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David Leadbetter Golf improves its business swing with SAP SMB tools

As one of the foremost masters of teaching the fundamentals of the golf swing, David Leadbetter has helped thousands of golfers improve their games, from accomplished pros to rank amateurs. Leadbetter's talent and dedication to golf instruction eventually led to the growth of David Leadbetter Golf Academies, with locations in 14 countries around the world. However, the growth of the business left its business processes in the rough, leading it to install an SAP SMB platform.

In this video from SAP's 2016 Sapphire Now conference, Ben Riches, David Leadbetter Golf's managing director, explains how SAP Business One (SAP B1) helped the company get a good grip on its business processes and gain insights that were not possible with the applications it had used in the past. Aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, SAP SMB B1 was ideal for a company the size of David Leadbetter Golf, Riches says.

"We have a very large brand presence within the golf instruction industry, but we're actually quite a lean business, we're quite a small company in terms of infrastructure," Riches says. "We found through the transitions that we'd been through as a business that we didn't really have any insight or clarity on the business -- how often were our coaches teaching, what type of lessons were they giving, how often was that student returning. All of that type of information is key to us being able to grow the business, and so that's what led us to SAP as the solution to help us get to that point."

Working with implementation partner Vision33, David Leadbetter Golf saw positive results from SAP SMB B1 almost immediately, Riches explains. Replacing functional but limited applications like Intuit QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel and RMS, B1 helped the company streamline business processes -- eliminating manual entries, for example -- and get a more accurate picture of inventory. Further, B1 has made it possible to know what the instructors are doing and when, greatly improving the quality of each lesson.

As positive as the results have been, David Leadbetter Golf is really only on the front line of the digital transformation. Riches says the company intends to move from business improvements to revolutionizing the way it teaches the game.

"What we've found is that we now have a better picture of our business, we know what we're doing and we know what our instructors and employees are doing, but it doesn't connect through to what our customers or students are doing," he says. "So the next phase for us is to work with SAP to start finding ways that we can hold and contain a database of data that our students have got."

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