Promotional feature
Gladstone - Access Story

Gladstone’s new access control solution doesn’t just provide enhanced security and track attendance: it delivers invaluable insights into exactly how customers use your facilities


Most leisure centre and health club operators don’t need to be told that in today’s climate of austerity, understanding and responding to the needs of their customers is essential to the success, if not the survival, of their business.

Yet in many facilities what customers do once they go past reception is still anyone’s guess. While reception turnstiles track their attendance, data on what they do afterwards is largely lost – a particular issue for operators that offer all-inclusive memberships.

To overcome this problem, savvy operators are investing in multi-sector access control solutions developed by suppliers such as Gladstone, which control access and collect customer data, not just at reception but throughout the whole site: at the gym, the studio, the pool and the spa.

However, Gladstone understands that not every leisure operator is in a position to install turnstiles at the threshold of every facility within their club or centre. To cater for this, the company has developed a system which allows data on specific facility usage to be captured via a mounted touch-screen at the main reception turnstiles, where customers must answer a simple question or number of questions before being allowed to proceed.

Gladstone, which consulted access experts ASP on the hardware design, originally developed the solution for Oldham Community Leisure, but is now offering a tailor-made version of it to all its clients.

“Providing enhanced data on how a member uses a club or centre would normally involve unprecedented investment in access control hardware covering the whole facility,” says Gladstone’s managing director, Tom Withers. “Our solution provides an answer where installing physical access control in all areas is either not practical or not affordable.”

Another unique feature of the product is the System Monitoring Tool, which prevents data from being lost because a staff member manually releases the turnstiles to let a customer in if the system denies them access – for example, if they have an unpaid sale.

Using the System Monitoring Tool, staff can now go into a web portal and simply click a button to override the access denial. This gives the customer a one-day grace period, enabling them to pass through the turnstiles while the site still collects their data.

The access control solution also allows individual members to choose multi-ID options – so one person can check in using an RFID band, card or mobile – as well as supporting biometrics, should operators require it.

“Like all our products, Gladstone’s access control solution can be adapted to meet each operator’s specific needs,” says Withers. “But the ultimate aim is to support our clients not only to control access within their facilities, but also to gain a much better understanding of their customers’ behaviour and needs.”

CASE STUDY

Oldham Community Leisure moved to Gladstone from its previous software supplier ahead of launching two new leisure centres at the end of 2015

Our trust operates 11 leisure centres, swimming pools and synthetic pitches in Oldham, and we chose to partner Gladstone because we knew their software and services could make a real difference to the efficiency of our sites. In particular, we were impressed by the tailor-made access control solution they designed for our two new centres: Royton Leisure Centre, opened in September, and Oldham Leisure Centre, opened in November.

Oldham Council invested £23m in these two sites, and being able to show exactly how they were being used was a major condition of our new operating contract. Our contract aside, it’s a basic requirement for OCL that we constantly look for new ways to understand our members. So it was vital for both us and the council that we should be able to gather data on specific facility usage, yet we also wanted customers to be able to move around our centres unhindered by questions. Of all the suppliers we spoke to, only Gladstone took our ideas on board.

While we were in favour of installing turnstiles activated by RFID at reception and the gym, we didn’t want turnstiles at the pool, as we felt the wet environment would inevitably cause problems with the electronic equipment. We knew data relating to class and activity bookings would be captured when members scanned in at the reception turnstiles, while turnstiles at the gym would track gym usage, so swimming was the missing piece of the jigsaw.

To overcome this, Gladstone developed a system which allows data on pool usage to be collected using a mounted touch-screen at the main reception turnstiles. Before being allowed access, customers simply touch “Yes” or “No” in response to the question, “Are you going to swim today?”

The major benefit of this system is that we now understand the real demand for activities, especially swimming. As a direct result of this, we are currently revising our swimming timetable so that it better meets the needs of users. We are also reviewing staffing within the gym, to ensure we have enough staff on the floor to deal with queries at our busiest times. And as well as assisting with programming and staffing decisions, the data provides a much clearer picture of where investment is needed.

In addition to its data collection benefits, the solution is helping us to protect our revenue by making sure that everyone who passes through the turnstiles is either a member or has paid. It has also enabled us to introduce new products without additional staffing costs – such as an early-morning members-only swim session – and to offer pay-as-you-go customers the chance to purchase RFID bands that will allow them to access sessions paid for online without having to queue.

In short, Gladstone has delivered, on time, an access control solution that allows us to monitor usage across all areas of our buildings. What’s more, the simple yet effective visual interfaces they have created ensure that our customers can operate the system successfully every time.

Peter Howson, head of customer relations, OCL

 



Jim McMahon MP, former leader of Oldham Council with Stuart Lockwood, CEO of Oldham Community Leisure at the opening of the new Oldham Leisure Centre.
 


Access barriers and activity capture screen at Oldham Leisure Centre.
 


TEL: +44 (0) 1491 201010
EMAIL: [email protected]
WEB: www.gladstonesoftware.co.uk

 


 


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Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2016 issue 9

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Gladstone - Access Story

Promotional feature

Gladstone - Access Story


Gladstone’s new access control solution doesn’t just provide enhanced security and track attendance: it delivers invaluable insights into exactly how customers use your facilities

The new Royton Leisure Centre

Most leisure centre and health club operators don’t need to be told that in today’s climate of austerity, understanding and responding to the needs of their customers is essential to the success, if not the survival, of their business.

Yet in many facilities what customers do once they go past reception is still anyone’s guess. While reception turnstiles track their attendance, data on what they do afterwards is largely lost – a particular issue for operators that offer all-inclusive memberships.

To overcome this problem, savvy operators are investing in multi-sector access control solutions developed by suppliers such as Gladstone, which control access and collect customer data, not just at reception but throughout the whole site: at the gym, the studio, the pool and the spa.

However, Gladstone understands that not every leisure operator is in a position to install turnstiles at the threshold of every facility within their club or centre. To cater for this, the company has developed a system which allows data on specific facility usage to be captured via a mounted touch-screen at the main reception turnstiles, where customers must answer a simple question or number of questions before being allowed to proceed.

Gladstone, which consulted access experts ASP on the hardware design, originally developed the solution for Oldham Community Leisure, but is now offering a tailor-made version of it to all its clients.

“Providing enhanced data on how a member uses a club or centre would normally involve unprecedented investment in access control hardware covering the whole facility,” says Gladstone’s managing director, Tom Withers. “Our solution provides an answer where installing physical access control in all areas is either not practical or not affordable.”

Another unique feature of the product is the System Monitoring Tool, which prevents data from being lost because a staff member manually releases the turnstiles to let a customer in if the system denies them access – for example, if they have an unpaid sale.

Using the System Monitoring Tool, staff can now go into a web portal and simply click a button to override the access denial. This gives the customer a one-day grace period, enabling them to pass through the turnstiles while the site still collects their data.

The access control solution also allows individual members to choose multi-ID options – so one person can check in using an RFID band, card or mobile – as well as supporting biometrics, should operators require it.

“Like all our products, Gladstone’s access control solution can be adapted to meet each operator’s specific needs,” says Withers. “But the ultimate aim is to support our clients not only to control access within their facilities, but also to gain a much better understanding of their customers’ behaviour and needs.”

CASE STUDY

Oldham Community Leisure moved to Gladstone from its previous software supplier ahead of launching two new leisure centres at the end of 2015

Our trust operates 11 leisure centres, swimming pools and synthetic pitches in Oldham, and we chose to partner Gladstone because we knew their software and services could make a real difference to the efficiency of our sites. In particular, we were impressed by the tailor-made access control solution they designed for our two new centres: Royton Leisure Centre, opened in September, and Oldham Leisure Centre, opened in November.

Oldham Council invested £23m in these two sites, and being able to show exactly how they were being used was a major condition of our new operating contract. Our contract aside, it’s a basic requirement for OCL that we constantly look for new ways to understand our members. So it was vital for both us and the council that we should be able to gather data on specific facility usage, yet we also wanted customers to be able to move around our centres unhindered by questions. Of all the suppliers we spoke to, only Gladstone took our ideas on board.

While we were in favour of installing turnstiles activated by RFID at reception and the gym, we didn’t want turnstiles at the pool, as we felt the wet environment would inevitably cause problems with the electronic equipment. We knew data relating to class and activity bookings would be captured when members scanned in at the reception turnstiles, while turnstiles at the gym would track gym usage, so swimming was the missing piece of the jigsaw.

To overcome this, Gladstone developed a system which allows data on pool usage to be collected using a mounted touch-screen at the main reception turnstiles. Before being allowed access, customers simply touch “Yes” or “No” in response to the question, “Are you going to swim today?”

The major benefit of this system is that we now understand the real demand for activities, especially swimming. As a direct result of this, we are currently revising our swimming timetable so that it better meets the needs of users. We are also reviewing staffing within the gym, to ensure we have enough staff on the floor to deal with queries at our busiest times. And as well as assisting with programming and staffing decisions, the data provides a much clearer picture of where investment is needed.

In addition to its data collection benefits, the solution is helping us to protect our revenue by making sure that everyone who passes through the turnstiles is either a member or has paid. It has also enabled us to introduce new products without additional staffing costs – such as an early-morning members-only swim session – and to offer pay-as-you-go customers the chance to purchase RFID bands that will allow them to access sessions paid for online without having to queue.

In short, Gladstone has delivered, on time, an access control solution that allows us to monitor usage across all areas of our buildings. What’s more, the simple yet effective visual interfaces they have created ensure that our customers can operate the system successfully every time.

Peter Howson, head of customer relations, OCL

 



Jim McMahon MP, former leader of Oldham Council with Stuart Lockwood, CEO of Oldham Community Leisure at the opening of the new Oldham Leisure Centre.
 


Access barriers and activity capture screen at Oldham Leisure Centre.
 


TEL: +44 (0) 1491 201010
EMAIL: [email protected]
WEB: www.gladstonesoftware.co.uk

 



Originally published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 9

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