Considering a Move?

Paula Tate
29-Apr-2019 13:18:19

They say moving to a new house is one of the most stressful events that anyone can go through, but how does moving leisure management provider compare? Here, at Gladstone, we find that welcoming new customers is one of the most fulfilling experiences of our working day, but we do also know that for our new clients, the decision to make the move can be fraught with questions, indecision and uncertainty.

So, what are the big questions to consider if you’re moving leisure management provider?

Cost

The cost of moving can be high; that’s understood. But one of the most important questions to ask yourself is; is the cost that is on the quote in front of me the total cost of my move?

You aren’t expecting to find that the removal company subsequently charges for packing boxes or worst case, there’s a charge to take your boxes off the truck at the other end – was this made clear on the original quotation?

Within the leisure management industry, that answer is often “no”. Winning new business is very important, and oftentimes the easiest way to do that is to look like the cheapest deal on the table.

Should I Stay? Should I Go? signpost with sky background

Questions you should be asking your prospective provider are:

  1. I understand you have this functionality, is it included on my quote?
  2. Does my quote allow me to achieve all that you’ve promised?
  3. Are there further costs that will come after this initial one in order to get what I need?

Ask the vendor precise questions in line with the outcomes you need and ensure you see a range of scenario led demonstrations that deliver the functionality you were expecting.

Organisations like Gladstone who put customer needs ahead of price whilst delivering a comprehensive on-boarding process will often appear less competitive during the initial stages of a quotation phase. However, this is because hidden costs are not on our agenda; we behave as a trusted partner aligning the needs of your business with the functionality that will deliver the outcome you need.

Functionality
Above all, whichever leisure management system you end up choosing has to deliver on functionality. Which functionality it needs to deliver on is often a question that is easily overlooked, and triaging your needs into must-haves, nice-to-have and not required provides an excellent starting point from which to begin comparing suppliers.

It will become apparent that leisure management systems tend to fall into two groups; extremely simple and cost-effective, which is perfect for organisations without any complex requirements, or flexible, complex, configurable, and expandable. As you may have guessed, Gladstone Plus2 and Gladstone360 lay in this latter category.

If you are looking for simple and
cost-effective, consider GladstoneOne

It is precisely because of the innate flexibility within the Gladstone suite that providing an exhaustive feature set would prove difficult - each customer is unique, and has a very specific set of requirements. With the help of our dedicated professional services team, we’re able to tailor installs to meet almost any request.

However, for a run-down of core features for reception and review our range of customer engagement solutions.  If you would like a closer look at our road map get in contact to arrange a discussion with our Product Management group.

Roadmap

Whilst it may seem strange to place too much importance on a roadmap - after all, you’re buying a leisure management system for what it can do today, not what it might be able to do in the future - it is key.

The two key things to look for are:

  1. Does the roadmap, even long-term, diverge from what you’re looking for? Are they looking to change course and develop features that you have no need of, or worse, could they stop supporting key features you need?
  2. Does the roadmap match your needs exactly? If so, consider carefully whether the vendor might be trying to secure your business by over-optimistically promising to deliver your entire feature request list.

Learn more about Gladstone's commitment to Innovation and Digital Leisure

As we know, moving between systems is complex and costly, and so you want to minimise having to do so. For a long-term relationship with your leisure management vendor, choose a company that invests in innovation, doesn’t play catch-up with its competitors or over-sells features that it ultimately won’t be able to deliver.

Our roadmap is publicly available and a transparent, living document that we actively encourage our customers to contribute to.

Read more on our InsideTrack programme here.

People

In choosing a leisure management provider, you are choosing a company to work in partnership with, perhaps for many years. The relationship you strike with your leisure management provider is key - for both parties.

A successful two-way relationship between software vendor and leisure operator is mutually beneficial. The vendor benefits from contract renewals, and through excellent customer service, post-sale training and proactive engagement from client relationship managers, the operator ought to be able to demonstrate increased engagement, and by extension, revenue.

Don’t be too swayed by dynamic personalities of individual salespeople. Depending on the organisation’s structure, you may be assigned a different manager post-sale and could never see them again. Instead, try to speak to as many people in the business as you can, from technical support - you’re definitely going to be calling their helpdesk, so it’s worth checking what they’re like, to R&D, to account managers and more.

You’ll want to look for people who try to understand the issues you face in your individual environment, rather than listening merely to reply with a long feature list. Salespeople should be experts on the solutions that they’re promoting; there is a reason many are titled sales consultants rather than simply salespeople.

Another top tip is to do some digging on social media: Twitter can be a very revealing source of information. Talk to a few existing customers and ask whether they’d recommend your potential supplier. Read customer surveys, and check whether the feedback is acted upon.

If you're building a case to move suppliers or seeking further investment in your Leisure Management system, check out our article on how to build a strong business case

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