How a Club Management System Can Boost Gym Profits

Commercial Fitness

How a Club Management System Can Boost Gym Profits

New advances in technology can transform the member experience, making it easier than ever for exercisers to access fitness facilities, obtain information, sign up for activities, and more.

Here's how the most successful gyms are using technology and how a club management system can help your business.

The following is a summarization of an education session from the 2015 IHRSA Convention, produced with full permission from IHRSA. The full-length video is available for purchase at ihrsastore.com.

About the Speaker

Gerhard Pichler is the Business Development Manager at Gantner, a leading manufacturer of innovative system solutions. Gantner has been designing hardware for club management systems for the global fitness industry for more than 30 years. They operate in over 60 countries around the world.

Technology in gyms

What Are Club Management Systems?

Club management encompasses management software and systems, which play a significant role in club security and are used to create unique member experiences. Having a high-functioning management system can help differentiate your club from your many competitors and bring in more revenue.

Many of the most successful companies use technology to streamline their operations. For example, Disney is known for being innovative in providing outstanding customer experiences. They’ve recently implemented the Magic Band system, which accesses activities and features with a wristband. The bands can lock and open doors, pay for food and services, and access products in a convenient, low-touch way. In many ways, new technology can improve the quality of your services and create an effortless experience for your customers while generating ancillary revenue streams.

The Evolution of Membership Credentials

The ways in which a person's membership credentials are checked has evolved from magnetic stripe cards, barcodes, and proximity cards with microchips, to smart cards, chip and memory, and Near Field Communication (NFC). Mobile phones have the capability to store and transfer member credentials.

Microchips in these devices make it simple and convenient for customers to use access-controlled areas and make secure cashless payments.

Using NFC Applications

One of the newest and most convenient ways to check membership credentials is with NFC technology. Members are able to enter access-controlled areas using their NFC cards, while different membership levels can offer secure access to different areas of your facility. NFC cards are reliable and secure, and can also allow for safe electronic locking of storage units. This is useful for both locker rooms and controlling access to certain pieces of fitness equipment.

NFC cards integrated with your club management software can control your main door and restrict access when needed. This gives members a degree of flexibility with time schedules, as members are no longer confined to access times when someone is present at the front desk for admission.

Turnstiles that read NFC cards can provide secure access to your facility and help ensure that every person using your facilities is a paying member. With different member types, you can use a management system to control when members are allowed to check in and out of the club.

Biometric verifications for high-volume clubs help stop membership sharing. This verification system is fast, reliable, and convenient for members. The system allows you to control the frequency of verification, among other settings. Combined with automation, verification can create a self-check-in that imposes locker-use restrictions. Biometric verification also creates a soft force on members to check-in in order to collect data about your club.

There are many benefits of access control through club management systems, including:

  • Increased security
  • Streamlined operations
  • New membership plans – add different membership levels to generate more revenue
  • Enhanced data streams – use data for target marketing
  • Better membership experience

Electronic Locker Room Management

Common locker room problems include broken keys, forgotten passwords for electronic lockers, members keeping their belongings in lockers overnight, and high maintenance costs.

Electronic locker room management can solve these problems. You will also enhance your members’ experience by providing easy credential replacement, assigning one locker per member, creating information terminals for forgotten PIN codes and locker numbers, and added layers of security.

Electronic management systems are intuitive to use and offer more advanced features, such as localized locker alarms, making the systems vandalism proof. Electronic locking also significantly reduces operational and maintenance costs, offers more control and visibility to all levels of your club, and can increase revenue by making purchases within your facility easy and convenient. Lockers are tied to validation dates, which encourages members to keep their memberships up to date and to renew upon expiration.

Automation Within Your Club

Club management software systems allow for easy, cashless payments where members swipe credentials to pay for and gain access to services. Having an internal point-of-sale system can save your business money. There are no credit transaction fees associated with it, and having the option of easy, cashless payment promotes impulse buying, which increases revenue.

A club management system is like having an extra employee that makes your business run more efficiently, with the end result being happier members and more profit for you. 

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