How do you customize technology for a company that serves thousands of people?
What do you do when an organization whose activities include operational, service and marketing elements for thousands of people is growing, but its information systems aren’t keeping pace?

When the management heads of the Elite Center for Sports at Tel Aviv University discovered that gathering data for reports had become a long and complex process, they realized that they needed a customized system that would meet new documentation, service and measurement needs not supported by the existing systems.

Implementing a new ERP program in the sports center enables not only tracking and documentation; it enables creating customer profiles that will boost the growth of the center’s customer club. “Contrary to popular belief, sports centers want their customers to use the facilities as much as possible. Tracking members’ activities lets us get to know our customers better so that we can offer them the right services,” says Avi Beza, CEO of Elite Sports Center at Tel Aviv University.

The need for simplicity

“The need first arose when I asked several experts for statistics about our members in order to prepare next year’s work plan. They told me that gathering the data is complicated and will take time. After further inquiries I came to the conclusion that we have to replace the system that has been in use for years, with a newer and more advanced system with capabilities such as tracking, CRM, management and operation, etc.” And so, in recent months the sports center has completed implementation of the Priority ERP system via FBC company and consultant Amnon Elbee.

The center – which is the biggest country club in Israel, with 11,000 members – is built on over 15 acres and includes a new fitness room, four swimming pools, tennis courts, Pilates and other activities. It works in conjunction with several academic programs, as well as the Asa Tel Aviv sports club.

During recent years, the center has experienced major changes: numerous services have been added; facilities have been renovated and updated; and green energy elements have been installed for heating and cooling.

“The problem was that although the center offers advanced sports facilities, it was hard to plan effectively and some of the data was even managed in Excel files. It was the opposite of the innovative atmosphere we wanted to promote,” says Beza.

The new ERP program was customized exactly to the center’s needs and demands. It supports dozens of users and includes entry control (based on a RFID chip); billing for all types of memberships (family, single, walk-ins); a CRM module for marketing activities; on-site or Internet registration; HR management; activities and summer camp management; etc.

Improving prioritization
“We decided on Priority after looking into other programs. Throughout the project we saw all the efforts put into adapting the system to our needs and not the other way around,” noted Beza.

“Today I can easily keep track of who my members are, how often they visit and what they do when they come. I can offer them other activities they might be interested in and give them personalized service. Another feature of the system is its ability to provide information about a member’s limitations. For example, a warning message is issued if a medical permit is required or if adult supervision is needed.”

Members replaced their entrance cards with smart chips with which they can enter the center and sign up for activities, and in the future they will be used for other things as well.

Andres Richter, CEO of Priority and Tal Frankel, CEO of FBC – which implemented the project and made the necessary customizations – said that “Using a flexible ERP program that enables customization according to the center’s unique character is just what was needed to bring the center’s IT system up to par with the rest of the complex that has gone through extensive renovations and upgrades in recent years. The results are already apparent to the management, workers and, of course, to customers.”

Meital Peleg
Excerpted and translated from Globes, March 1, 2015