In charge of maintaining and configuring system processes, connecting central management systems to 1st party tools, and overseeing development of the Fitness One mobile app, Jake Curreri is endlessly experimenting with ways technology can elevate fitness experiences.
After working with PerfectGym to create their client portal, open API and PG back office manager last October, Curreri sat down with PG to catch up on how the club management platform is working for him and how the open API has helped his club’s staff and members.
1. Tell me more about your Fitness One club and how you ended up working in the industry?
"We operate full-service, luxury fitness clubs, offering multi-directional, holistic products such as personal training, 24-hr service, tanning, aqua massage, and more. We service ~15,000 members nationwide.
The fitness industry is where I began, growing up in the grassroots of a local YMCA. My career has come full-circle in both athletic participation in the fitness world to leading the technological and operational shift within which the industry is headed."
2. What exactly is a chief technological officer and what do you do?
"As director of technology and operations, I make strategic and technological decisions within the fitness industry.
It’s an important role right now. In 2015, 95% of Fortune 500 companies identified themselves as 'tech companies'. In fitness, this would arguably be closer to 1%. Technology is an unstoppable force heading to the fitness industry, and brick-and-mortar fitness organizations must prepare for the inevitable."
3. What problems did your Fitness One club have before using Perfect Gym that made you want to switch software providers?
"Simple, our old system just couldn’t handle our expansion.
Typical software providers within the fitness industry fail to provide a full-platform solution dedicated to anticipated growths of the industry. Few are strategically aligned to work with up-and-coming vendors.
As you grow, managing a gym becomes more complex. You need better tools, higher performance and an all-in-one system. These are tangible solutions of Perfect Gym’s offering."
4. How has the PG client portal helped your gym?
"Prior to Perfect Gym, we had a minimal online booking and reservation system. Now we’re advancing into both allowing a member to book and reserve a class from their home to recommending potential classes a member might enjoy, we have high hopes with the acquisition improvements."
5. How has the management of your membership related tasks changed since switching to PG?
"We can now validate data integrity. With our previous software providers, reporting was near impossible due to a high number of “workarounds” in which we trained our staff. We were unable to retrieve a report as rudimentary as how many active members are in a club.
With Perfect Gym, we’re able to see real-time statuses of clubs and audit member experiences we hadn’t yet considered. The overview has given us great insight into how the club is doing, we make better data-driven choices now."
6. How has the PG Club Management software helped your member’s experience of your club?
"Being able to actively display our club growth in both the physical and digital sense provides members with a sense of reinvestment. They are proud to be members of one of the nation’s most up-and-coming fitness providers."
7. What features of the PG system do you find to be the most helpful for your gym?
"Visibility of member account statuses. For the first time in our history, we are able to notify members of account issues prior to the member stepping foot in a club."
8. With the growing technological trends within the fitness industry, do you believe your club has digitally transformed and is up-to-date with the latest tech trends?
"Yes, I really do. Especially because Perfect Gym is an excellent partner to align strategic goals as a brick-and-mortar fitness chain. Their constant pursuit of excellence and innovation — even in the unseen objectives — is highly amicable to any chain. The open API means our club can integrate with any up and coming fitness apps, this way we stay more relevant for members."
9. How would you sum up working with the Perfect Gym team in 3 sentences?
- Attentiveness to forwarding progress
- Understanding of the technological hurdles within non-fitness industries
- Commitment beyond software and focus on platform solutions
10. Tell us more about the PG open API and how you’ve used it with your own gym’s app?
"An open API allows the extraordinary potential for expanding system integration. We utilized the features within the Perfect Gym API to expand our mobile app, providing a suite of member-facing features.
Members are now able to manage their profiles, reserve, and check-in for classes, rate their favorite instructors, acquire loyalty points, receive attendance badges, communicate with their fellow classmates, and attend classes digitally. Much more is in the development pipeline -- integration with Perfect Gym allows execution for our Fitness One growth vision."
11. How do you think the open API will help improve your members' fitness experiences?
"Connectivity is the ultimate goal. We are just at the beginning of a connected society, and fitness is where people often begin. By building and continuing to improve features that encourage member connectivity and personalization, we hand an experience beyond the traditional walls of a fitness organization."
Digital disruption is very real and it is happening now to the fitness industry. Holistic club management platforms are needed to grow and ensure future growth.
Using a system with an open API means it can be integrated with any 3rd party apps and tools, this way you can keep on top of your operational game and merge with the apps your members are engaging with.
This allows your fitness brand to stay in your member’s digital ecosystem at all times.