Providing cohesive leisure integration solutions for Oldham Community Leisure

Busy leisure facilities will understand the significance behind an exceptional customer relationship management (CRM) system.

A joined-up approach to all operational functions is the key to a streamlined business and this is often the catalyst that encourages fitness organisations like Oldham Community Leisure (OCL) to partner with leading Direct Debit collection bureau DFC.

Sleeker administration

OCL is an Industrial and Provident Society that is responsible for the operation and development of 11 leisure facilities across Oldham. They continuously work hard to improve the health, wellbeing and activity levels of the people in Oldham.

OCL partnered with DFC almost three years ago, based on DFC’s cohesive integration solutions that dovetailed nicely with their current CRM operation. Managing information, such as membership sign ups, changes and cancellations, from one central hub has made their administration process much more efficient and has cut down the number of avenues from which information is received.

Beyond this, having DFC manage their entire Direct Debit collection process has taken a weight off their shoulders and given their busy internal team the time of day to work on the parts of the business that truly matter to them.

Peter Howsen, Head of CRM at OCL said:

‘It’s so helpful having everything automated. DFC collects our money and everything is updated automatically. They do everything and the information is automatically transferred to our current system. It’s allowed for a really unified approach and has saved a lot of time front of house.’

Working sustainably

Peter rightly continued ‘if you don’t have online joining in this day and age, you’re missing out’ and this was the final encouragement OCL needed to join forces with DFC. Peter described FastDD, DFC’s online joining portal, as the simplest one they’ve encountered. He said:

‘It has allowed us to provide joining opportunities 24/7. We can also promote this and encourage more people to sign up. We offer different monthly promotions and we can add this to the portal really easily.’

FastDD has been fully integrated into OCL’s current website, allowing members to access it easily and at their convenience. This organised, paperless approach to onboarding members has proved highly beneficial to OCL’s administration team.

However, member retention and credit control has also seen significant improvements. Since working with DFC, they’ve noticed a considerably positive upward trend in their collection rate and debt recovery. Peter continued:

‘DFC also does all the chasing for us, so there’s no need for our staff to. They are really efficient and very quick. The biggest change we’ve noticed in terms of targets is that our collection rate and debt recovery has improved. As far as the bottom line goes, they’ve made a massive difference.’


With 70% of all online Direct Debits coming through DFC’s online joining portal, OCL’s next move is to allow DFC full management of all their incoming Direct Debits. They are currently working with DFC to transfer all processes across and look forward to DFC’s continued support.

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