Five years ago, Sage Pay chatted to health club chain Zone Fitness about the value of a Sage Pay account. Back then, they attributed improved business efficiency, flexibility and cost savings as key benefits to having an account.
Five years later, we sat down with Zone Fitness again. We wanted to find out how things were going with their business. We were impressed to hear that Zone Fitness has doubled their club footprint in South Africa and have 18 gyms located nationwide. Theuns Schoonwinkel, Financial Manager of Zone Fitness explains: “We keep our gym memberships affordable through our vision: ‘Fitness for all’, which is by focusing on having the basic gym equipment actually needed for a thorough training and training classes, excluding certain luxuries which members would pay for at a price at other gyms which they rarely use. By saving on operating costs we are able to really focus on the essential facilities our gym members want. And by doing this, we pass the savings on to our members.”
With 18 gyms, a customer base of 105 000and a staff compliment of 680, Zone Fitness is certainly doing something right. They have just opened their flagship store in Bellville (with four squash courts, a restaurant and a bar that can be used for external functions) and are expanding into Gauteng over the course of the next few months.
With a growing staff compliment and having to ensure staff get paid on time, payroll processes had to change. Gary Hine, bookkeeper at Zone Fitness for six years tells why. “It used to be time consuming and frustrating managing month end payroll. I would have payroll files reject as incorrect bank account numbers had been captured. I would spend hours trying to track the incorrect details off an excel spreadsheet.” Since Zone Fitness start using the Sage Pay validations and verifications feature already built into Sage Pastel Payroll & HR, payroll processes have improved. “If there is a capture error or an incorrect bank account number, the software flags the individual errors, so I don’t have to search for them. Verifications also match that I am paying salaries into the correct staff member’s bank account.”
Gary adds, “We also process our salaries through Sage Pastel Payroll & HR using our Sage Pay account. The fact that their software is integrated and talks to each other, literally means I only have to click a button and my salary file is uploaded securely. I love the easy to use system and that the salaries are reflected and available in our staff’s bank account on time, every time”.
With any growing business, cash flow is critical to keep moving forward. Theuns elaborates about how they maximize the value of their Sage Pay account, “We collect gym fees from our members via debit order and offset our salary payments against our debit order balance. This saves us from having to transfer funds from one bank account to another. Everything happens seamlessly in our Sage Pay account. It also helps that Sage Pay offers highly competitive fees, so we really do save money on transaction fees.”
Theuns and Gary both agree that the dedicated account support they receive from Sage Pay is another benefit. Gary adds, “If I need assistance, I know that I can call Natalie and she will assist me with my query. I have always been very happy with the service I receive, and I enjoy knowing who I am working with”.