It’s a very exciting time for the sports facility management and leisure management sectors. These sectors are innovating rapidly and adapting to the new digital world we all now live in. However, there’s a problem! The market is very fractured.
Companies that provide traditional Leisure Management systems have been around for donkeys’ years! These companies started out providing gym membership software. The type of software that you downloaded onto your PC. As the market grew, these companies adapted and started offering the full leisure management solution i.e. gym membership, classes, online booking, etc.
Now everything is moving to the cloud, particularly since COVID. New companies, like SportsKey, have entered the market. Their cloud-based facility and leisure management solutions can be accessed anywhere, anytime and on any device. This forced the traditional Leisure Management providers to adapt and move to the cloud.
The result is that no provider offers all the features that customers want because it’s very specialised and too complicated. There are so many areas of expertise that it’s practically impossible for anyone provider to become “a master of all trades”. For example, there are companies that are solely focused on providing solutions for swimming lessons and then others that specialise in gym memberships, etc.
Because customers can’t get full “one-stop shop” solution, the one question that everyone keeps asking me is…..”Can your software integrate with our current software provider?”
The solution to the problem is integration. While many of the industry leaders have created APIs to allow easy integration with their software, a large percentage haven’t.
It’s my opinion that way to survive and thrive in this industry is to collaborate and integrate. Customers don’t want to use several different booking systems. They want a solution that enables them and their customers to move seamlessly between the different software packages they use.
Integration is the key to growth in the sector. With that in mind, we need to make sure we practice what we preach!
Yours in sport,