The Power Of Partnerships
Sep 16 2019
For the TASK team, one of our biggest points of pride is the number of long-standing relationships we maintain with our customers. In the fast-paced tech industry, things tend to change pretty quickly, so we love it when clients with a reputation for forward-thinking and a focus on innovation decide to partner with TASK to get the job done…and stay along for the ride.
Bankstown Sports Club in Sydney’s inner-southwest is one of those clients. To its approximately 75,000 members, Bankstown Sports is much more than a club. Boasting six separate venues including Baulkham Hills Sports, Bankstown Bowls and Auburn Tennis Club, it incorporates a 152 room Travelodge Hotel, large-scale function spaces, multiple dining facilities and one of NSW’s largest gaming floors.
Making sense of complexity
Efficient management of multiple venues with an expansive scope of facilities – including 24/7 operation of the main club – takes a lot of effort and technology to achieve. We started working with Bankstown back in 2013, when management recognised a need to integrate multiple disparate systems and make better use of available data to gain insights and deliver an enhanced customer experience. The club was looking for a partner that echoed its own innovative attitude – and knew this would be key to successfully achieving the significant growth targets being pursued. And so, our relationship was born.
Andrew Kelly was General Manager of Bankstown Sports in 2013 and maintains this position today. He says a thirst for finding new and better ways to service members is instilled in the club from the top down.
“Our CEO and management team have a real desire to be ahead of the curve – not just when it comes to technology, either.
“As an organisation, we maintain a philosophy of competitiveness, so we’re continually looking for ways that will let us stay ahead of the game. We’re also mindful that our competition isn’t just other clubs, it’s everything from shopping centres to restaurants and even staying home and watching Netflix – anything that vies for discretionary spend and valuable leisure hours – so the in-club experience has to deliver exceptional experiences, which means being constantly focused on improvement.
“Working with a technology partner that echoes that success-seeking mentality is vital for us”, Kelly said.
Digital focus delivers
Of course, the lifeblood of any club is its members, so our initial foray with Bankstown over half a decade ago was to firm up sales data captured from the POS system and utilise it in a way that introduced real, ongoing member benefit. The tiered VIP-member loyalty program immediately gave the club cross-sell, upsell and target reward capability – a program still used today, but now to even more effect thanks to effort and ideas from both sides of the partnership.
“We don’t pretend to know everything and realise there’s often a better way to achieve what we are after, particularly with a product as vast as the TASK solution.
“Our ongoing relationship means we can come up with an idea and run it past the TASK team for input and guidance. Equally, on occasion we’ll suggest some sort of modification or additional functionality that we think would be beneficial to all TASK users, which may subsequently make it into the product. The information flow goes both ways – it’s a true partnership”, Kelly said.
The club’s loyalty program now delivers a single view of the customer across all six venues, consolidating information and allowing for truly targeted marketing initiatives.
According to Kelly, for decades the traditional marketing cornerstone in the club space was production of a printed magazine every three or four months, which was mailed out to members.
“We’ve moved on from that style of marketing now that around 50% of our members hold a digital membership.
“Our communications program has recently changed to a format of regular eDMs to the 50,000+ email addresses in our database.
“The beauty of utilising the information drawn from the TASK system to populate our communications is the level of customisation we can achieve. Pulling that raw data associated with each customer means we can target each member individually to deliver really specific offerings – things we know they value based on the information we’ve already captured. TASK is a critical part of the success of these initiatives”, Kelly said.
Making light work of integration
There’s also plenty of behind-the-scenes action that the customers never see. Multifaceted environments like clubs and casinos incorporate numerous function-specific systems that utilise business intelligence capability to unlock and examine complex demographic and behavioural data. That means TASK is often called upon to integrate with third party systems to facilitate a seamless flow of information.
We employ varying integration methodologies depending on the application requirement, but our belief in making complex things easy means we prefer to integrate via our RESTful API (JSON), a functional tool for developers and third-party vendors. We've developed an unparalleled library of APIs that make integration with our system straightforward and offer a rock-solid foundation built on the latest technology.
So, when Bankstown Sports asked us if we could assist with integration to accounting and CRM platform NetSuite, we naturally said ‘yes’. All member information is held in the NetSuite environment. From an accounting perspective, the club wanted the ability to extract sales data from the TASK system in a format that allowed simple upload into NetSuite. We were happy to accommodate that requirement and have delivered a solution that replaces a few hours of data entry every day. Additionally, integration to the CRM function of NetSuite means new member information is automatically sent to the TASK database, allowing members to seamlessly earn and redeem club loyalty points as soon as they sign up.
Kelly says the club won’t be resting on its laurels anytime soon, with plenty of future projects currently on the table.
“There’s never an endpoint. We are currently talking about other tech we plan to implement in coming months – we’re investigating things like mobile payments functionality, ordering via an app and introducing self-serve kiosks. Our firm relationship with TASK means we can have constructive discussions that let us work out how it will all fit and function together...before we get to the point of no return. That level of easy communication, combined with a history of success together, is what helps us to keep moving forward. Having a solid underlying transaction management platform as the base on which other things are built has proven to be an effective approach. The smarts delivered by TASK has made a huge difference to our business”, Kelly said.
Our customers’ success is our success, so we love it when our relationships encourage both parties to keep moving forward and striving to achieve better results. It’s an inbuilt part of the TASK ethos and one that we share we a growing number of clients in service industries like yours. To find out more, contact us today and discover how the TASK solution can help you build your business.