Today’s spas are complex businesses with management challenges that require tracking and balancing schedules, inventories, service facilities and various team members, not to mention creating, executing and evaluating marketing initiatives. It is hard to imagine a spa succeeding in today’s fast-paced world without some kind of computer assistance to automate these critical, yet time-consuming tasks. However, getting the most from spa management software does not necessarily mean using the most features and functions; instead, it means getting everything you want from the ones that are used.
Computerized scheduling goes far beyond the old pencil-and-paper method, allowing for complicated booking that takes into account staff availability, room openings, time needed for services, overlapping treatments, packages and just about every time-sensitive detail imaginable, customized to a specific business. Scheduling by computer can allow the ability to provide highly personalized client care, as well. Client data and history modules can track services received, personal preferences, special instructions and esthetician’s notes, among other details, in order to fully prepare for the needs of each returning client.
Sharon Oshita, spa manager of Spa Vitale at Hotel Vitale in San Francisco, believes her computerized scheduling saves time, provides cost-efficiency and allows her to offer improved personalized service. “The software can tell me about the clients coming in, what services they’re having or if there’s a special request for a treatment or therapist, just by the color of the appointment blocked out on the schedule. The program automatically prevents us from booking things if we don’t have the resources. It will tell us we don’t have the space, a room or a person available,” she says.