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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

MATRIX Promotion

Matrix Fitness credits much of its success to the people behind the brand. Newly promoted National Sales Manager, Andy Loughray, discusses the merits of this customer-centric company

Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 3
We like to grow our own talent, encouraging staff to develop and take on new challenges within the business; it’s good for us and motivating for them

Growing up in an impoverished post-war Taiwan, Johnson Health Tech (JHT) founder, Peter Lo, knew that following his dreams would require hard work, ambition, and a true entrepreneurial spirit. Almost 40 years later – in a company that’s developed from barbell manufacturing to one of the industry’s leading equipment manufacturers in the world today – the relevance of these qualities endures. The latest talent acquired by the UK’s commercial arm of the business – Matrix Fitness – is no exception.

The Matrix Fitness team appears to have had a bit of a shuffle. Is ‘new blood’ the way forward?
There has been some structural change; we’re well aware of the fact that our people are a key part of our competitive advantage, and so we have been fine-tuning the team, bringing in people where necessary. But while the ‘blood’ may be new, it’s a prerequisite that anyone coming into the business must have proved themselves elsewhere, bringing with them a raft of previous experience to add to the mix.

Change happens within, too. We like to grow our own talent, encouraging staff to develop and take on new challenges within the business; it’s good for us and motivating for them. We’d much prefer to feed someone’s ambition than have them take it elsewhere.

Recent examples include Adam Rogers’ progression from Area Sales Manager to Head of Sales South, Jo Rich’s rise from Key Account Manager to Director of Commercial Key Accounts, and my own transition from Senior Sales to National Sales Manager.

Promotions aren’t limited to the sales team. Our Director of Aftersales, Dave Garratt, previously held the role of Supply Chain Manager and Tom Johnson has progressed from Warehouse Operative to Marketing Assistant and is now our Marketing Executive. We’re continually investing in staff, via training, NVQs, and development workshops.

Why are people so important?
It’s a lot easier to replicate something tangible, such as a product or service offering, than the person who delivers it. Innovation is obviously important – but it’s the people who have the ideas, and develop the products. Plus from a sales point of view, the age-old adage ‘People buy people’ also stands firm. Basically it’s people that make the difference.

How much impact does the global team have on business in the UK?
Quite simply, we wouldn’t be here without them. Our vertically integrated brand portfolio means many key components in our products come from one of our own factories, giving us greater control over how they’re designed and built.

Does keeping everything in-house mean you’re in danger of being a ‘Jack of all trades’?
We know where our strengths lie, so when someone else does it better, we forge strategic alliances that allow us to deliver the most innovative and highest quality products and services, with the best total cost of ownership… while retaining control. Our partnership with the Indoor Cycling Group (ICG) is one example of this. The recently launched IC3 Indoor Cycle features our most advanced and strongest frame, along with increased flywheel inertia, superior adjustment, handlebar ergonomics, our industry-leading Poly-V Belt drive system, and an enhanced Q-factor.

In a similar vein, our acquisition of Magnum Fitness, the manufacturer and marketer of high quality performance strength equipment, based in South Milwaukee, USA, has enabled us to fill a specialist area in our strength portfolio.

What else is new product-wise?
Technology was central to product development in 2013, starting with the launch of the revolutionary 7xi App interface console. Built exclusively for the fitness arena, this true app interface offers a more refined, easy-to-use, and exercise-friendly experience for users, with quick access to social media and web content. The console also incorporates Matrix Fitness Asset Management, with features including a customisable facility calendar, online service portal, and multiple facility management options.
We also introduced mPower Integrated Technology Solutions; an assortment of fitness equipment, hardware, software, and connectivity options that form the foundation of our new solution-centric approach to fitness.

Aside from the technological developments, we’ve introduced new cardio bike designs for the Upright, Recumbent, and Hybrid Series.

What about distribution and getting your products on-site in the UK? Any developments there?
As a multi-national group with sourcing across the UK, Asia, and the USA, we already manage a sophisticated supply chain infrastructure, but we’re not a company to rest on our laurels. We’ve just completed a new assembly and logistics warehouse in Essex to support our planned future growth, and will begin building an additional assembly/finished goods warehouse hub in the North Midlands at the end of 2014.

What happens if something goes wrong, once the products have been delivered?
We’ve got the service infrastructure to deal with it, with a team dedicated to providing the best after sales service and standard warranty in the industry. One of the key things to differentiate us from our competition is the fact that we own or have exclusivity on our service centres – we have seven service hubs nationally, and house over £1m of spare parts in the UK – so again we control the process. We’ve got big growth plans for 2014, so we’re investing in even more recruits to ensure we maintain our excellent service track record.

How does your involvement with customers extend beyond the sale?
We’d like to think that all of our customers will be with us long-term, but this needs to be justifiable. Fortunately we have plenty of good reasons for them to keep coming back!

Our marketing support is just one example. The key thing is that every offer is bespoke - everyone wants their business to stand out from the competition, so why would they choose a generic marketing package? It may sound a cliché, but we work with our customers to really understand their business, enabling us to provide comprehensive marketing and PR support that will truly make a difference.

Our training and education style is unique in the industry too, as we ‘upskill’ rather than ‘upload’ information. This means equipping and exciting teams with knowledge, confidence, and an understanding of how to optimise use of equipment, to the benefit of members and operators long after installation.

Andy Loughray, newly promoted National Sales Manager for Matrix
Andy Loughray, newly promoted National Sales Manager for Matrix
L-R: James Blower, Andy Loughray, Gemma Bonnett, Adam Rogers
L-R: James Blower, Andy Loughray, Gemma Bonnett, Adam Rogers
Stringent quality control procedures at the Matrix factory in Taiwan ensure customer and industry standards are met
Stringent quality control procedures at the Matrix factory in Taiwan ensure customer and industry standards are met
In-club branding at Eden Fitness
In-club branding at Eden Fitness
‘Life’ tests simulate the harshest conditions at the Matrix Fitness laboratory
‘Life’ tests simulate the harshest conditions at the Matrix Fitness laboratory
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2014_3matrix.gif
Matrix Fitness credits much of its success to the people behind the brand. Newly promoted National Sales Manager, Andy Loughray, discusses the merits of this customer-centric company
People
HCM people

José Teixeira

SC Fitness, Portugal: head of customer experience
People often assume that those who pay more stay longer, but we don’t see this. What we see is that if you have PT you stay longer because you use more, not because you pay more
People
HCM people

Gita Sjahrir

Founder, R-FITNESS
We became the first boutique fitness brand in all of Southeast Asia to ever raise venture capital backing. This was positive for the industry as it signalled that the industry had growth potential
People
My vision, based on my own personal experience, would be for physical activity to become the norm – not something you have to make an effort to do, but something you just go ‘yeah, that’s part of my everyday life’
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features

MATRIX Promotion

Matrix Fitness credits much of its success to the people behind the brand. Newly promoted National Sales Manager, Andy Loughray, discusses the merits of this customer-centric company

Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 3
We like to grow our own talent, encouraging staff to develop and take on new challenges within the business; it’s good for us and motivating for them

Growing up in an impoverished post-war Taiwan, Johnson Health Tech (JHT) founder, Peter Lo, knew that following his dreams would require hard work, ambition, and a true entrepreneurial spirit. Almost 40 years later – in a company that’s developed from barbell manufacturing to one of the industry’s leading equipment manufacturers in the world today – the relevance of these qualities endures. The latest talent acquired by the UK’s commercial arm of the business – Matrix Fitness – is no exception.

The Matrix Fitness team appears to have had a bit of a shuffle. Is ‘new blood’ the way forward?
There has been some structural change; we’re well aware of the fact that our people are a key part of our competitive advantage, and so we have been fine-tuning the team, bringing in people where necessary. But while the ‘blood’ may be new, it’s a prerequisite that anyone coming into the business must have proved themselves elsewhere, bringing with them a raft of previous experience to add to the mix.

Change happens within, too. We like to grow our own talent, encouraging staff to develop and take on new challenges within the business; it’s good for us and motivating for them. We’d much prefer to feed someone’s ambition than have them take it elsewhere.

Recent examples include Adam Rogers’ progression from Area Sales Manager to Head of Sales South, Jo Rich’s rise from Key Account Manager to Director of Commercial Key Accounts, and my own transition from Senior Sales to National Sales Manager.

Promotions aren’t limited to the sales team. Our Director of Aftersales, Dave Garratt, previously held the role of Supply Chain Manager and Tom Johnson has progressed from Warehouse Operative to Marketing Assistant and is now our Marketing Executive. We’re continually investing in staff, via training, NVQs, and development workshops.

Why are people so important?
It’s a lot easier to replicate something tangible, such as a product or service offering, than the person who delivers it. Innovation is obviously important – but it’s the people who have the ideas, and develop the products. Plus from a sales point of view, the age-old adage ‘People buy people’ also stands firm. Basically it’s people that make the difference.

How much impact does the global team have on business in the UK?
Quite simply, we wouldn’t be here without them. Our vertically integrated brand portfolio means many key components in our products come from one of our own factories, giving us greater control over how they’re designed and built.

Does keeping everything in-house mean you’re in danger of being a ‘Jack of all trades’?
We know where our strengths lie, so when someone else does it better, we forge strategic alliances that allow us to deliver the most innovative and highest quality products and services, with the best total cost of ownership… while retaining control. Our partnership with the Indoor Cycling Group (ICG) is one example of this. The recently launched IC3 Indoor Cycle features our most advanced and strongest frame, along with increased flywheel inertia, superior adjustment, handlebar ergonomics, our industry-leading Poly-V Belt drive system, and an enhanced Q-factor.

In a similar vein, our acquisition of Magnum Fitness, the manufacturer and marketer of high quality performance strength equipment, based in South Milwaukee, USA, has enabled us to fill a specialist area in our strength portfolio.

What else is new product-wise?
Technology was central to product development in 2013, starting with the launch of the revolutionary 7xi App interface console. Built exclusively for the fitness arena, this true app interface offers a more refined, easy-to-use, and exercise-friendly experience for users, with quick access to social media and web content. The console also incorporates Matrix Fitness Asset Management, with features including a customisable facility calendar, online service portal, and multiple facility management options.
We also introduced mPower Integrated Technology Solutions; an assortment of fitness equipment, hardware, software, and connectivity options that form the foundation of our new solution-centric approach to fitness.

Aside from the technological developments, we’ve introduced new cardio bike designs for the Upright, Recumbent, and Hybrid Series.

What about distribution and getting your products on-site in the UK? Any developments there?
As a multi-national group with sourcing across the UK, Asia, and the USA, we already manage a sophisticated supply chain infrastructure, but we’re not a company to rest on our laurels. We’ve just completed a new assembly and logistics warehouse in Essex to support our planned future growth, and will begin building an additional assembly/finished goods warehouse hub in the North Midlands at the end of 2014.

What happens if something goes wrong, once the products have been delivered?
We’ve got the service infrastructure to deal with it, with a team dedicated to providing the best after sales service and standard warranty in the industry. One of the key things to differentiate us from our competition is the fact that we own or have exclusivity on our service centres – we have seven service hubs nationally, and house over £1m of spare parts in the UK – so again we control the process. We’ve got big growth plans for 2014, so we’re investing in even more recruits to ensure we maintain our excellent service track record.

How does your involvement with customers extend beyond the sale?
We’d like to think that all of our customers will be with us long-term, but this needs to be justifiable. Fortunately we have plenty of good reasons for them to keep coming back!

Our marketing support is just one example. The key thing is that every offer is bespoke - everyone wants their business to stand out from the competition, so why would they choose a generic marketing package? It may sound a cliché, but we work with our customers to really understand their business, enabling us to provide comprehensive marketing and PR support that will truly make a difference.

Our training and education style is unique in the industry too, as we ‘upskill’ rather than ‘upload’ information. This means equipping and exciting teams with knowledge, confidence, and an understanding of how to optimise use of equipment, to the benefit of members and operators long after installation.

Andy Loughray, newly promoted National Sales Manager for Matrix
Andy Loughray, newly promoted National Sales Manager for Matrix
L-R: James Blower, Andy Loughray, Gemma Bonnett, Adam Rogers
L-R: James Blower, Andy Loughray, Gemma Bonnett, Adam Rogers
Stringent quality control procedures at the Matrix factory in Taiwan ensure customer and industry standards are met
Stringent quality control procedures at the Matrix factory in Taiwan ensure customer and industry standards are met
In-club branding at Eden Fitness
In-club branding at Eden Fitness
‘Life’ tests simulate the harshest conditions at the Matrix Fitness laboratory
‘Life’ tests simulate the harshest conditions at the Matrix Fitness laboratory
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2014_3matrix.gif
Matrix Fitness credits much of its success to the people behind the brand. Newly promoted National Sales Manager, Andy Loughray, discusses the merits of this customer-centric company
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Featured supplier: Wattbike Studio makes lasting impact on business at Holme Pierrepont
Since installing its new Wattbike indoor cycling studio last year, Holme Pierrepont Country Park, a Serco Leisure site that’s the home of the National Water Sports Centre, has seen a significant increase in cycle studio usage.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Not all functional training areas are created equal
In the last few years, the rise in popularity of functional training has been significant and operators are providing more space for functional training, both on the gym floor and in group training and studio settings.
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DFC: We do more...
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Company profile: Crown Sports Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers has designed, crafted and fitted bespoke timber furniture for spas, hotels and ...
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Move is the fitness marketplace connecting our partners with customers through the largest variety of ...
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
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Fitness equipment
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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