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Is Door Access Control Just for 24/7 Gyms?

Dru Hill
Dru Hill
Published on Sun, Aug 3, 2014

Is door access control the right choice for your health club? For any operation this question comes down to a number of factors. What you’re aiming to achieve and whether the cost of implementation is outweighed by the benefits derived. Although Door Access Control in the Gym Industry has become synonymous with 24/7 door access, this is merely the most common form. There are a wide variety of uses for an Access Control system that can help improve the profitability, accountability and efficiency of your facility.

Expanding Opening Hours

Firstly, expanding your opening hours offers you two potential forms of additional revenue: by increasing rates for additional services and by allowing you to tap into other areas of the market that are demanding additional or late access times. This does not necessitate offering 24/7 access, but simply expanding the facility offerings into time periods that would otherwise be unsustainable due to wage costs. Obviously, the marginal cost for moving from an hour of unstaffed access to full 24/7 access is negligible once the system is implemented, but certainly isn’t mandatory. You also have the opportunity to reduce staffed-hours during quiet periods without restricting access to the facility. You can also maintain the same number of open hours without requiring a physical presence at the gym. For smaller club owners, this can give you the freedom to tackle other projects, or simply to take a break, while larger facilities can reduce costs by having fewer staffed hours.

Greater accountability, Reduce Reception Queues.

Most access control systems will log member visits and give you a window into both the facilities usage, as well as individual member attendance. From a facility management point of view, you can determine optimal times for maintenance, cleaning and other services. While access control systems will likely link to at least one door for 24/7 access, the majority of access control systems can control a wide variety of other barriers, eg: turnstile, spring barrier, etc. Even facilities which choose not to offer unstaffed hours can benefit from the use of turnstile or spring barrier to ensure members check-in. This gives you more accurate information on usage, as well as preventing crowding at reception.

More membership offerings

More comprehensive door access control systems allow you to limit the level of access for members either individually or by the groups to which they belong. This allows you to offer alternative options such as off-peak memberships, without the administrative issues that a manual system might involve. Off-peak memberships, with access set to be controlled to allow in these members only during the specified off-peak hours, allow full-capacity gyms to add additional members without creating overcrowding during peak times. This offers another source of revenue that has a minimal cost of implementation. You can also easily control access within your facility ensuring members check-in to classes and that only members have paid for them have access to premium services or areas.

Restrict members gym access automatically

Access control also ensures that problem members can’t simply slip quietly past busy staff and most systems will have options to automatically cut off access to expired members, bad debtors, etc. This reduces the ability for those few bad debtors to abuse the system and the administrative chore for staff, allowing them to focus on other tasks. While 24/7 access has become a hallmark of the industry, there are a variety of reasons to operate an access control system, and those already using them have a variety of additional options they can easily leverage to improve the performance of their facility.