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How GymNation Achieved Digital Leadership in the Fitness Industry with Perfect Gym

Gymnation Team

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Back in 2017, Dubai ranked as the world's second most expensive city for gym memberships.

Seeing member overcharging and substandard facilities as a prevalent issue, GymNation was founded with a mission to redefine fitness, paving the way for a more inclusive approach to wellbeing.

Fast-forward to now, “The People’s Gym” stands out not only as the best value-for-money gym chain but also as a Digital Leader in the fitness industry. Here is how GymNation’s strategic use of technology transforms the gym experience in the Middle East.

A decade ago, fitness club memberships in the United Arab Emirates were deemed expensive. At that time, residents were confronted with exorbitant fees exceeding 400 AED per month (approx. 100 €), requiring an upfront payment covering an entire year. Recognising the need for a paradigm shift in the industry, Loren Holland, Frank Afeaki, and Ant Martland launched GymNation in 2017.

three men in gym clothes with logo smiling

Their vision was to democratise access to high-quality fitness facilities, breaking free from the constraints of inflated prices and offering a new standard in affordability and accessibility in the Middle East. Today, GymNation is not only the most affordable and flexible fitness chain in the Emirates but also one of the most technologically advanced gym operators in the world.

In 2022, GymNation embarked on a rapid expansion with ambitious plans to grow internationally but its management system at that time felt the systems they had in place fell short of supporting these efforts.

To cater to the evolving business needs and facilitate brand growth in Saudi Arabia and across the wider GCC, GymNation needed a platform that meets the key requirements:

  1. An open interface facilitating integration with third-party software 
  1. Custom integration capabilities to expand the digital ecosystem 
  1. Support for the mobile app in the Arabic language 
  1. Implementation of a fully automated 24/7 access system 
  1. Support for various payment gateways to accommodate members' preferred billing methods 
  1. The capability to customise and develop an exceptional digital member experience  


Embark on the transformative journey of GymNation, exploring its commitment to excellence across five fundamental pillars driving the transformation in the fitness industry.

 

Remote Implementation and Premier Success Plan

Choosing a gym management platform that not only accelerates growth but also aligns with specific business needs is crucial for a company's success. Ant Martland, GymNation’s co-founder and CCO, confirms that finding the right software partner is not an easy task.

“We went through an extensive due diligence process. 

We probably spoke to every provider of gym management software in the world, and we just felt that Perfect Gym was a good solution to scale with us.


The system's remote deployment, coordinated from Perfect Gym’s Polish headquarters to GymNation's 11 sites in the UAE, was skilfully handled by the implementation team.

They provided guidance through every step of the way, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free transition. Reflecting on the process, Ant states:

Having a remote implementation couldn't have gone better. Our initial concern was about the need for the Perfect Gym team to be physically present, but their extensive experience in remote implementations proved invaluable.

Perfect Gym team expertly navigated us through each step, not only with our platform but also with the integration of various third-party tools.

Introducing a technology shift into a large-scale business infrastructure demands careful planning and flawless execution.

GymNation is serious about prioritising smooth operations for an unparalleled member experience. This commitment was emphasised by choosing the Premier Success Plan, a comprehensive support service designed to maximise process efficiency and performance.

The Premier Success Plan goes beyond standard support, offering a tailored approach to meet the specific needs of your organisation. 

Depending on the size and complexity of your business, you have the flexibility to select a level of dedicated support and sessions that align with your goals. 

For a business of our scale, I highly recommend onboarding with a Premier Success Plan. It provides us with a dedicated account manager who expedites and channels any issues to different appropriate within the company. This person is on call 24/7, with weekly check-ins ensuring optimal platform use.

We also have regular meetings for prioritising developments, making the onboarding process seamless and efficient. It has worked exceptionally well for us, and we look forward to continuing this approach.

Ant Martland, Co-Founder and CCO at GymNation

GymNation's Approach to Achieving Operational Excellence

A prominent and rapidly growing fitness chain like GymNation, catering to the needs of over 60,000 members 24/7, needs a reliable and robust management system at its core to ensure operational excellence.

Perfect Gym has proven to be a strong foundation for achieving this goal, recognised for its user-friendliness across all organisational levels. Ant Martland attests to the system's efficiency, stating:

We found Perfect Gym to be extremely user-friendly for all levels of people within the organisation, not only from Senior Management but all the way to reception teams and sales teams.

Everyone has visibility on the operational aspects that they need, and we couldn't have a system that's easier to manage and easier to run with.

An Impressive 33% Year-on-Year Surge in Membership 

A 33% year-on-year increase in the membership base stands as a testament to GymNation's robust growth strategy. 

William Rasmussen-Dean, Country Director at GymNation, affirms that this substantial rise is attributed not only to the opening of new clubs but also to continuous improvements in their systems. Among the standout solutions contributing to this success is Perfect Gym’s Point of Sale.

POS is an easy-to-use system supporting reception staff in streamlining administrative processes and providing an exceptional customer experience.

GymNation strategically utilises it to enhance operational efficiency and add a personalised touch, aligning with the brand’s commitment to providing a welcoming environment for its members. Highlighting the role of the Point of Sale system in enhancing customer experience, William admits that:

POSweb helps to streamline and give members a better experience. When somebody checks into our gym, you can see their name flagged up on a screen, which allows us to welcome them properly.

Elevating Security and Member Experience through Platform Update 

Having a secure cloud-based platform is a pivotal foundation for a modern and agile fitness business, ensuring information integrity, accessibility, and operational efficiency. 

As a data-centric company, GymNation places a high priority on safeguarding its data.

 
Perfect Gym, an ISO 27001 Certified and GDPR Compliant cloud-based platform assures GymNation that its info is safe and protected.

One of the elements contributing to this was the implementation of a secure access control system, ensuring convenient, fully automated 24/7 entry to GymNation’s facilities.

Previously relying on RFID cards and fingerprint readers, the company faced challenges such as card sharing among members and ineffective fingerprint recognition, particularly during the pandemic.

gymnation reception


Transitioning to Perfect Gym, GymNation now provides members with safe and convenient access through modern Gantner hardware. The secure QR code, accessible via the EGYM app integrated into the entire system, has streamlined the access process, enhancing security and member experience.

 

The second key aspect that GymNation aspired to achieve was incorporating the Arabic language into its mobile app. Recognising the importance of catering to the linguistic preferences of its members, GymNation partnered with the EGYM app, acknowledging that Arabic is the first language of the vast majority of the region's population.

GymNation's Robust Digital Presence Strategy 

In today's business landscape, maintaining a strong digital presence is imperative for staying relevant and competitive in any industry. Acknowledging this, GymNation “adopts an omnichannel approach. We try to be everywhere we can at all times. It's very important for us to be where our customers are,” emphasises Ant Martland.

Their dynamic marketing strategy spans various platforms, including TikTokFacebookInstagramLinkedInX and YouTube.



Source: perfectgym