This will be the first of many formal updates from our group to our members about the changes at YMCA Docklands.
Firstly, thanks for your patience over the past 2 weeks since the formal announcement about change of ownership. We are thankful to you and our staff for the positive responses to change we have received, and hope that this regular communication to you about what is changing and when will help give you confidence in us as operators and partners in the space. We would also like to thank YMCA Victoria for their support and trust in us through this transition. We have very strong bonds with the YMCA and will maintain those relationships into the future.
WHO ARE WE?
The Push Group Pty Ltd is a company formed by Jean and Andrew Ward. I, Andrew have been the manager of the YMCA Docklands sites since 2011 and have established strong relationships with the gym and greater Docklands community over the time. We both have extensive experience in the Health and wellness space both locally in Australia and throughout the Asia Pacific. Within the ANZ building at 833 Collins St, we will trade as PUSH! Fitness in Docklands. If you wish to learn more about us as professionals, please feel free to review our professional profiles on linkedin.
Jean and I have made a very calculated decision to invest in this business for the following reasons:
- We are both passionate about Docklands
- We are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all Docklanders; residents and workers
- We remain fully committed to our staff and team members
- We wish to continue our grass roots community and social responsibility work
- We love the health, fitness and wellbeing industry
- We think there is a lot more important work that needs to be done with the business and within Docklands
DATES OF CHANGES
The final day of YMCA Docklands operations will be 31st August 2016.
The first day of operations under The Push Group will be 1st of September 2016.
WHAT WILL CHANGE?
There will be a lot of changes under our group and we hope you will join us on that journey. Here is a list of changes with some indication of the timeline:
Most of the staff you are familiar with on the front desk, on the gym floor and in the classes will remain with the new company. A process has been ongoing since late July to engage with staff about the changes and then work on the transition plan. We are progressing well in this area and all staff will know their status by Friday this week, if not earlier.
You will notice the YMCA branding will be removed from the club on the 31st. We expect the PUSH! Branding to be installed in the following 2 week period.
This is a big one so we will devote a complete section to this.
Community initiatives and Social responsibility
All of the programs that made an impact within the Docklands Community will continue under The Push Group Management. We expect commitments in these areas to increase, not reduce. In fact we will be looking for greater engagement within the corporate community to support these initiatives.
We have committed to a number of facility improvements over the coming 6 to 12 months. We will publish a separate communication that details upgrades on a timeline so you are aware of what is changing.
Another big one that deserves its own section – read on.
The amount of and range of programs will increase.
One of the major changes in the near future will be the migration of data from one system to another. Currently the YMCA uses LMS or Links as the membership data base program and POS system. We will be changing systems from the 1st of September 2016 from Links to a system called Mind Body Online.
We completed extensive research on systems and made this decision for the following reasons:
- Cloud based software
- The highest PCI compliance
- Modern app based services and purchasing
- Removal of paper from all processes
- No more tickets for classes
- Suitability and match to our business needs
- Online bookings, reservations for PT, GF classes
- Staff and Members manage their own profiles
We look forward to sharing this program with you and appreciate your patience as we change from one system to another.
Currently your membership payments are paid fortnightly, in advance. This timeframe won’t change. We will follow the same debit calendar as YMCA for the smoothest transition possible. YMS (YMCA Membership Service) is the business that processes your payments. From the 1st of September, your membership payments will be handled by a well-known company called Ezi-debit. Ezi-debit bolts on to Mind Body Online and the process of payments are seamless and secure.
Your last Debit with YMCA and YMS will go through on Thursday 18th August 2016. The following debit will go through Ezi-Debit on the 1st of September 2016. Debits will continue fortnightly thereafter.
Your membership will transition from one organization to another. The prices will not rise with the transition.
Your local membership benefits will not change.
The YMCA Member Program (10 visit pass to access other YMCA centres) will continue until 30th June 2017. An reciprocal access agreement has been signed between the YMCA and The Push Group to cover these details. That means you can continue to access other YMCA facilities with your PUSH! ID and YMCA 10 visit pass for another 10 months. This arrangement also applies for YMCA Members who wish to access PUSH! – We will honour this access on the same timeline. YMCA members will need to show their YMCA Card and present a 10 Visit pass.
About 10% of our members engage the services of Personal Trainers. I am pleased to say nearly all of our Personal Trainers will continue their employment with The Push Group.
What will change though is the method of payment for sessions. In the interest of an improved process, we will no longer sell PT sessions as memberships.
Personal Training can only be purchased in packs/visits. Please feel free to talk to us about our new pricing for Personal Training.
We have asked all trainers and managers to work closely with their clients to manage this transition. The remaining days in August should be used for any prepaid PT session clearing. Any prepaid sessions unused as at 31st August will be handed over to The Push Group and form part of the final settlement. It is however our intention to ensure most if not all sessions are reconciled and used by the end of August. Please work with your trainer on this.
We have been working hard to confirm the new September program and as of today it is 99% confirmed. We plan to release the new program on Wednesday 17th August. There are 30% more classes, 8 new classes, some new instructors and some favourites will return to the Docklands. Many classes will remain unchanged, but overall the program looks fantastic. In putting together the new program we have been very transparent with instructors about the changes and have asked for their support as we roll out the program. In the same sense, we look forward to your support, but value your feedback. So please come and chat with us or write to us to let us know how you fee about it.
If you have been a member with the Y for a few years you will know we invested recently in the functional training studio. We have two key initiatives in the immediate term:
We released a tender to Precor and Life Fitness today (15/8) to seek their interest in our equipment upgrades. The cardio equipment upgrades are scheduled for over the Xmas period, at which time we have a planned flooring upgrade for the facility. These two things must go hand in hand. The tender document is available for your review, please ask us if you are interested to have a look.
Group Fitness Equipment
We will be installing some new GF Equipment to enhance that experience for you.
NEW TOWEL POLICY
From the 1st of September 2016 all members will need to carry a hand towel during their workouts. No explanation needed on why this is important in a high end corporate fitness facility.
Lastly, during this period of change we are really looking for your feedback and support. If you have any questions or concerns, small or large, please contact Jean and myself personally on the following emails:
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
Thanks for taking time to read this release, and we look forward to continuing the communication over the coming days.
Regards Jean and Andrew