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Simply having management software in place can make daily operations such as billing and reporting easier, but possessing a full understanding of a management software’s capabilities — making software truly work for you — can optimize facility performance and member engagement.

“Overall, the software should allow a facility to enhance the member experience,” said Lisa Owens, the office and human resources manager at The Wave Aquatic and Fitness Center in Whitefish, Montana. “If it is easy to use for both employees and members, software makes the member experience better through check-in, registrations, class enrollment and point of sale (POS).”

The Wave has had positive experiences with both Club OS and Compete® by Jonas Fitness in managing its 69,000-square-foot facility and nearly 7,000 members.

With 10 locations, the YMCA of Greater Omaha’s software needs are a little different. This association needed a solution that would streamline operations across all branches while also providing support in each location.

To meet those needs, the Greater Omaha Y turned to Daxko. “We use Daxko for our operations and accounting,” said Kris Huie, the association’s director of business services. “It’s a good management software that effectively handles our data and financial processes, which is key to allowing our membership and program directors to focus on engaging members at the branch level.”

With Daxko, the Greater Omaha Y is able to quickly and easily analyze usage trends for programs, equipment and certain areas of their facilities to improve decision-making.

According to Huie, a good management software solution also helps the association maintain high performance standards across all branches. “We are also able to use our software to ensure consistency among all of our locations in program registration and member online experiences,” he explained.

The right management software can be a game-changer, but the first step is picking the right solution. With so many software options on the market, it can be hard to find the right fit — whether you’re a first-time shopper or looking to switch providers.

According to Owens, identifying the right management software should take some time. “I went through many on-line demos, then usually a second demo with more questions to be answered,” she said. “I met with vendors in person at the facility to ask more questions. I also spoke on the phone with and traveled to other facilities so I could see the software in action, and ask employees about their experience with the software.”

Before ultimately choosing Daxko, Huie was just as meticulous, using certain criteria for selecting the right software solution:

  • Able to grow with the organization and is flexible enough to meet its needs.
  • User-friendly for directors and front-line staff.
  • Able to access data on different aspects of the organization.
  • Automatic reporting is a plus — this saves staff a lot of time.

The bottom line is your software should optimize several areas of your facility — member information, billing and collections, scheduling, appointments, and referrals — while also being easy to use for staff and driving member engagement.

If you’re in the market for a new software solution, ask questions that narrow down the right software provider for you. If you’d like better performance from your software, talk to your current provider and try to find ways they can improve your experience.

“Ask what software can do for you,” said Huie. “How accessible is your software management team and how quickly can they diagnose and fix issues you may have? Always look for that live customer service experience with your software provider, as well as what the software can do to make your job easier.”

Bobby Dyer

Bobby is the former editor of Community Rec Magazine.

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