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GMG celebrates ‘rubbish’ year

CHEADLE Hulme-based Golf Management Group (GMG) is celebrating record-breaking growth in 2015, thanks to another specialised internal department.

Emptying the bins is nobody’s highlight of the working week, but it is typical of the many unglamorous chores for which a golf club manager is ultimately responsible, and it can be a surprisingly costly, time-consuming and complicated area.

That’s why when GMG introduced Waste and Washroom as a new management category in 2015, more than 300 golf clubs handed over their contract negotiations to the company, which dedicates itself to reducing operating costs at UK golf clubs.

The result? Waste and Washroom is now GMG’s most popular cost-reduction category, after the creation of a specialist in-house team of experts on waste management, maximising recycling opportunities, and adhering to ever-changing legislation.

With other key GMG-managed categories such as electricity, gas and catering supplies also saving UK golf clubs thousands of pounds each year, the company’s ability to reduce costs – and stress – for golf club managers means that almost 500 UK golf clubs are now using GMG to negotiate better prices and manage their supplier contracts.

“Supplier contracts can be misleading, and service and billing issues can be complex,” said GMG’s David Valentine, who headed the initiative to introduce the Waste and Washroom management category. “GMG brings transparency to the process, as many of our customers can testify. Without doubt, service is the key element in the Waste and Washroom category. When issues arise, club managers hate to waste time waiting for a call centre to answer the phone. Problems need resolving efficiently: that’s what we do, we take away this irritation.

“Our in-house team use GMG’s bespoke systems to manage this process to a satisfactory outcome, while club managers get on with their day.”

GMG’s significant buying power means added cost reductions for golf clubs who combine certain services. “We can guarantee golf clubs savings, for example, if they simply bolt Waste and Washroom services together,” said Valentine.

GMG’s Scott Partington, who co-founded GMG in late 2010 with Valentine, said: “Last year was our best year yet as regards turnover, new customers and the amount of money we saved for our members, but there is plenty of growth ahead in 2016. Although more clubs than ever are now using GMG to manage their suppliers and contract negotiations, we are definitely not resting on our laurels.

“A key factor has been to switch our focus to fewer categories, managed by more in-house specialists,” he said. “At launch we offered help with nearly 60 expenditure categories, but in 2014 we took the decision to streamline. Now, we concentrate on the dozen or so core cost areas at a golf club, with specialist internal departments headed by industry experts. GMG members now receive even better buying and operational advice within those sectors, as well as the very best financial terms owing to our economies of scale.”

Valentine added: “Now, more and more golf clubs can simply say “Speak to GMG” when any issues arise.

“Sorting out your waste management and dozens of other supplier issues probably isn’t why you got into golf club management in the first place, so that’s why GMG exists – to take care of that side of life, leaving you to manage your core club activities such as sales, customer satisfaction, leisure facilities and the golf course itself.”

Beer, wines and spirits is another key area for almost all golf clubs. With brewery price increases due in February 2016, GMG will soon introduce a welcome new initiative in this category. “We are bringing our beverage service fully in-house in 2016, with the appointment of an industry expert,” explained Valentine. “Thanks to the volumes we are achieving as a group brewers are now approaching us, and as well as the competitive pricing benefits this brings, we also have funding opportunities for our members. Having a dedicated beverage industry expert within the GMG team will enable us to capitalise on the latest trends within the sector to help increase sales.”

GMG’s introduction of a new in-house Energy team in early 2015 was another successful development, and popular with many golf clubs. “It’s a very simple process,” said Partington. “Send us your latest bill and a letter of authority, and a GMG expert will speak to the market on your behalf. We’ll negotiate the best possible deal for you, and will come back to you to discuss and agree actions, bringing a great deal more transparency to the process.

“Even if you are not in the renewal window, we can help there too,” said Partington. “We have secured rates for a number of clubs whose start date is towards the end of the year, producing significant savings and helping clubs to fix their energy budgets for the next three years.”

With a near-doubling of turnover in 2015, and a host of new, satisfied customers across a dozen key expenditure categories, GMG has had a ‘rubbish’ year to envy – as have its cost-conscious customers.

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Pictured is GMG’s David Valentine at Bramall Park.