Company profile: Open Solutions – the new force in clubhouse technology

Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu December 4, 2017 05:42

The golf software supplier has been revamped – but what does this mean for its end users?

One of the major developments in 2017 has been the merging of two long established brands to create a new force in clubhouse technology, Open Solutions.

Now handling the needs of more than 250 club customers, its new management team – CEO Ed Beale and Group Operations Director Tony Jones, who are regular club members and golfing partners off 8 and 14 respectively – will build on its predecessors’ heritage of highly effective software solutions combined with unmatched customer support.

Open Solutions’ stand also received a lot of visitors at the GCMA national conference, proof that plenty of club managers are interested in its open platform based business solutions. Charles de Haan gets to ask the new management team the questions everyone’s now asking.

What modern industry issues will the new brand be able to tackle?

Ed Beale: “We know that managing golf clubs successfully and profitably is now far more challenging, complex and data driven, and we want to be able offer our business solutions to golf clubs and those who manage them via software that allows them to achieve five main objectives:

“1) Improve the loyalty of the membership, by providing both more club and personal information, and better channels via websites and mobile devices to communicate that information, so that many more members can utilise it to their advantage: club news, account statements and receipts, results, competition entries and payments, notifications of forthcoming events, tee time bookings, lesson bookings, and so on.

“2) Drive greater engagement with their members, by giving the club the tools they need to send their members the kind of information they really want, and enabling the members to get that information 24/7 within two taps of their smartphones and tablets.

“3) Improve revenues and cash flows, by providing better ways to do the usual things like running card driven accounts, operating differential pricing schemes that drive up profitability at the bar and dining facilities, rewarding bigger spenders with larger rates of discount, and so on, but also by creating new opportunities like online top ups of card accounts via mobile devices, and running the club lottery via the EPoS system, a brand new feature in 2017 that Corrstown GC near Dublin is using to make 35,000 euros in 2017. This is a direct result of deploying our software to automate and improve their lottery’s functionality and market it much more effectively to reach many more of the club’s members.

“4) Reduce administrative burden allowing greater focus on key tasks, by reducing the numbers and volumes of enquiries from members that are made by time consuming personal visits and phonecalls, and encouraging them to get used to finding this information for themselves from the club website and especially by downloading their members’ app. Hartsbourne Golf & Country Club now saves around an hour or two a day by encouraging as many of its members as possible to use our new club members’ app on their mobile devices.

“5) Improve the quality of marketing to both members and visitors, both via giving each type of audience precisely the different kinds of information they need from the club. For visitors, this means high quality image heavy club websites that create the wow factor, and for members it’s all about providing their personal information in depth within two taps of their mobile device.”

Beale continues: “At the end of the day it’s all about both working harder to listen to what our clubs need, and our tailoring a bespoke system to the specific requirements of a club, such as Corrstown and the need to automate their traditionally operated lottery. But it’s also about listening to managers and devising all sorts of smaller tweaks to our software simply to make things easier for them.”

How will this partnership change the mobile ready software you’re offering to customers?

Beale responds: “In the very short term it won’t change it all, as our members’ app already has an array of functionality that’s unmatched by anything else from other rivals, but we are already starting to develop new options for our members’ app that’ll be ready by mid 2018.”

Will your existing customers notice much difference?

Group Operations Director Tony Jones says: “In the short term they will see an even more proactive customer service alongside the rebranding and more effective communication.

“As we move into 2018 and we have integrated the software, customers will have a wider range of product offerings from which to choose, based on a completely integrated platform and utilising the business solutions we’re building in to our software, and with the additional appeal of a market leading mobile product for their members.”

What will the new brand be able to offer that is unique?

Jones replies: “Tailored solutions is our USP, by which I mean we do not offer ‘one size fits all’ solutions. Our brilliant native members’ app is a part of that, and it offers all the functions a member needs, while giving him or her a proactive and passionate level of customer service from their club.”

He continues: “It’s about delivering great support as well. When you call Open Solutions in the future you will always have your call answered by one of our highly skilled support engineers, and depending on which service package you take with us, a clearly defined service level agreement that will enable you to have any issues resolved in the way that best works for you.”

CEO Beale summarises: “Although at heart we are a software developer, everything always comes down to the quality of the human interaction we have with our customers. We have no aspirations to being the biggest software supplier in golf, but we definitely aspire to being the best, both in terms of the quality of the business solutions we offer and the customer service on which our business is built and will continue to grow.”



Tel (sales director Les Lawrence): 07966 120 603


Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu December 4, 2017 05:42
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