Battling Crowdedness at the Erasmus Gym – DTP Team 34


gym

A thorough analysis of the Erasmus Sports Center (ESC) Gym (and its IT usage in particular), ranging from social media analyses to scanning system analyses, enabled us to prioritise business needs of stakeholders at the ESC Gym. In addition, by conducting interviews with the ESC Gym coordinator it became clear that the current usage of IT systems is not yet at an optimum. Gym members reported that availability of equipment is one of the most important aspects of the gym. With this information, we proposed that an effective information system could benefit the ESC Gym and could radically change the business environment it is currently in. Building on the work of Dimitrova et al., (2014) we suggest that the ESC gym alters its current scanning system. At the moment, members are required to check in, but not to check out. If the ESC Gym would implement a scanning system that tracks the checking out of members, it could provide information of real-time crowdedness. This real-time information should be visible on an app that is free to download for all users.  This way of customer informedness could tackle the problem of crowded gyms, negative WOM of the gym being too crowded and could lead to increased revenues. The mentioned benefits of this option, based on our anticipated outcomes, are highly likely to outweigh the costs, justifying the needed investment.

Benefits would not only result from a higher retention rate and more memberships sold, we also envision several add-ons. As far as revenue is concerned, an important add-on is the advertisements for the Erasmus Sports Café. The Erasmus Sports Café is adjacent to the ESC Gym and accounts for almost 20% of the revenue for the Erasmus Sports Center in general. Currently, visibility, informedness and communication could be improved for the Erasmus Café. If the Erasmus Café would be able to advertise daily deals and other information on the app, it could yield more revenue in the future. Another add-on is opportunity to link with friends. The application allows you to follow friends and to be followed, incentivizing friends to work out together as well as enabling the application to be a social platform.

Furthermore, such an information system may provide additional convenience to students all around campus, not only limited to the gym. All places prone to getting crowded can benefit from such an application. One example of such a situation will be to use it to inform students about the level of crowdedness in the University Library and suggest other quiet study places such as the H building and the G building. Taken even further, such an application can also be used in the T4 Cafeteria or the Food Court, for instance.  As students are constant users of their mobile devices while on campus, this can provide the opportunity to implement technology to the benefit of their convenience in everyday life.

Sources:

Dimitrova, V., Laenge, J., Helmrich, M., Verspeek, T. & Hatenboer, J., 2014. The Erasmus Gym Application. Rotterdam: s.n.

Erasmus Sport Foundation, 2014. Year Report 2013, Rotterdam: Erasmus Sport Foundation.

EUR-Students, 2014. Survey_ESC Gym [Interview] (15 September 2014).

Giljamse, M., 2014. Interview [Interview] (16 September 2014).

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2 responses to “Battling Crowdedness at the Erasmus Gym – DTP Team 34”

  1. 350659ds says :

    Hi guys, very interesting post. As a long time Erasmus gym-goer nothing has annoyed me more than arriving at the sport center at 20:30 ready to get a good workout in and having to wait, feeling rushed at every machine. Any solution to this is definitely most welcome. However I’m wondering if you’ve taken all aspects into account. There are a number of pitfalls I see namely:

    – Fixed schedules. People in the Netherlands tend to have very busy schedules and are simply unable to adapt their gym times. Additionally seeing as most gym-goers at the ESC are students our schedules aren’t that different (classes during the day, free at night).
    – Deterring people from working out. Imagine most of the times that you are willing to workout and you check the app to see that the gym is full. Unless you are very motivated you may skip a day. Do this a number of times and you are less likely to continue working out (speaking from experience).
    – Negative image. This point is associated to the previous two. In the short run I don’t think this app will have a negative impact, but I see the possibility where if users are constantly confronted with a full gym that they may opt for another option next year leading to decreased revenue. With the app quantifying this overcapacity for us gym-goers strengthening the negative image.

    That said I still think there is a lot of potential for this app. Maybe instead of, or in conjunction with the real-time app you could recommend the usage of historical data on crowdedness (what times and days is it busy). The benefit of this being that people would have a bit more flexibility in planning when to use the facilities and therefore increase the success rate of your app.

  2. 370285bg says :

    I actually had a similar idea of an application, which I posted on this blog https://informationstrategyrsm.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/high-tech-gym/.

    In this blog I talk about a high tech gym and included the problem of crowdedness. Different from your idea, I would like to see this application available not only for Erasmus Sport, but also for other gyms. I definitely see the problem, but could be interpret more widely. Why think small? An interesting idea would be to create a white label product. A revenue model could be a one time set-up fee and a monthly subscription.

    People could login with their Facebook account to add the social feature to such an application. The application could have a buddy system where people can search for a partner to lift the weights with.

    Another interesting feature could be a reservation option. Where, for example, the squash or yoga lessons can be reserved.

    Next to that the technologies discussed in my blog could be integrated in the app, for the purpose of creating one platform that handles all information.

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