Health club outsources key tasks

UK-based health and fitness club chain David Lloyd leisure has signed a six-year IT outsourcing deal with Computer Sciences...

UK-based health and fitness club chain David Lloyd leisure has signed a six-year IT outsourcing deal with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) worth £6.5m

Eleven IT staff from David Lloyd will transfer to CSC under the deal, which is an extension of the £50m outsourcing contract its parent company Whitbread Group signed with CSC last August.

David Lloyd Leisure's IT director Roger Cunningham said the move had not been forced on the company by Whitbread, but was necessary to support its expansion plans. He said the company planned to double the number of UK health and fitness clubs from 48 to 100 and it was "the right time to put about a new IT strategy".

"We are confident CSC will deliver on their obligations," said Cunningham. "They are into Whitbread in a big way - we are worth £56.5m to them." However, he admitted that there was "a service credit regime" in place to enforce service levels.

If CSC fails to fulfil its obligations in four or five key areas, including payment of staff, managing the membership system and controlling the direct debit function, it will risk penalties. "There are financial penalties in the contract for these things," said Cunningham.

He denied suggestions that the deal would create an us-and-them attitude, pointing to the number of Whitbread staff already working for the company.

"We will treat CSC as a partner," he said. "It'll be tightly integrated with our business."

CSC will also provide customer analysis, take over the company's datacentre operations, cover the IT helpdesk, manage desktop deployment and oversee the opening of new clubs. But performance in these areas will not be governed by penalties, said Cunningham.


karl.cushing@rbi.co.uk

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