Clubs are complex businesses. To run one, the owner has to think about membership – how to find new members and, just as importantly, how to retain the ones he or she already has. But there’s more. The successful club owner needs to perform a delicate balancing act between those membership issues, whilst handling food and beverage, retail sales, hospitality, accommodation, maybe a spa and – in many cases – all the associated details that go with running a golf club.
How can club owners successfully juggle all these factors without at any time taking their eye off the ball? To answer those questions and more, here’s Steve Salter, Head of Golf and Leisure for NFS Technology.
“Integration is the Keyword: integration between departments within the club, integration between the staff, integration of membership, integration of databases and IT, integration of the club within the community around it. Pitching this integration right can generate not only new business but reduce membership attrition, allowing the club to evolve and grow. This integration lies primarily with the management tools and management systems.”
“The database is the first concern when integrating management systems. This is key to the club. Without it, managing current membership and a client list is impossible.”
“The next concern is sharing information with your teams. Passing on knowledge to members and clients through an integrated system gives every member of staff at the club the opportunity to understand your customers better and provides an opportunity to up and cross sell across the membership and client list.”
So where does IBS come into the story? Steve explains further.
“Using an integrated system like IBS gives the club the ability to consolidate reporting through business intelligence tools, giving managers the information they need to make key strategic business decisions. These decisions are based on real time information, not guess work.”
“This allows for greater understanding of club usage by members and clients. It helps to understand when you are busy and when you are not, giving the manager the opportunity to yield manage the business and reduce costs.”
“Then we come to the spending patterns of members and clients/customers. Understanding how much and when they spend gives management teams the understanding and chance to better manage the club’s inventory.”
“IBS also allows you to get this information on the go. So if you are a manager who is not always at the club or likes to keep an eye on things when he or she is at home, then the IBS web app gives remote access to real-time information on the move, wherever you are.”
“The system also tracks members and clients/customers throughout the club to show what an average member is spending. The data includes booking tee time, buying a drink, organising an event, attending an event and buying goods in the club shop.”
“This information is consolidated into an average spend report automatically, giving club managers average spend per member that comes through the doors. The system will also break this information down by department. For example, every time a member comes in, on average, he or she might spend £15 on golf, £9.94 on food and beverages and £7.74 on pro shop merchandise.”
“IBS has a number of standard reports that can provide this information or an individual custom report can be built, saved and emailed to the manager at regular intervals. The system also has a web based yield manager that gives a traffic light indication of utilisation of golf tee times. Red means under-utilised based on key performance indicators (KPIs) set by the club manager, amber is close to meeting your targets and green shows you have reached your utilisation target.”
“If these KPIs/targets have not been reached you can instantly reduce the green fee prices to try and get these spaces filled before they are lost forever. Also, in turn you can increase pricing for tee time slots where you have reached the KPI target, allowing you to maximise revenue of a golf course.”
Clubs and other organisations that use IBS range from golf clubs to private members clubs, as well as hotels that integrate the solution with other software to maximise efficiency. Here’s how golf clubs in the UK and abroad are putting the software to use.
IMG Managed Golf Club Chooses NFS
Lakowe Lakes Golf and Country Estate is designed as an exclusive, secure and serene haven located some 25 minutes outside the bustling business centre of Lagos. The Lakowe Lakes development occupies a land area of roughly 308 hectares, and overlooks a 55 hectare man-made lake. The course, designed by PGA Professional and golf course architect, Robert O’Friel, is an 18-hole championship golf course situated along the Lekki–Epe axis and sets new international standards for golf courses in West Africa.
The golf course takes full advantage of the unspoiled coastal forest with fairways surrounded by the beauty of this natural ecosystem that forms a harmonious balance for golfers and residents. The golf course comprises 92 hectares of beautifully manicured lawn and includes multiple tees, generously wide fairways, bunkers and greens to challenge all levels and skills of golfers. It has a par rating of 72, consisting of two returning loops of nine holes each with four par 5s, four par 3s and ten par 4s. Lakowe Lakes golf course is a world-class golf course that is expected to attract top professional and amateur tournaments that will further enhance its status as Nigeria’s leading golf destination.
Bode Olaibi, Project Director, says: “Lakowe Lakes is setting new benchmarks for golf and golf resorts in West Africa. In our partners IMG and NFS we have found the experience and expertise required to assist our senior management team in delivering a truly first class product.”
Other golfing benefits will include a golf academy, a nine-hole par-3 course, driving range, short game practice facility as well as a clubhouse and all its amenities.
NFS have been instructed to implement the IBS integrated club management solution at Lakowe Lakes. The modular design of the software allows the club to pick and choose areas of the software that are required, giving the club a bespoke, but completely integrated solution. Key benefits for the club include integrated customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing to drive revenue as well as the ability to profile and track all its members and customers. Key benefits for IMG Management include remote monitoring access through web applications and Business Intelligence reporting.
Andreas Döring, Director of Operations for IMG on the NFS management software, comments: “NFS have a unique turn-key product for managing every area of our resort operations at Lakowe that allows not only our GM on the ground, but also IMG Golf Course Management executives, to monitor the key areas of our resort business. The NFS software solution is a perfect fit.”
Steve Salter, Head of Golf and Leisure for NFS adds: “We are delighted to be working closely with IMG and Lakowe Lakes on this project. Our solution with all its integrated modules is a perfect fit for both IMG, who can review and manage the property remotely with web-based reporting applications, and Lakowe Lakes, who can provide their members and customers with great online facilities, service and functionality.”
NFS Chosen By Braemar Golf
Braemar Golf, based in St Andrews, is currently managing a number of golf facilities in Morocco. As part of the management contract, Braemar advised its clients, CGI, that the clubs will need a state-of-the-art management system that will allow the established and new build clubs to flourish.
They chose NFS because of its complete integration and unrivalled web-based reporting and business intelligence allowing Braemar to monitor the clubs’ progress remotely.
More on this story in future newsletters.
The video series from the PGA Captain is in full flow. The videos, recorded at an NFS seminar for club managers, gives you an insight into Eddie’s thoughts on a number of relevant topics for the golf industry, including revenue generation and customer service. If you missed the first four videos then please click on the links below to watch. Also, remember to look out for the final video in this series.
Week One -Introduction
Week Two – Revenue Drivers
Week Three – Customer Service
Week Four – Communicating With the Next Generation
Free Seminar for Senior Golf Club Management Teams
The date for the next seminar will be on May 15th at Branston Golf and Country Club in the Midlands. The event is free and covers some of the key issues and topics that today’s golf clubs want to talk about. If you would like to attend, please contact us direct or click on one of the previous videos and fill in the form at the bottom of the video landing page.
NFS Annual Golf Day
Both dates and venues are still to be confirmed, but if you would like to attend or are interested to learn more, then please contact us direct for more information.