SLS is set for growth as it announces digital transformation

20.09.2019

SLS has announced sales of more than £13m generating nearly £5m of funding into schools in the 2018/19 academic year. Sales have increased by nearly 40% since the previous year [£9.5m].

The business is gearing up for further expansion in a move which will boost income for schools further as it has launched an innovative new online booking system as part of a wider digital transformation project.

Scott Warrington, director and co-founder of SLS, said: “Our goal is to connect as many schools with hiring groups as possible across the UK. The benefits are two-fold: enhancing funding to schools and increasing participation across communities. We currently welcome nearly 10,000 community groups into over 250 schools every year and we believe the new booking system will increase this exponentially. For any business, it’s brilliant to be able to announce such positive growth but the added bonus for us is that comes hand-in-hand with the delivering more funding to schools. To do that, we need to keep investing in our team of 850 people and the infrastructure such as the booking system. We’re immensely proud to see nearly £5m go back into schools in the past 12 months and look forward to seeing this grow in years to come.”

The new system provides multifaceted benefits for partner schools and hiring groups, improving visibility and vetting of those making enquiries and hiring facilities. Bookings can now be managed easily 24/7 and can be accessed in real-time, which allows cancellations and amendments. The invoicing process is simplified with automatic updates and payments.

This investment in technology will improve SLS’ customer service by allowing managers more time to work directly with schools and groups, as well as focusing on creating operational efficiencies. This technology will transform the way communities can access leisure facilities by providing live availability and messenger services for existing and new groups to book.

Scott added: “It’s also about providing a better service for current schools and groups. As consumers, we’re used to being able to book online whether it’s a hotel room or hiring a car. Recent research by Sport England found that only 34% of people surveyed felt it was easy to book sporting activities online – we want to change this and believe it will transform the leisure sector. People want the flexibility to be able to manage bookings, pay online and to access digital records. We predict this will boost the volume of bookings and in turn increase the revenue for the schools we are working with. The system will also add additional value to schools which will be able to access more effective reporting and real-time information.”

As a market-leader, SLS now works with more than 250 schools and has in excess of £10m of revenue back into schools to date through providing a full letting solution. This allows schools, academies and colleges to maximise the use of their facilities to the local community during evenings, weekends and school holidays.

Schools working with SLS hire their facilities for a diverse range of activities, from football to gymnastics and swimming through to cheerleading classes, language schools and Jedi training programmes.