Improve the performance of your sports facility

When it comes to successful university sports facility membership management, making several small adjustments across a range of areas can add up to have a significant impact on profitability and efficiency

Breaking down the process you are trying to improve into its component parts is essential to better understanding and optimising performance. British cycling coach Sir Dave Brailsford used this approach, which he coined “the aggregation of marginal gains”, to turn a failing cycling team into world champions. It has since been used by both sporting teams and organisations with much success.

Brailsford made a 1% improvement to many areas, believing that the cumulative gains would become highly significant. Brailsford searched out all weaknesses in assumptions and all the latent problems to improve on each. Each weakness was not a threat but a chance to make adaptations to create marginal gains.

Employing the aggregation of marginal gains methodology, Team GB won 178 world championships, 66 Olympic/Paralympic gold medals and captured five Tour de France victories from 2007–2017. It is widely regarded as the most successful run in cycling history.

What does cycling have to do with membership management?

For academic sports facilities, regular membership payments are a key source of income. Harlands Group is a leading provider of membership management services to the health and fitness industry. We make a series of small adjustments across a range of areas that combined make a significant improvement to the performance of your sports facility. We call this improvement in business performance – ‘The Harlands Effect’.

Our experts work with you to take your membership management and payments processes and improve the component parts to reduce administration work and maximise your net income.

Key areas for marginal gains

We focus on several areas when helping your sports facility:

  • Online membership sign-up process – A speedy joining process with minimal clicks, combined with adaptive pages, make signing up simple across devices.
  • Accurate data – A consistent, user-friendly online sign-up process improves data accuracy, helps identify peak sign-up times and provides email addresses for member communications.
  • Choice of payment date – Flexibility around choice of payment date can reduce payment failures. Daily direct debit collections ensure new members pay for the full month – increasing first payment income by as much as 20%.
  • Administration and flexibility of payments – Payment processes are automated where possible, members can self-serve online or speak to our member service centre. Integration of our payments portal into your app allows members to book a class and manage payments in one place. Your staff have time to better focus on engaging with members to improve retention.
  • Security of critical business processes and data – Data breaches could negatively impact both payment processes and your wider operations. Academic sports facilities, including York Sport Village, the University of Exeter Sports Park and Aston University’s Woodcock Sports Centre, cannot risk this and so entrust membership management to us. We are FCA-regulated and comply with the highest standards on data and cyber security.
  • Beyond membership payments management – We will identify other areas for improvement and, through our ecosystem of strategic partners, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to achieve your goals.

At Harlands, we help you make these improvements and more – resulting in more sales, less administration, improved flexibility and an enhanced member payment experience. Typically, we will reduce your payment failure rate by as much as 40%.

To discover more about the Harlands Effect and how we can help your facility, visit:

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