Zen Planner’s Critical Flaw As A Gym Management Software – Review

ZenPlanner-website

I’ve been helping to start up a new fitness center and we’ve been working with Zen Planner as the gym membership software. If it weren’t for this one critical flaw, I’d be able to heartily recommend ZenPlanner for its simplicity of setup and use (cloud based) and feature richness.

So what’s the flaw? There is no way for members to sign-in unless they are signing into a class. So signing in for “use of facilities” can’t be tracked unless it is turned into a class.

The typical gym owner wants to track one of two things if not both: 1) when a member comes to the gym, and/or 2) when a member attends a specific class. These are two different things. John might come to the gym to do a self-directed workout. I want to know that he used the facility. Susan might come to the gym for a Zumba class. I want to know that she came to class. In order to track both of these things, ZenPlanner forces you to treat “use of facilties” as a class.

So even though you really may be selling a class-less membership (self-directed use of facilities), in order to track those members you have to make it a membership that includes access to a class with a title like “walking into the gym and using the facilities on your own” or “open gym”.

This all gets messy on the website because if you setup what is supposed to be a non-class membership as a membership that has the class “walking into the gym and using the facilities on your own” then ZenPlanner automatically displays text on the member website indicating that the membership comes with classes. This is confusing to the customer! Because really, that membership doesn’t come with classes. But ZenPlanner says it does. Because ZenPlanner forces you to set it up that way in order to track facility use.

Because of this issue, we are currently exploring other gym management software. In the mean time, I am left wondering. How is it that a software company with 30 employees and presumably thousands of clients hasn’t felt the urgency of this issue? Other fitness centers and gyms have most certainly brought it to their attention… we’re not the only gym who wants to sell different levels of access to the facility and to track usage for non-class events.

Gym management software is first and foremost about member management. So if a software can’t get the basics of member sign-in and tracking right, then the software has failed. Why did Zen Planner build the member check-in process exclusively around classes? Why not have a basic facility check-in, with the option of selecting a class? In other words, ZenPlanner needs to make class check in an add-on to facility check-in. That seems like it would be an easy fix.

Other recent stories

10 Chain Stores People Can’t Get Enough Of

Most people have their favorite small time local shops for their local sustainable goods, or their top fashion finds, but there are some chain stores in the United States that people just love to pieces. Even in a tough economy, people still… Read more

10 Ways Prison is Big Business

Prison is supposed to do three things: Remove criminals from society where they may harm others, punish them for their offenses, and rehabilitate them so that they are (hopefully) able to be assimilated back into society where they can take on… Read more

15 Amazing Pieces of Crop Circle Advertising

In the 1980s crop circles attracted a great deal of media coverage and even became speculatively linked to extraterrestrial activity, the paranormal and strange weather events. Perhaps it’s only natural that advertisers paid attention. A… Read more

A Glimpse Into the Demise of Google Reader

Source: Snatz.com When Google announced that it was shutting down Google Reader, bloggers around the internet were shocked and upset. Google Reader was one of the easiest RSS readers to use and connected seamlessly with Blogger blogs and… Read more

15 Coolest Cat Cafés

Imagine stepping into a local café, inhaling the rich aroma of brewing coffee, and taking a closer look at the menu. Alongside the house coffees, espressos and caramel macchiatos, however, there’s a rather more surprising addition: cats. Yes,… Read more

15 Awesomely Ergonomic Office Chairs

If we’re going to spend more than eight hours a day sitting on our butts, we might as well do it in style. Sitting has been referred to as a disease and even an epidemic. Thankfully, these incredible office chairs have the answer: ergonomic,… Read more

15 Powerfully Creative Global Warming Awareness Ads

In 1958, American scientist Charles Keeling took direct measurements of carbon dioxide, and soon afterwards he connected the gas with global warming. Keeling’s findings were the first to suggest that human beings could be contributing to the… Read more

15 Stylishly Creative Computer Mouse Designs

Many of us spend a lot of time in front of our computers, so getting the proper tools is essential – not only for efficiency but also to help prevent repetitive strain injuries (RSI) and carpal tunnel syndrome. Fortunately, there are a wide… Read more

15 Awesomely Geeky Laptop Bags

Laptop bags have become more than just a means to protect your precious mobile computer. These days, they’re expressive symbols of individuality: who you are, what you’re into, and what brands you associate yourself with. Besides being… Read more

15 Awesome Office Desks Made from Repurposed Cars

The effect a good office desk can have on productivity and organization should not be underestimated. It can be a big boost to your business. And while factors like space and the type of work being done need to be considered, some people prefer… Read more

13 Incredible Subterranean Hotels

The space tourism industry may be offering people the chance to travel miles above the Earth, but if you’d prefer to be beneath our planet’s surface, you’re in luck, as subterranean hotels are also appealing to the public to spend their… Read more

15 Amazingly Bizarre Themed Restaurants

Despite famous chains like Hard Rock Café and Planet Hollywood declining in popularity, experts still think that themed restaurants will be sticking around for a while yet. The trick to creating an excellent themed restaurant isn’t as… Read more

15 Coolest Briefcases Ever

Briefcases first emerged on the professional scene in courtrooms in the 1920s, and they went on to become symbols of white-collar accomplishment and sophistication. Until recently, however, the common briefcase was a bit blasé, and if you’d… Read more

15 Inadvertently Lewd Company Logos

Logos can be a highly effective way of increasing the recognition and presence of your business. The key is simplicity and boldness. The more striking and impressive your emblem or graphic, the more immediate and positive the identification is… Read more