The True Group is one of Asia’s largest fitness and wellness groups which mainly consist of businesses in Fitness and Yoga, with secondary businesses in Spa and Aesthetics in selected regional markets. Currently, the True Group has 33 centres across the five countries. It aims to grow to 50 centres in the next 5 years across new territories, establishing the True Group as a truly global fitness and wellness brand.
Technology-Driven Growth Strategy
The objective of this project was to develop an online class booking and scheduling solution, with iOS and Android companion mobile apps, to enable True Group’s members to conveniently check their fitness class schedules, book classes and manage their bookings. The system had to be integrated into True Group’s existing membership system, and deployed at the facilities in the fitness centres for check-in and attendance taking.
The class management solution would need to be flexible and scalable, so it could be used in multiple countries, which other than different languages, have varying rules for class booking and management that are specific to their countries. The system also needs to implemented without interrupting the everyday operations of the True Group and their fitness centres.
Collaboration & Exchange of Ideas
True Group was already familiar with IT implementation, and had its own in-house IT department who was responsible for the gathering of user requirements and the conceptualisation of the class management solution. Together with their operation manager and IT department, we formed a study group to understand the operational workflow, existing systems, as well as the current network and system architecture for effective integration.
We also exchanged ideas for the functionalities and usability of the system, sharing our experience in web and mobile development to the True team … while (they) collaborated with us to identify the necessary integration points to the existing membership system.
We also exchanged ideas for the functionalities and usability of the system, sharing our experience in web and mobile development to the True team, who were from the client-server development background. We created design mockups to present the class booking workflow for the client’s management approval, while their IT team collaborated with us to identify the necessary integration points to the existing membership system.
Multi-Phased Development Approach
The development was split into multiple phases. First, the foundation for the class management and trainer time-table was built so we could produce a calendar for member bookings. The online booking website for members was then developed and integrated with the client’s in-house membership system. After, that we focused on the member check-in and attendance taking modules, before integrating the application with their printers, barcode readers and auto-gates.
The development was split into multiple phases …integrating the application with their printers, barcode readers and auto-gates. The entire workflow was tested in the web version before we move on to the development of iOS and Android mobile apps.
The entire workflow was tested in the web version before we move on to the development of iOS and Android mobile apps. Performance was a high concern but it was scheduled in the last phase so we could conduct integrated testing; we ensured that each user action would receive a response within 3 seconds.
Implementing the New Class Management System
The first two weeks of implementation was a real challenge for us. Because the fitness centres were very busy, we were not able to halt their business operations to facilitate our deployment of the new class management system. Any bug or logic error discovered had to be fixed almost immediately. During the deployment phase, our team made multiple trips to the fitness centres so we could receive first-hand feedbacks from the staff and members who were using the system. This allowed us to respond swiftly to the problems the end users were facing onsite, and for us to bring the system to operational effectiveness in the shortest possible time.
During the deployment phase, our team made multiple trips to the fitness centres so we could receive first-hand feedbacks from the staff and members who were using the system … to bring the system to operational effectiveness in the shortest possible time.
Convenience & Improved Class Attendance
Since the commissioning of the new class booking and scheduling system for the True Group, our client has minimised queue congestion at their fitness centres. Their members are now able to make class bookings conveniently, via their internet browsers or the companion app, whether they are using an iPhone or and Android mobile phone. The members’ no-show rate for class bookings has also been greatly reduced because the system helps the fitness centres to track class attendances accurately, while allowing members to easily cancel their confirmed class bookings within the cancellation policies.