A user-friendly activity management software module helps a new spa and sports center sort out the special details.
Automating the administrative side of golf or tennis activities at club or resort properties is fairly straightforward: Create a list of open times for play, plug in names to fill the vacancies, and you—and your members and guests—are good to go.
As properties have added spa and fitness services to their amenities mix, however, many new levels of detail have been brought into the picture. So many, in fact, that when Wendy Rahier came to Indian Wells, Calif. in the fall of 2008 as the new Spa & Sports Center Director at Toscana Country Club, she was initially “skeptical and somewhat leery” about the club’s intention to manage its two new facilities, the Spa Bella Vita and the Sports Club, with components of its existing club management software. (Toscana, a private-equity club and luxury residential gated community, opened its first Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course in 2004, and clubhouse and restaurant in 2005.)
A spa industry veteran with experience at such high-profile operations as Caesars Atlantic City, Rahier—who had always used software designed exclusively for spa operations to manage other facilities—admits she was “semi-prepared for [software-related] challenges” as she set out to direct her new operations and staff. Less than two years later, however—with 100 people a day now coming through the Sports Club, and the Spa Bella Vita and a tennis center that is also under Rahier’s direction seeing healthy usage as well—any initial doubts she may have harbored have long been dispelled. In fact, Rahier is now a full believer in the value that Jonas Software—and in particular, the Spa Management module of its Activity Management suite—has provided to help her get Toscana’s newest facilities off to a good start.
“When you have a new sports club and spa environment, it’s all about not only making a strong first impression, but continuing to improve service and efficiency as you grow,” Rahier says. “That’s especially true for a new community like Toscana, where we have a very elite clientele [residences start at $1.3 million] and still have more than half of the home sites to be sold.
“It’s been critical from the start to focus on recognizing and greeting members promptly when they come in, and then efficiently getting them to where they need to be for their treatments or workouts,” Rahier adds. “And when they’re ready to leave, we need to handle checkouts without delay. We can’t have them waiting at either end.”
|The easy-to-use Spa Management module of its Activity Management suite has helped the staff of Toscana CC keep track of client-specific considerations without delaying the speed or quality of service.|
More Balls to Juggle
Rahier’s initial software-related concerns stemmed largely from the special nature of spa operations, where the equipment, materials and therapists needed for the variety of treatments offered must be smoothly coordinated on the front end, and more involved billing adjustments are then often required after a visit that’s involved multiple services and personnel.
She first drew reassurance from learning that Jonas systems had been working well for other club properties operated by Toscana’s developer, Sunrise Company; these include Royal Oaks CC in Houston and Garden of the Gods Club in Colorado Springs, Colo. Paul Levy, a PGA Golf Professional who is President of Club Operations and Development for all Sunrise club operations and also serves as Toscana’s CEO/General Manager, has been extremely active in Jonas user groups and worked closely with the company to help develop and expand its various programs for all facets of club management.
Rahier then really became a convert as soon as she sat down herself to start to use the Jonas Spa Management module, which provides an abundance of scheduling and service information in a user-friendly, easy-to-follow format that resembles Microsoft Outlook. Clicking on individual entries leads to popups with additional information that can further ensure enhanced service. “Our staff gets immediate reminders when someone checks in that Mr. Smith is allergic to lavender oil, or requests warm towels for his feet or a certain brand of lotion,” Rahier notes.
While all traces of her initial skepticism were quickly erased after using the software, what has really sold her since then is how Jonas has provided regular upgrades to address “wish list” requests from her and her staff. “They certainly have issued more useful upgrades, proactively and routinely, to address needs we’ve identified than any other software company I’ve worked with,” she says.
Rahier provides this example of how Jonas has responded to provide solutions for specific needs that have come up after Toscana’s spa and sports center began operations:
|Spa & Sports Center Director Wendy Rahier has wide-ranging management duties that encompass the Spa Bella Vita, tennis and other aspects of sports club and fitness operations at Toscana Country Club.|
“We were having a problem for the times when a member had multiple services and wanted to leave an extra gratuity of say, $60—$20 for each of three therapists. The system would put the entire $60 in for the therapist who had provided the first service. So when it came time to generate payroll, we had to be careful not to give the entire gratuity to one therapist. This was tedious and time-consuming.
“But after we explained what was happening to Jonas, they created a new pop-up window that now allows us to add all of the therapists who should share the gratuity. This not only makes things quicker for our concierges, the splits have already been formulated when we create the payroll. It’s also easier to now show each therapist that they did receive their proper share. And, we only need to run one chit for the entire gratuity on the member’s account, where before we had to run each split separately.”
Completing the Cube
Vache Hagopian, Director of Marketing for Jonas, understands why a spa industry veteran like Rahier may have had initial concerns about trying to handle all that goes into spa operations with a component of a more general management system.
|“The integrated system makes it easy to track the services each member uses.” -Wendy Rahier|
“Spas present a Rubik’s Cube of applications that are much more complicated than just tracking tee times,” Hagopian says. “But through our Spa Management module, we’ve made many spa operators become believers in the efficiencies that can come from the power of integrating all that goes on in a spa or wellness operation with members’ other activities and use of the club.”
Indeed, Rahier now has big plans for integrating the reporting features of the Spa Management module with the general club database and e-mail marketing system, to further the growth of activity in Toscana’s spa and sports center.
“[The integrated Jonas system] makes it easy to track the total amount of services each member uses and then send out customized messages to individual or groups,” she says. “If I see that Mr. Smith has had a lot of personal training sessions, I can offer him a complimentary massage. I can send special announcements to just those members who are in our tennis group. And if I find members who have still not used the sports club, I can try to find ways to entice them to come in and see all that we have to offer.”
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