F45 franchise saves 2 days a week on admin so they can focus on growing their fitness community
At a glance
- Saved 2 days of work every week on timesheets and payroll
- Drastically improved the manager, trainer and customer experience
- Enjoyed a fast, simple rollout of Deputy across multiple locations
F45 is a leading fitness franchisor making an impact in 45 countries across North America, Oceania, Europe and beyond.
Alex Loaney joined an Australian F45 franchise owned by the Opulent Group back in 2018, which has grown from 17 locations when she started to almost 40 thriving studios today — and has started expanding locations into the US and UK.
She says one of her favorite parts of the job is the lively company culture.
“Every person in the business is so energetic and passionate,” she says. “Personal trainers are really people-focused. Working around them all day is great. Everyone who is in the team loves that positive environment and loves people.”
As the Business Manager at Opulent Group, Alex focuses on the people side of operations. That includes onboarding, payroll, chasing timesheets, making sure they’re correct and hundreds of other moving parts day to day.
“No two days are ever the same — except every fortnight when I do the payroll. That’s the only thing that’s consistent!”
When Alex joined, the team at F45 were using chaotic spreadsheets for scheduling, which caused frustration across the board for managers, trainers and their members.
“Before Deputy, there were just constant mistakes,” Alex says. “People didn’t know they were on the roster because we were taking photos of spreadsheets and putting them into WhatsApp. A lot of our staff would miss the message.”
That meant customers could show up to a studio only to find that their trainer was a no-show due to scheduling confusion.
On the flip side, sometimes people would accidentally be scheduled at the same gym, at the same time, because there wasn’t clear visibility on who else was scheduled.
“Then it would come to payday and I would be hunting down fifty or sixty invoices from the team,” Alex says. “We would end up spending the whole of Monday and Tuesday checking them, making sure they matched the roster. Often they had invoiced us wrong. It was a nightmare.”
On top of that, managers were collecting staff availability via text, which got complicated fast. Staff would either forget to send their availability or it would get lost in the cracks. So trainers would be scheduled at times that clashed with their lives outside work, causing unnecessary tension.
Alex knew there had to be a simpler way to manage schedules, record accurate timesheets, and help their business run effectively.
Alex and the team started out by testing Deputy at one location. When that was a massive success, then they rolled it out to more and more studios.
“The managers love it,” Alex says. “Often when we introduce something new, managers can be hesitant, but everyone loved Deputy. It’s very user-friendly.”
For managers, having clear visibility over who’s rostered and who’s available to pick up a shift has been a game changer. Now, if they need someone at the last minute, they can instantly find the right trainer, get them on the schedule and ensure customers enjoy the amazing workout they signed up for.
“The ease of finding available staff has changed everyone’s life,” Alex says. “And for the trainers, it’s just so much easier. They love literally seeing their shifts in their hand. Or if something’s changed, they get a message.”
Meanwhile, on the payroll side, Deputy is saving Alex two days every week that used to be spent chasing and double-checking timesheets for mistakes. It’s now simpler than ever to record and approve everyone’s time.
“It’s very clear,” Alex says. “There’s no arguing with the timesheets that come out!”
They can also report on wage costs with ease and ensure each studio is as cost-efficient as possible.
Beyond that, Alex says one of the reasons the business can grow so fast and efficiently is they have systems like Deputy that are so easy to duplicate across locations.
As they look to acquire more locations in the US and UK, they’re keen to take Deputy with them to make those new studios run like clockwork.
“For the trainers, it’s just so much easier. They love literally seeing their shifts in their hand. Or if something’s changed, they get a message.”