The Day the World Stood Still for Leisure Services

21-May-2020 16:33:59

At 5.15 PM on Friday 20th March 2020, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all gyms and leisure centres must close their doors that evening, and not reopen until further notice. There was an immediate need for action; closing facilities for an indefinite amount of time whilst doing everything possible to update systems and records whilst crucially keeping customers informed.  

More recent updates have started to feel a little more positive; shifting the focus towards relaxing restrictions, opening up the economy and what this in turn will mean for our industry. As we start to consider what New Dawn may look like for our clubs and operators, we’ve been busy offering guidance and support for the road ahead. 

The changes which you are putting in place are vital to the life blood of your business, but have you also wondered what might be happening within your central LMS database during this downtime? And how you can ensure it’s right there with you as we start to open up again!  

Pre Covid-19, your LMS database will have been running 'Start of Day' (fondly known as SoD) whenever the first person on shift logs in This process keeps your database ticking over and in the main is barely noticeable. It extends your classes by a day each time, checks for subscriptions that need to renew and looks to see which have expired. If you haven’t been in a position to log in since 21st March 2020, all these processes will be backing up. 

Time to wake up for a beautiful woman sleeping

Now imagine we’re ready to open. Whether outdoor spaces, golf, tennis, swimming or indoor spaces. The first person on shift dons their PPE and logs onto the system:-  

  • If it’s 4th July, it’s been a total of 105 days since SoD was run, so your process is going to take longer than normal to execute. There is a lot of catching up to do! 
  • It has also been (depending on collection dates) 4 months since you may have completed a Direct Debit run – so those subscriptions will also need to catch up.   
  • In addition, there could be a third of your annual subscriptions that have expired. Again the system will need to process these and where relevant remove them from member accounts (based on the Expired Subs Retention Period).  
  • Oh and let’s not forget any debts that are accrued as part of the above processes which are now sitting on your member accounts, possibly denying them access when they swipe their cards. 
  • In normal circumstances this is exactly what you need from your system! However you’re likely to want to handle them a little differently at the moment.  

So, what can you do now to ensure you’re ahead and enabling the system to perform these functions whilst you have time to manage them, and before your members are looking to make the swift return we all hope they will?   

Step 1

DON’T log in – at least not just yet. The minute you do, any annual subscriptions with an ‘Expired Subs Retention Period of anything other than 0 are going to expire, and remove themselves from the member accounts. In order to stop this happening please book a space here and we will connect in and set all your expired subs retention period to 0. When we’ve done this we will confirm it’s done and then you can move to step 2.  

Step 2

Once Step #1 is done you can NOW log in. It will likely take longer than normal to complete the processbut if you complete before you reopen, it will ensure no delays with logging in on that first day.  

Step 3

It is a good idea to decide how you wish to manage subscriptions to ensure that they’re up to date. This could include completing any required EFT runs, taking into consideration the impact it may have on your financial reporting. If your subscriptions are currently frozen, you will need to consider unfreezing these (using Enmasse in reverse). 

Step 4

Once you’ve got your Direct Debit members sorted, it’s time to address your annual subscriptions. Have you decided what you are planning to do with these? We know some are choosing to extend the end date to cover the closed period, whereas others are planning to offer various discounts to those who renew instead. Either way, you will need to update the system to reflect your operational decision to ensure a seamless experience for your members, with any  discounts for subscriptions ready to sell as and when the time comes.  

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A New Dawn, the ultimate guide for your LMS to support reopening

All the above (possibly with the exception of Step 1) can be executed in-house and up front to ensure you’re ready to hit the ground running from a system perspective when you can reopen.

Our Covid-19 help centre can help to provide you with hints, tips and information on how to carry out these tasks. - 

As always, we would be happy to support you and your team, should you need some help with getting these tasks started, reach out to your Account Manager to find out more. 

Times are challenging, both professionally and personally, therefore I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all (many I know in person) the very best of health and wellbeing during these times, and in the words of Vera Lynn – We’ll meet again…. 

PS. A range of short how-to training articles will be coming soon to the Gladstone Customer Portal - more announcements to follow.

Earn Income whilst your centre is Closed

We understand how important it is for Operators to maintain a connection with their customers.  Our early release of  'Move at Home' live stream service soon to be integrated with the Gladstone LMS enables operators to deliver live stream instructor led classes to their community and membership, right now.

Learn More

Move_3 cards of live stream classes

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