re now looking at using the system to automate a number of other processes, including filling classes from waiting lists and sending out subscription-specific emails.

Helen Davies, membership services manager, Everyone Active, Sport and Leisure Management (SLM)


Everyone Active saves 50 hours’ staff time a month
“Using BPM to fill classes from waiting lists saves us 50 hours a month”

Edinburgh Leisure already uses a wide range of Gladstone products, including Connect, Join@Home and MobilePro, so having looked at some of the functionality available within Business Process Manager (BPM), the decision to add it to the portfolio was an easy one.

After initially trialling it in two locations, we started rolling it out across our 30 sites last March. Although BPM has the potential to automate a whole range of time-consuming administrative tasks, the only feature we have used so far is the one that enables us to sends email alerts to customers in order to fill classes from waiting lists ­– but the results have been really fantastic.
We have found that a large number of our customers cancel out of classes at late notice. This requires our staff to spend a significant amount of time phoning round other customers on the waiting list and booking them into the class if they still want to take part. With BPM, we’re now able to email customers on the waiting list en masse, while a link in the email enables them to book directly into the class with one simple click.

During April alone, 2,851 bookings were made in this way. We estimate this is saving us around 50 hours of staff time in a single month, as well as being much more convenient for customers – previously, we found that customers would come along in the hope that someone else may not turn up, inevitably leading to some disappointment. This way, they know they are guaranteed a place in the class before they come.

Getting the software up and running was extremely simple and, including training, took less than a day. We now have the latest version of BPM installed in our test environment and are looking forward to implementing some of the other functions it offers.

Stuart Fairbairn, IT manager, Edinburgh Leisure

Originally published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 9

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