There isn’t a bigger buzzword in today’s fitness industry than “integration”. The word is cast out like a bait-less hook, hoping to reel something in by sheer luck.
In an effort to be branded as a “one-stop shop”, software companies repeatedly boast of a fully-integrated software solution in spite of it having to run on multiple platforms to complete a single task.
As a result, the concept of a truly integrated software solution steadily devolves into nothing more than background music.
The truth of the matter is this: Fully Integrated Club Management Software is an absolute neccesity for a successful club.
In technical terms, integration is defined as “an act or instance of combining individualities into an integral whole.” Basically, integration means taking a bunch of separate processes and combining them to make a single, functional final product.
Here’s a quick example.
A check-in module may only contain general information such as: ‘Member ID’ and ‘Member Name’. Once a member checks in, the software races into the member database, instantaneously retrieving their remaining information such as: ‘Status’, 'Payment Due’, ‘Notes’, etc.
Now that you have a working idea on the role integration plays in the day-to-day tasks of your club, check out 4 advantages of a fully integrated software solution.
4 advantages of a fully integrated club management software solution.
1. Save on Payroll
In a truly integrated system, the member information is automatically updated when the billing file is sent and again when the decline file is downloaded. A fully integrated software product removes the need for an employee to update records manually, while, at the same time, eliminating the risk of human error.
2. Data you can TRUST
If you are running on a fully integrated database it means that no matter where you enter information (customer portal, employee portal, front desk module or back office module) you are entering information directly into the database in real-time. This means that you AND your employees can trust your data regardless of time. Trustworthy data means you can collect more of your money!
3. With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Dealing with member credit card information is an inherent risk. There’s no way around it. Fully integrated software allows you the opportunity to minimize that risk. How? PCI Compliance. The PCI Security Standards Council is a global open body formed to develop, enhance, disseminate and assist with the understanding of security standards for payment account security. PCI Compliant software attains to these characteristics, and is supported by the major Credit Card companies in the market.
4. IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!
At least that’s what your members think. As opposed to having your members and/or employees jump through loopholes and endless phone transfers, a fully integrated solution allows for questions and concerns to be answered through a singular point of information. This gives your club structure, letting you focus on the most important thing: running your club.
So next time someone tells you their software is fully integrated, make them ELABORATE!
Ask yourself these questions to ensure you're dealing with a fully integrated software solution:
- Do I need to download files and move them to a processing company?
- Is all of your data located in one database (billing, member info, check-itc.)?
- If all data is not in one database, what are the checks and balances in place to confirm that information is moving correctly ``from database to database? And, how often is the data synced per day?
- If all data is not in one database, where are my reports pulling from and how do I know they are accurate?