Monday, 7 March 2011

Flexibility is the key for ‘énergie Group’

Flexibility is the key for ‘énergie Group’

Fitness club franchise business, the énergie Group, is able to offer its franchisees instant cost
savings thanks to Eazipay’s flexible approach to Direct Debit.

The Milton Keynes based company has over 80 franchised clubs in the UK, Europe and beyond. It operates under brands such as énergie fitness clubs, énergie fitness for women and fit4less and is the fastest growing fitness club franchise business in the UK.

For Eazipay, meanwhile, fitness clubs have always been an exceptionally good fit. Sports and fitness is an industry that, by its very nature, has thousands of people paying on an annual or monthly basis and using Direct Debit to manage this process is the obvious choice.

What stands out for Steve McNeil, énergie group’s Commercial Manager, however, is Eazipay’s
willingness to adapt to the changing needs of its clients.

“When énergie first began, it was clear that we’d need a Direct Debit capacity straight away. For all the usual reasons, guaranteed cash flow, administration savings and the like, Direct Debit was an important part of our franchise offer.

“Direct Debit was also important to us at énergie HQ. We needed to take franchise monies from our business owners and there was no better way of ensuring regular payments.

“As we began to grow – our 80 clubs have nearly 40,000 members paying by Direct Debit – we did wonder if we’d become sufficiently big enough to become a Direct Debit service user in our own right.

This would involve meeting the BACS criteria and having Eazipay process our Direct Debits through their Commercial Bureau.

“We weren’t quite sure how they’d react. After all, we were approaching them with a proposition that would involve a cost saving for us and less business for them.

“As it turned out, they couldn’t have been more helpful. They were incredibly flexible in all our discussions and took immense time and trouble to ensure that the system we ended up with was the one that was best for us, not for them.

“énergie was a small company that grew very quickly into a much bigger one. Throughout our evolution we’ve always worked with Eazipay and they’ve been there for us every step of the way.
“Whether it was a case of re-presenting a Direct Debit request, Eazipay’s extremely proactive
management keeping us in the picture, or the pay as you go fee structure, which saved us large sums of money as we got bigger, they’ve been terrific.

“If you’re a business that collects one Direct Debit or 40,000, Eazipay will give you as much service and customer support as you need. I know, because that’s exactly what they’ve given us.”

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