The Computer Is Our Friend
Ronale Tucker Rhodes
But the "enemy" in our computer is really only that because we often don't have a clear understanding of how to use the software. Unfortunately, despite how useful computers are, they have made our lives even busier than when we processed everything via paper. So, we often feel we don't have the time to learn the intricacies of the computer software programs. And, not only does this hurt us by creating headaches through the programs' mis-use, but it further hurts us by not providing the true capabilities of what the programs have to offer.
At the Club Industry conference and trade show in Chicago, November 3-5, Michael Scott Scudder, managing partner of Southwest Club Services (a health club consulting firm), held a special session titled "It's What You Don't Know That's Costing Your Business a Small Fortune!" The session, sponsored by Aphelion (Houston, Texas), shed light on what most of the computer software suppliers' representatives have been saying for years: Fitness facility operators aren't taking full advantage of the potential their software provides. Scudder outlined what the top-10 questions a "smart" facility operator should be able to answer every month:
Are you using your software to answer any or all of these questions each month? Only a minority of those in Scudder's audience answered yes (by a show of hands at several points in the seminar), and you're probably no different. But that needs to change if you plan to succeed in today's technology-savvy business environment.
In her article, Where Technology is Taking Fitness Management (p.32), Elizabeth Philpott takes a look at how software and, now, web-based solutions, are helping fitness facilities to exceed in their management goals. Web-based solutions are the newest technology that allow facility operators to take advantage of "hosted" business management tools vs. packaged software programs. Offered by most software suppliers, they provide facilities not only with tracking tools, but also the ability to increase revenues through other services. And, as Philpott notes, the data that software and web-based solutions provide will have far-reaching implications for the industry in terms of healthcare reimbursement in the future.
So, let's forget about tossing our computer out the window, and take the time to learn what they can do for us. Let's let them be our friend!
Facility of the Week
Ithaca College Athletics and Events Center