Stour Center company

The main aim of the project is to determine the various measures that the Stour Center company is putting in place in order to attract a large number of new customersas well as coming up with particular measures and means to maintain the existing group of loyal customers. This being the case, the major objective of the project circumnavigate on the various methods and measures that the company has to undertake to realize the underlying objective of attracting new customers and at the same time maintaining the loyal ones. The research objectives of my study were based on finding out the reasons and explanations on the Stour’s competitive advantage, provision of services, and various employee and management problems. The outcomes of these questions would help me to evaluate the best tactics that the firm will erect so as to overcome the stiff competition that it is facing in the gym industry.

An appropriate and efficient measure or technique is set aside for implementation and further realization of the goal. Evaluation and adoption of the best measures to attract new customers lead to increased competitive advantage of the company in relation to its competitors such as the gym, park club, and Bannatyne. AIDitionally, an increase in the number of new customers foster a feeling of self-esteem and hence an urge to do more. Maintenance of the loyal customers helps to boost the level of customer satisfaction as well as creating a better public image for the company. Information obtained from the project findings would help to me to answer the objective questions.

From my findings, it is clear that proper management of the existing customers as well as maintaining high satisfaction levels are key ingredients that the company should embark on in order to attract new customers. AIDitionally, provision of unusual and unique services by Stour center such as gym child care services will attract more customers. Improved service delivery services, as well as better hygienic conditions, ’s low performance.

Through my research, I was able to answer the research question since my findings were clear on the best strategy for Stour Center to adopt. The various answers and suggestions meant to answer the research questions will benefit the company directly. Through the research question, I was able to sharpen my wit and knowledge on various management issues that can lead to huge profits to the firm. From the research questions, I was able to reflect both qualitatives and quantitate approaches used in the research methodology.

Results

My project results are overwhelming in that the key target of finding out respective measures that Stour center should embark in are explored at length. In aIDition to the best measures, other possible areas of research in the management field are clearly left out. From my research, I was able to ascertain aIDitional information that is of great significance not only to the management but also to the employees in attempt to execute their day- to-day duties. Both the abilities and inabilities of both the Stour center enterprise and its respective competitor are explored in my results. The aIDitional information will be of great help to prospective investors in the gym industry as well as the already established businesses. My results of this research include both qualitative and quantitative outcomes whose impacts on the gym industry are overwhelming. The outcome of the research questionnaires which were administered to both the company employees and the management are crystal clear from my research. My research outcomes of this project coincide perfectly with my anticipated research questions. These results will help me to come up with the best strategies to avert the company’s predicaments.

Firstly, the question about the market position of Stour Center is answered by my various findings. Owing to the fact that the company’s customer delivery services were inefficient, then it is clear that the company’s trends are going against her expectations. On the contrary, Stour Center has a fitness center with magnificent facilities ranging from contours health club that has been integrated by cardio resistant equipment characterized by an automated tracker. Besides, the institution has a fitness studio with a capacity that can accommodate over 60 participants every week. Moreover, it a vast area for sauna with a flowing Jacuzzi stream that offers an adorable relaxation for clients. Besides the provision of eloquent facilities, Stour Center has received applause for best customer service that involves customers getting assisted by a supportive team so as to encourage them to make more visits (Goodin, Rice& Saunders, 2005). Through my assessment, I was able to clarify of different marketing mechanisms adopted by Stour Center so as to sustain the organizational competitiveness and maintain its reputation as one of the best fitness center ever to have been owned by Ashford Council. Through adoption and use of the PESTEL model, I was able to evaluate the various factors have been employed by the company to achieve the organizational objectives.

Since Stour Center falls in an a hospitality industry, the institution has done its best by collaborating with the government of the united kingdom by adopting all the legal requirements that would see the company fulfilling all the requirements of the environment. For instance, the centers’ main pool at 25m set according to the environmental standards of the Council. The main pool has also been constructed with up to 6 lanes that accommodate sessions for swimming all week long. In aIDition, the fitness center has also been graded as a unique learner’s pool that is safe both for learning and swimming a way in excitement (Johnson., Scholes and Whittington, 2009).

Due to the special spa, Jacuzzi and warm consistent stream offered by the institution, the organization has sustained the development of competitive form of expenditure for the societal discretional income. The economic analysis of the company shows that the center is often associated with high level of demand especially during public holiday, the Stour Center usually gains high level of returns both from the personal in personal service and through funds gained through the venue for higher. Besides, the institution also provides a relaxation joint and excitement faculties for young children and adults thus providing returns to different classes of people including pool operators which are in turn healthy to the economy. According to the official reports obtained from the Ashford council, the number of clients that have been that comes to Stour Center to enjoy their services have increased in the past few years which is a clear indication of a growing economy.

AIDitionally the company has developed world-class facilities that target all class of people ranging from young school going class and grown up adults. Such a technique is perceived very important at targeting at high-end market thus leading higher margin of return to the institution. Ultimately, Stour Center has been designing been designed with modern state of the art with endowed furniture that area all substantial for different classes of the society. For instance, the pool has allocated safe circular teaching pool characterized by bubble pad for young children.

Ultimately, the institution has developed a wide range of supper value preposition for every

budget for training gears and equipment of different ranges (Johnson., Scholes, and Whittington,

2009)

With the potentiality and economic development of Ashford region, Stour Center has embraced marketing strategies to popularize the institutional services across the entire United Kingdom. The institution has designed facilities and different fitness services that suit the taste and preference fulfilling the needs of different clients. Since most UK citizens are practicing healthier lifestyles, hence the society has often been affected by the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle by accepting the presence of sensitive pricing so as to sustain their physical fitness. Such a cultural aspect has enhanced Stour Center potentiality to institute hiring facilities such as a very big hall that offers a sitting capacity of over 300 occupants. In aIDition, the institution the institution has developed a special type of studio that suits both private and public groups. Furthermore, the institutional also has some special and private swimming pools that can be hired for confidential clients. Such special services that also coincide with cultural aspects of citizens of the United Kingdom enables the institution to generate adequate returns compared to the closest rivals that also operate in the same line of service (Kruger and Casey, 2000).

After discovering that some of the services may have not proven better for some customers of Stour Center, the business entity has responded by setting up an online customer’s support system that responds to customer’s queries 24 hours around the clock. Besides, the institution has continued develop and improve ways of service delivery at the institution in terms of service and delivery that appeals to customer preferences. Besides, quality service, ample response to customer feedback and security that have been employed by the institution, Stour Center also relays a lot of focus on customer satisfaction by revitalizing the institutional strategy to adapt the social needs of customer preference. Stour Center has set in place policies to refund customers who feel that they have not received the right services they had paid for (Kruger and Casey, 2000).

AIDitionally, I was able to find that the employs information technology infrastructure to aid the smooth flowing of information across various departments of the institution. Moreover, the implementation of technological appliances by the institution has contributed to the central management of the institutional services (Kruger and Casey, 2000).

Technology has greatly influenced the promotion of Stour Center especially the institutional venue for hiring since it informs potential clients about the existence of such facilities at Stour Center. Most of all, clients can have access to the company portal where they simply log in, carry out reservation and proceed to make payments online without any physical appearance at the institution. The Stour Center has also maintained a user-friendly interactive website where customers can check on the latest services offer by the institution from any part of the world. The uses technological system with as synchronized database to communicate to customers regarding emergence of new products or the once in promotion, but most all the institution uses portable technological devices such as IPAD and tablet processors to popularize products and services on offer (Kruger and Casey, 2000).

From the analysis of Stour Center environmental conservation policies, the firm is highly cognizant and very compliant to legal, environmental measures as required by Ashford council. All the institutional facilities are closely monitored by to ensure that they meet environmental requirements as imposed by the law (Johnson., Scholes and Whittington, 2009).

In accordance to the environmental law, the company has continued to embrace the environmental practices through different means including planting of vegetation around the premise as a sign of solidarity to the environment. Ultimately, the institution ensures that all the pool waters are in constant motion to make it healthy while reducing chances of survival for bacteria and disease-causing microbes (Saunders., Lewis and Thornhill, 2007)

From my research, I also found that the Stour center company both merits and demerits in relation to her close competitors. The ability of company workers to uphold enthusiasm, proper workplace training, and excellent services are key contributors to the company’s earlier success. However, the company faces setbacks such as low customer turn out and inability to upgrade its departments. These latter aspects are some of the reasons as to why the company is experiencing low customer turnovers. AIDitionally, high delivery of services and provision of private pools ensures customer privacy. On the same issue, ability of the competitors to embrace and offer dynamic and all-weather facilities, low-cost services, and pool training facilities is a major challenge to Stour Center.

From my research, I was able to identify the major competitors of Stour Center and their investment endeavors. For instance,Bannatyne Park club has taken control of over 20% of the industrial market. Bannatyne Park Club Company owns varied number of outlets and franchise at different countries across the world including United States and the Asia (Johnson Scholes and Whittington, 2009).Bannatyne Park club has taken control of over 20% of the industrial market. Bannatyne Park Club Company owns varied number of outlets and franchise at different countries across the world including United States and the Asia (Johnson, Scholes and Whittington, 2009). Another competitor is David Lloyd Leisure that has over 200 fitness outlets in the United Kingdom. Having ventured into the center of fitness, the company focuses at operating multiple fitness centers within a small radius. Stour Center boasts as one of the best fitness centers to have been located in a serene environment of Ashford town. The institution is centrally located within the town center thus making it accessible to most residence of the city. AIDitionally, the location of the institution is strategically located on a specials topography that allows outdoor cycling for both groups and individuals and adequate space aside as a fan space for children and contours gym (Malpas, 2011). Data analysis is a very important part in report study and evaluation since it is used to successfully obtain the objectives of the study (Shafer, 2007).Stour Center has a fitness center with magnificent facilities ranging from contours health club that has been integrated by cardio resistant equipment characterized by an automated tracker. Besides, the institution has a fitness studio with a capacity that can accommodate over 60 participants every week. Moreover, it a vast area for sauna with a flowing Jacuzzi stream that offers an adorable relaxation for clients. Besides the provision of eloquent facilities, Stour Center has received applause for best customer service that involves customers. From my research it was clear that different marketing mechanisms have been employed by the organization to sustain the organizational competitiveness and maintain its reputation as one of the best fitness center ever to have been owned by Ashford Council.

Despite the fact that the report was designed with positive intentions aimed at achieving credible figures, the process of evaluation was characterized by several delineating factors someof which included confidentiality. I found out that some of the respondents felt that giving of information to outsiders is more likely to be used by the rivals at the expense of their competitive advantage.

Besides, there was flawless in the data collection procedure as some of the respondents could not fill the form without meaningful consideration to bypass time. The report was characterized by a lot of time consumption and wastage.

Both qualitative and quantitative data are evaluated, and the results for both Stour and its competitors are shown below.

 

Weakness Name of the gym Price Location Facilities Opening time Design Website design Benefits Cleanliness (1- 10 )
cleanliness, lack of the professional look of thestaff,opening

time on

Saturday lack

of a modern gym equipment, joining fee,no

join online

Option, due to

old system

long check-in process

StourCenterAshford affordableall

options

£40(gym

, spa, glasses, swimming

pool)contract

price+

joining

fee

goodlocation,

near to

train station, distance

walking to

town

center

gym, spaclasses,

personal

trainers,

swimming pool,2

squash

court

Mon to Friday6:30 to

2:00

Sat8A.M to 5 P.M

Sun8 A.M to 9 P.M

oldfashionof

sense

of the lack of

modernity

poor Maximum of 3 hoursof free

parking

but you

have to

claim

money

back

5
just a gym nospa and

swimming pool

TheGym Ashford gooIDeal but

just gym

from

£12.99 no

contract

towncenter gym First ofall, it’s

open

24/7

ordinarily New onefunctional TownCenter

Free car

park

no

joining

fee,join

online

option,

solar

panels

7
No steamroom, no swimming pool,cleanliness ParkClub-

Ash

ford

contract12.99inc,no

joining

fee

no

contract

option

towncenter Sunbeds gym,spa sauna Mon to Thursday0600hrs to 2200hrs

Fri 0600 hrs to 2100hrs

Sat and Sun

0800hrs to 1900hrs

ordinarily new onefunctional towncenter

free

parking

2 hours

online

.join

online

option

6
Price, location, no joiningonline option, lack of online

information

about the

price

Bannatyne -AAshford Expensive£60basic option Situated off-junction 9 ofthe

M20,near

cinema and, restaurants

Swimming pool, gym,Spa, Sunbeds, steam room Mon- Fri 0630Hrs to 2200 Hrs.Sat 0800Hrs to 2000 Hrs.

Sun 0800Hrs to 2000 Hrs.

Modern, exclusive Strong, modern Being a memberof all

Bannatyne clubs

8

From the research I found out that Stour centre was experiencing the problems of doing out of order deeds, attractive and affordable services from competitors, low levels of hygiene, long queues by customers, lack of adequate control of employees, high cost of administration, lack of proper vertical communication between the company’s staff and the top managers. The results showed that the strategic location of Bannatyne park club attracted more customers as compared to Stour Center. AIDitionally, the presence of other facilities alongside the gym and swimming pool attracted more customers. For instance, presence of clubs, restaurant and steam rooms as well as provision of child care services is a better attraction technique.

Conclusions

From my research, I realized that Stour center was encountering a big challenge in attempts to attract new customers and at the same time maintaining the loyal ones. Since the uniqueness in service delivery and gym activities are the major causes of this setback, then the management and staff of the company have a role to play in order to avert the trend. Improved gym facilities and provision of unique customer services such as child care are keys to a successful gym business. AIDitionally, diversity in the provision of services at the gym is also depicted as one of the best ways to attract and maintain the loyal customers. Strategic location of the enterprise is a key determinant of its success. For instance, location of the gym near restaurants, cinema halls or near junctions forms ideal points for such investments.

From the research, I realized that the major challenges that Stour Center is facing are availability of substitutes, bargaining power of buyers, bargaining power of suppliers and availability of new entrants in the industry.

I realized that the key basis of the competitive advantage of Stour Center lied on its strengths such as the provision of private pool facilities, enthusiasm in handling customers, and, wider and abundant tools. The current position of the company is low because of the increased competition from her colleague firms. AIDitionally, inability to provide unique services such as child care at the gym and delay in handling customer orders are some of the reasons as to why many of the customers have opted to cancel their membership at the facility.

The outcomes of my research coincide perfectly with my objectives. This is because I was able to find out the best measures that the Stour Center should undertake in order to win new customers at the same time maintaining the loyalists.

I would recommend the management of Stour Centre to be quite vigilant in their market survey tactics so as to adjust fully to the changes in the industry. AIDitionally, ability to observe and uphold modernity in service delivery in this industry is seen as the best tactic to improve the company’s competitive advantage. Respective firms in the gym departments should strive to satisfy their customer needs by the provision of excellent customer service delivery services such as avoidance of long customer queues, increased enthusiasm and upholding cleanliness in their facilities. AIDitionally, incorporation of excellent information technology services especially in respective company websites will lead to increased customer satisfaction and easy booking of the facility. Provision of realistic gym time is also a very vital consideration by any prospective firm.

My study has various implications in the future research. For instance, a question may arise on how firms or gym facilities with similar activities can ensure optimal customer satisfaction. AIDitionally, a question may arise on the way forward for the industry due to the increased gym and swimming pool facilities at homesteads.

Reflective Report

Personally behind increased number of customers to particular firms.

From my research, I have learned that enthusiasm in service delivery and uniqueness are key customer attraction mechanisms.

The project research has enabled me to improve my Greenwich Employability Passport (GEP) activities. Firstly, my engagement in special lectures on how to come up with a good research proposal and project is a vital step in increasing my chances of winning the passport. By engaging in data collection techniques through the use of questionnaires, has enabled me to sharpen my skills in research especially in data collection and data analysis.Although my engagement in this project research was to fulfill the requirements for my undergraduate degree, the project has resulted to significant positive spill-over impacts not only in my work experience but also my career life. Notable skills that I have been able to gain are communication skills, data analysis skills, questionnaire design skills, interview and, survey skills. AIDitionally, my knowledge and experience on various customer attraction strategies will be very significant to my career and work experience. Through my various interactions with Stour Center employees and evaluation of their various challenges that they encounter in executing their duties, I was able to sharpen my communication skills. Better communication skills will enable me to communicate effectively to my seniors   and colleague employees in my workplace. Through such engagements, I was able to equip myself with the necessary requirements for my future jobs and work ethics as per the labor market requirements. As a prospective manager, my vast knowledge and skills that I have gained over the last three years will help me to give the best to the organization I will be working for. In relation to the findings of my study on the measures that Stuor center should undertake to attract new customers while maintain the loyal ones, I have been able to get the best insights and tactics to attract customers in various business entities. Through my experience from the research, I would advise the marketing manager of my organization to embrace a uniqueness in service delivery so as to attract a large number of customers. AIDitionally, enthusiasm and respect for customer orders attracts more customers to a business entity. The Greenwich Employability Passport (GEP) rotates on the major areas of work experience, leadership and communication, personal and team-based development and enterprise. Having undergone through the above diverse activities and endeavors, I then possess the candidature for the Greenwich Employability Passport (GEP). Through such involvements, I will be able to channel my vast knowledge and skills the in a productive process to achieve higher returns. My ability to execute various research duties and activities such as administration of research questionnaires is a personal as well as the leadership gesture. Ability to communicate fluently and objectives with the various respondents has sharpened my skills in communication. My experience from these activities will enable me to fit accordingly in my career path thus optimal productivity. I will use my communication and management skills to create a team-work based organization whose competitive advantage will always outweigh both existing and prospective entrants and competitors.

References

Goodin, R E., Rice, J M, Bittman M and Saunders, P. (2005).The time pressure illusion:

Discretionary time vs free time. Social Indicators Research 73(1), 43–70.

Johnson, G., Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2009) Fundamentals of Strategy, 1 st ed. Harlow:

Prentice Hall

Kolodzy, J. (2006). Convergence Journalism: Writing and reporting across the news media.

Lanham: Rowman& Littlefield Publishers.

Kruger, R and Casey, M (2000), Focus Groups: a Practice Guide for Applied Research, 3 rded,

Thousand Oaks, Sage

Kuiper, S. (2Ashford Leisure Trust Sports & Leisure Centre, Sport (2014). Available at

http://www.ashfordleisuretrust.ashford.towntalk.co.uk/ (Accesed on 10/12/2104)

Goodin, R E., Rice, J M, Bittman M & Saunders, P. (2005). The time pressure illusion:

Discretionary time vs free time. Social Indicators Research 73(1), 43–70.

Johnson, G., Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2009) Fundamentals of Strategy , 1 sted. Harlow:

Prentice Hall

Kruger, R and Casey, M (2000), Focus Groups: a Practice Guide for Applied Research , 3 rded,

Thousand Oaks, Sage

Kruger, R and Casey, M (2000), Focus Groups: a Practice Guide for Applied Research

Lewis, P., Thornhill, A., & Saunders, M. (2007).Research methods for business students.Pearson Education UK.

Harlow: Prentice 009). Contemporary business report writing. Australia: SouthWeste

CengageLearning.

Malpas, J. (2011). The place of landscape: Concepts, contexts, studies. Cambridge, Mass: MIT

Press.

Porter, D. (2011). Frommer’sCaribbean. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2007) Research Methods for Business Students, 4 to

ed, Harlow: Prentice Hall

Shafer, S. (2007).Writing effective report card comments. New York: Scholastic Professional

Books.

Appendices

Questionnaires:

Welcome to the Stour Center Gym membershipsatisfaction survey!

  1. Age?
  1. Gender?

3.How often do you visit the gym?

4.How long are you a member of the gym?

5.On Weekdays what time do you typically visit the gym or what time would suit you the best?

6.On Weekends what time do you typically visit the gym or whattime would suit you the best?

  1. Purpose of visiting the gym?

8.The Importance of the following, when joining or renewing at The Gym?

9.What is your satisfaction level related to the Gym`s activities?

  1. How far away from The Gym do you live?

11.What is your satisfaction`s level with the various types of equipment the Gym offers?

12.I believe my membership dues are

13.What kind of services that would aID the most value to your experience at the gym?

  1. Have you referred a friend to the gym?
  2. 15. Have you purchased one or more personal training sessions from the gym?
  3. For those that have purchased training sessions, how satisfied were you with the sessions?

17.Do you have kids?

18.On a scale of 1-10, 1 being extremely poor and 10 beingperfect, please rate the level of performance Stour center staff achieve in each area of service.

19.Please select how you feel gym compares to itscompetitors in the following categories:

  1. If you ran the gym, what would you do differently?

20.If you are a former member of the gym, what was the reason for resignation?

 

Questionnaires and interview for managers and staff of the Stour Center

  1. I would like to ask you for an overall picture of the background of the gym and a bit about evolution of the company?
  2. What are mission and vision and current strategy of the company?
  3. How many employees are employed today?
  4. What is the current number of members of the gym?
  5. How many members did not prolong the contract in 2014 and 2013 and 2015?
  6. Do you think that the fact of cancelations and lack of extension the contracts is a result of the presence of greater competition?
  7. Do you have an impression there are any serious misconduct or any threats to the Stour Center?
  8. What is your satisfaction level of your staff performance?
  9. Do you feel the gym employs appropriate specialists, I have mean personal trainers?
  10. Do you believe that employees of the Stour Center are motivated and appreciated?
  11. Do you feel any potential capabilities can occur in the market

 

 

Time Schedule

 

Table of activities:

Conduct interviews06/10/14 – 07/10/14

Collecting Data 08/10/14 – 10/10/14

Filling In ethics Form 20/10/14 -31/10/14

Organize all research Material from 20/10/14 – 20/10/14

Familiarize myself With Variables 21/10/14 – 23/10/14

Evaluate variables from Data 24/10/14 – 30/10/14

Have all required information zero duration 31/10/14 – 31/10/14

Assembling proposal 12/11/14 – 18/12/14 71

Literature review

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