Virgin Active taps into business intelligence

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Neil Buckley, MD of Apex BI.
Neil Buckley, MD of Apex BI.

Virgin Active South Africa (VASA) has engaged local business intelligence (BI) firm Apex BI in order to be able to manage its IT and telecoms costs.

Virgin Active is a chain of health clubs in SA and is also present in Namibia, Italy, Australia, Singapore, Thailand and the UK.

VASA has deployed Apex BI’s technology expense management solution to be able to control and track the cost of its full technology asset lifecycle and improve its business intelligence.

“We drive our members to strive for a healthy and balanced way of life, and there is no reason why exactly the same attitudes cannot be implemented in the running of a business which, as with all companies today, is hugely dependent on technology,” says Chad Rodinis, head of IT Service at VASA.

He notes VASA’s IT and telecoms environment form the backbone of the company’s customer service offerings.

“These are the tools that enable us to run our business effectively and provide excellent customer service to our members. It is equally important to ensure expenditure is carefully monitored and kept to a minimum, thereby preventing unnecessary increase in costs to our membership fees,” says Rodinis.

He adds the group faced a number of challenges, including keeping track of the amount of telecoms infrastructure it had deployed at each one of its clubs, who the service providers were and whether VASA was getting maximum benefit from those services.

“Being SA’s oldest health club chain also means we have a long history with many suppliers who have provided us with a multitude of services over the years. It was crucial for us to confirm that not only were we not overspending but to ensure we were not procuring more than what was actually required.

“We needed to see how our telecoms costs align with budgets and also how they relate back to our general ledger codes and respective clubs.”

According to Neil Buckley, MD of Apex BI, managing telecom costs, services and consumption is key to any company’s ability to contain expenditure and maximise profit.

“Our relationship with VASA commenced in 2008 when even then it became apparent it was no longer feasible for the group to manage these costs in the traditional manner via internal systems,” says Buckley.

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