Keys to Optimizing Club Software

Matrix Fitness gives us insight into how technology works to build tailored solutions.

Club software has grown by leaps and bounds during the past few years. Originating in payment and member information management, the systems have evolved into a breadth of connected solutions that utilize data from every interaction. From prospecting visits and check-in to members’ fully connected workout experience on and off the machines, club operations on every level have incorporated tech solutions in hopes of reaching maximum efficiency and resulting in member satisfaction.

When discussing technology and software, we often use terms that may be common to the people who develop the solutions but are unfamiliar and therefore perplexing to others outside the field. Here, we’ll discuss the ways in which software integration can be leveraged to create platforms, or ecosystems, geared to your club’s success.

First, let’s loosely define the core terms, just to offer a backdrop for the discussion.

  • Ecosystem. When we think of ecosystems, we typically define them as biological communities of interacting organisms and their physical environments. Technology ecosystems are product platforms defined by core components made by the platform owner and complemented by applications made by autonomous companies in the periphery. Think of them as proprietary optimized digital environments designed to leverage every interaction for the good of the host (the club).

  • Software integration. This is the practice of connecting and unifying different types of software parts or subsystems. In this case, it’s about having a number of disparate software solutions brought into an existing platform to create an interactive ecosystem.

  • API. Application Programming Interface (API) is a software interface that allows two applications to interact with each other without any user intervention. API is a collection of software functions and procedures. In simple terms, it’s software code that can be accessed or executed and that allows two different software packages to communicate and exchange data with each other.

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How the Components Work Together

The ecosystem itself provides an experience that accentuates and amplifies a club’s brand.

“It’s the vehicle that allows members to seamlessly interact with their facility the way they want and, most importantly, facilitates their desired outcomes,” says Andrew Kolman, senior director of technology & business development for Johnson Health Tech, the parent company of Matrix Fitness. “From a brand and engagement perspective, that ecosystem and its functions are what keep members coming back, ties them more closely to their clubs, and builds their affinity for the brand.”

Critical to the ecosystem are its myriad of functions along with the software integrations that bring them all together and underpins the platform.

While the development of a proprietary ecosystem might appear to be a big-ticket item, it might be easier than you think. Software integration makes it possible to avoid what in technology is called a “rip and replace” situation, where you need to get rid of legacy solutions entirely in favor of all new ones.

“We know that our customers often already have partners and providers they work with,” Kolman says. “Software integration allows us to build platforms that might be a mix of what we offer with a facility’s existing software, such as existing scheduling or CRM solutions. If they have their own training software, for example, and don’t want to use our solution, we can integrate with what they have in a way that allows their software to push prescriptions down to their members and have those prescriptions get consumed on our consoles. But it’s all transparent to the client and the end-user.”

The key to enabling software integration—what allows the applications to talk to each other—are APIs.

“APIs allow a ‘plug-and-play’ approach to integration,” explains Matt McConley, global digital product manager at Johnson Health Tech. “If you view software integrations as a bridge between two systems, APIs are the moorings on each side of the bridge, connecting the two sides of the river, so to speak. This allows the systems clubs use to plug into and communicate with one another, delivering a flexible solution that meets the customer where they are and provides the tools and experiences they need to be successful.”

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Setting Clubs Up for Success

Matrix, says Kolman, has the ability to build an ecosystem from the ground up but doesn’t view that as its mission.

“We’d love for you to buy our technology solutions from front to back,” he says. “But we also realize that being as flexible as possible makes us a better partner and fosters deeper relationships with our customers. We’ll integrate with clients’ existing systems so that, at the end of the day, our equipment becomes another piece in the digital ecosystem that allows them to engage, attract, and retain members.”

“What we’re trying to do, from an end-user perspective, is create solutions and integrations that remove friction and allow them to consume whatever it is our customers want them to consume,” continues Kolman. “It all comes back to our customers creating desired outcomes for their members. We work collaboratively toward those goals, test our solutions, and validate results; all with the objective of developing ecosystems that set our customers up for success.”

To learn more about Matrix Fitness and their technology solutions, visit

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Jon Feld

Jon Feld is a contributor to