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GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), a not-for-profit social enterprise company managing 55 sports and leisure venues in partnership with London Boroughs, has purchased Microsoft Dynamics AX from business solutions consultancy Touchstone Group, as part of the development and delivery of a fully operational enterprise ERP solution. Under the terms of the £750,000 contract, which includes software, services and business consultancy, Touchstone Group will implement Microsoft Dynamics AX as part of GLL’s £2m business transformation project, to improve business efficiency and customer service.
Over the last 3½ years, GLL has doubled in size making it the largest operator of public leisure venues in London. Following this rapid growth, GLL soon realised that in order to continue the Trust’s growth and improve customer service, its current information and communication systems needed a complete overhaul.
Mark Sesnan, Managing Director, GLL, comments, “We knew that the technology we were using and the disparate nature of our infrastructure was neither satisfying our current business requirements nor keeping us up to speed with the wider benefits technology could offer moving forward. We had previously been working with IT packages that couldn’t be integrated and the different suppliers didn’t talk to each other, which was causing significant business issues and slowing our progress.”
Sesnan continues, “After scanning the marketplace we opted for Microsoft Dynamics AX because it offers seamless integration of all our existing processes in both front and back office – from HR to financing.”
GLL is also taking advantage of Microsoft’s Total Solution Financing initiative as Tim Duerr, Microsoft business development manager, explains, “GLL has been able to avoid the financial constraints of having to invest a considerable sum of money at the beginning of the project by spreading the cost through a financing agreement. Uniquely this includes the consulting work, implementation and services provided by Touchstone Group as well as the Microsoft Dynamics AX application itself.”
Microsoft Dynamics AX will eliminate a large percentage of GLL’s manual processes from the 55 leisure centres it currently manages – for example, the 3000 time sheets that need to be managed and filed each month. Microsoft Dynamics AX also allows for instant access to all information and files reducing the need for duplication of documents.
“We were keen to work with a Microsoft Gold Certified partner and were recommended three potential partners by Microsoft,” says Sesnan. “We liked Touchstone Group’s consultative approach. They clearly understood our business and that gave us a lot of confidence. They proved they had in-depth knowledge and experience of deploying ERP solutions that have underpinned business change and delivered significant benefits, particularly in the not-for-profit sector.”
Sesnan concludes, “Over the next few years there is going to be an increased need for sports and leisure facilities that will require careful unification and the need for 21stCentury technology for admissions, bookings and competitions. It’s fair to say that IT is a key enabler for the expansion and growth of our business. Certainly, with Touchstone Group advising and guiding us in the modernisation of our business processes, through the use of the latest technology, we will be in great shape for the future.”
GLL has over 3,000 employees working to promote sport, activity and social cohesion in London and also runs the London Leisure College specialising in sports and leisure accredited training and skills development. GLL currently manages 55 sports and leisure venues within the London area.