Why Jonas Fitness’ rich history, robust product line-up and high-touch service make it an ideal partner for gyms industry-wide.
There are dozens of club management software (CMS) solutions for gym operators to consider.
But few have such a rich history as Jonas Fitness, Inc., which boasts 40-plus years of experience. In fact, Jonas Fitness’ founder pioneered the now widely adopted Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) technology all clubs use today.
“We take this type of technology for granted, but it was developed from the ground up, right here,” said Sean Kirby, the vice president of sales at Jonas Fitness. “It was created by the entrepreneurial spirit that still exists in the brand today. We are encouraged to think about and look for new ideas that will improve what we do as a business and how it helps our clients achieve their goals.”
In addition, few software companies have such a solid financial foundation. Jonas Fitness is owned by a large $5 billion publicly-traded company, Constellation Software. In contrast, many other CMS providers in the industry are owned and operated by private equity firms.
Why should that matter? According to Tony Autin, the president of Jonas Fitness, private equity firms invest in businesses by increasing their short-term value with the expressed intention of selling that business for profit. This buy-flip-and-sell business model is attractive to large corporations looking to make large, short-term profits.
“Unfortunately, this change often leads to poor customer service, stagnant products, product instabilities, software end-of-lifes and exorbitant price increases,” explained Autin. “Constellation Software gives our clients and us the freedom to focus on our market without worrying about any of these potential issues. Additionally, having connections to thousands of software companies under the Constellation umbrella is something no other provider can bring.”
Between its rich history and strong financial foundation, Jonas Fitness has created a robust enterprise software that helps gyms solve business challenges and improve the member experience. The product includes a PCI-compliant software and payment solution; a fully-integrated billing processing engine; comprehensive front desk and back office features; 24/7, 365 days/year software support; dedicated billing services representatives and more.
“Our Compete CMS covers the needs and functionalities of any type of club in the industry,” said Kirby. “In addition, we offer member billing services that can cater to a client’s specific needs and processes. For clubs looking for a more secure and validated point-of-sale solution, we are excited to release our point-to-point encryption payment security solution, helping to further secure sensitive data.”
Of course, it takes more than just effective technology to create a truly great product. That technology also must be supported by people on the back end.
According to Autin, this is another point where Jonas Fitness excels.
“I believe we have the best people in the industry,” said Autin. “We have highly talented individuals who work on our teams, and their drive helps our customers run their clubs and centers. Our primary goal is to focus on helping club operators run their businesses to the best of their ability, and our team accomplishes this goal day in and day out.”
A great example of this viewpoint in practice is Jonas Fitness’ recent marketing campaign called “#Herstory,” which focused on elevating women’s stories from within Jonas Fitness, the technology industry and the fitness industry.
“We have so many wonderful women to celebrate, and as the father of a 3-year-old daughter, I often think about the kind of example I’m setting,” said Autin. “One day I would love to tell her Jonas Fitness did everything it could for the women in the software, technology and fitness industries. And I feel we’re well on our way to making that happen. For example, the global average for women in leadership roles is 31%. Contrast that to Jonas Fitness’ 57%. For me, the campaign was about our people, and I love we celebrated them.”
The emphasis on people also extends to Jonas Fitness’ customers, with the company viewing itself as a partner, not just a service provider.
“There are many CMS providers that can offer a solution,” explained Autin. “We take it a step further. We provide solutions, and we create long-lasting partnerships. We want to be a good partner, and we focus on finding solutions for our customers that bring them value. As a result, we have great relationships throughout various industries we leverage to better serve our clients’ needs. Our willingness and track record of partnering with the best-of-breed solutions sets us apart, and our continuous efforts at partnering with additional solutions will provide value to our customers for years to come.”
This attitude shines through in the advice Autin and Kirby gave on choosing a CMS partner or in evaluating trends in technology, in their own words:
- Late fees belong to you, not your CMS provider. When you have a member who’s late on payment or has non-sufficient funds, that money collected as a fee should be your money to help cover any additional expense you incurred while waiting for payment. Not all CMS providers think this way, but we do. To help increase revenue we recently assessed our customers across all our platforms to determine who was/was not charging late fees and gathered the collectability rates. Any way we can help our customers drive up their revenue is a win for all involved.
- SaaS agreements are not coterminous with your payment agreements. Be cautious when reviewing these. Understand what state your agreement is in when the initial term ends. Do both agreements go month-to-month? Does one agreement renew for a term, or maybe both? What do exit files cost? Waiting too long to begin planning your transition to new software is a common mistake many club operators make.
- Compete’s Batch Change Utility. One of the things our customers have loved about Compete CMS is its batch change functionalities. With COVID-19 regulations coming to an end, many members are deciding to return to the club. With this trend comes the challenge of bringing these members back into the facility. We have held numerous webinars to help our clients navigate this process.
In addition, Autin and Kirby advised operators to partner with a CMS provider that integrates easily with other platforms/solutions.
“A multifaceted CMS platform that provides multiple solutions is a growing trend in the industry,” said Kirby. “For example, think of an Apple or Android phone. They both have similar functionalities, and while their ecosystems are different, they both provide a bedrock for additional features. Integrations with other applications expand their capabilities tremendously. Jonas Fitness can provide the foundational ecosystem with Compete CMS, and its integration with outstanding additional applications expands our clients’ capabilities to service a club’s members exponentially.”
Ultimately, Jonas Fitness has a multitude of solutions that can help bring value to a club and its members. Pair this with a rich history, strong financial foundation and robust product, and you’ll see why more than 3,000 clubs have chosen the software provider as their technology of choice.
“Once again, it’s our team that makes the difference,” said Autin. “There is no more special group of individuals you will get to work with than those at Jonas Fitness. We have many former fitness and wellness center employees, owners and operators. The empathy the team has for our customers is unparalleled. When our customers win, we win. We have built our business that way, and it drives our team and business behavior.”