Looking at data from every conceivable angle
Basic-Fit International B.V.
ProjectImplementing LucaNet for financial and business controlling
For us, the added value of LucaNet lies in the way it links financial and non-financial data. LucaNet also enables us to consider every conceivable dimension of those data and easily make them available online for gym, region and country managers. The parallel structures give us valuable insights into the performance of gyms, regions and countries. And for our budgeting, we really appreciate the scripting options that LucaNet offers.
About the company
- Hoofddorp - Netherlands
A fitness chain's business model is simple: almost all expenses are fixed. The only variable is the membership trend (and, by extension, turnover). Because of this, financial and non-financial information have to be linked in order to produce proper reports and budgets. This is where LucaNet comes in, just one of the reasons why Basic-Fit uses it and will continue to do so in future.
In early 2014, fitness chain Basic-Fit had around 200 gyms in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain. It is aiming to increase that number to between 500 and 600 over the next few years. That might sound unrealistic, but the company's track record in recent years suggests otherwise. It all began in 2005. Fitness chain HealthCity, which had 11 gyms at the time, brought in an investor in order to grow to between 75 and 100 gyms in three years. In the space of just one, it had reached 74. The brand was rolled out to Germany and Belgium. In 2010 the company consolidated its position in Benelux by taking over the Basic-Fit and Fitness First Benelux brands. In 2011, it expanded further into France, Spain and Italy. Lots of luxury HealthCity clubs have now been converted to the low-budget Basic-Fit brand. The investor sold his stake in 2013 and the company took a new strategic direction, deciding to continue the two brands as separate companies. A new investor was brought in for Basic-Fit with whom the company intends to achieve its future growth.
In 2010, HealthCity began searching for software for reporting, consolidation and budgeting. Importantly, the package it was looking had to be capable of linking financial and non-financial information. This is because membership and, more specifically, the membership trend are crucial to a fitness chain. In contrast, virtually all its expenses are more or less fixed, except for personnel costs. LucaNet was able to demonstrate its ability to create that link. Besides membership trends, other non-financial information is also recorded in LucaNet, such as surface area, opening hours, FTEs and total headcount. These data are linked to financial information such as rent, energy and personnel costs. Another key requirement was that the software must be able to process and report all structural changes easily. It was also a good fit on a personal level. HealthCity/Basic-Fit has been working with LucaNet ever since and is completely happy with it. The two companies will continue using LucaNet once the two brands have been split.
Tino Bijlemeer, International Financial Controller at Basic-Fit, says: "The link between financial and other data that LucaNet offers is unique. It enables us to look at our results in various ways and compare gyms, regions and countries. Setting up parallel structures is another very important aspect. We can categorise the data in every conceivable way: country, region, gym, age of gym, manager, the list goes on. This means the choice of angles when looking at our P&L is almost limitless. Another advantage is online availability: when a regional manager visits a gym, he can log into LucaNet to get hold of the figures. The club manager also has access, but only to those data in his income statement that he can influence directly."
As well as business controlling, Basic-Fit also uses LucaNet for budgeting. Expenses can be extrapolated by means of a script. The user is able to set up various expense categories, with individual periods for extrapolation. Says Bijlemeer: "In the past, we had to mess about with Excel to do this. Now, the extrapolation is all done in LucaNet. It also works really well for forecasting turnover, which is dependent on membership trends. In LucaNet we can easily script this. The next step is to produce rolling forecasts several times a year. We still do our planning once a year (annual budget) with an interim reforecast. This isn't realistic, because membership trends never pan out in line with predictions. It's easy to do this in LucaNet with the aid of the scripts. In short: LucaNet has more than met our expectations."