The word ‘customized’ is tossed around a lot, but often incorrectly.

Diet plans, exercise programs, Burger King Whoppers - they all promise you can ‘have it your way’. So it’s no surprise that we expect our software to be customized to our business needs. But here’s the fallacy - all those things we think are customized, are actually configured. 

Those diet plans, exercise programs, and even those Whoppers are adjustments made to current metabolic practices, fitness routines, and ingredients. They take into account your weight loss goals, strength and endurance levels, and condiment preferences and then adjust their product around your behavior. And they do this because they know what works, it’s scalable, and it’s affordable to you, the customer.

Of course, your club is different and unique. That’s what makes you successful - it’s why people want to join your club!  But just because your club is unique, doesn’t mean your technology should be too. Below are 5 reasons why your technology should be configured to your club’s needs, and not customized to them.

1. Avoid Empty Promises at a High Cost

While customization offers the promise of doing virtually anything you may want to do, it typically comes with a high cost. The initial price of the software could easily be dwarfed compared to the upfront cost of customization and the continued cost to maintain. From a financial perspective, configurable solutions cost less to implement and deploy than customized ones. 

2. Reduce Reliance on IT and Coding Experts

Customized tech is high maintenance. Organizations with customized software become dependent on IT teams or outside consultants to change the application whenever business requirements change. And, many times the application is so “customizable” that it is inflexible and the software can’t do much of anything without lots of additional coding. This coding-heavy approach leads to scope creep, long implementations, and broken budgets. 

3. Find Comfort in Supported Releases

Configurable applications are fully supported whenever new versions are released. This means software companies have reviewed compatibility forward and backward to ensure past and future functionality, as well as eliminate the risk of breaking the application and any integrations. Additionally, these releases are meant to enhance or extend the capability of the technology.

4. Align with the Needs of Your Business

One common misconception about configuration and customization is that customization offers greater alignment. As stated earlier, solutions that must be customized via coding require more technical resources to modify the system and maintain it whenever business processes demand changes. Customized technology can really muck things up. Configured technology is programmed to grow and change with your business demands.

5. Benefit from the Power of Many

Being in a market-size of one is not a good place to be. And if you are asking for custom software, that is what you are becoming. Few applications meet every need, making integrating with additional solutions and outside parties key to success. Operating with a completely custom solution severely comprises those options and requires even more coding – and even more coding every time they have a regular update. In this case, it’s far better to move with the crowd and stay current with the latest trends in mobile, social, marketing, predictive tech etc. If you are isolating yourself with special feature software, you are missing the way other people are solving the same problems you are having, and the strength and intelligence of the many.

In the end, it’s important to understand customization means more effort and more risk without the guarantee of significant benefits. A programmer is working outside the application and custom code tends to break in an upgrade. Configuration means less effort and less risk. Tools within the application are being used to make changes in a way that the application was expressly designed to have changes made. A configuration-based option is inherently better because it is working within the application and can deliver results that feel like customization. In other words, you and your club get to “have it your way” but without headaches and expense of custom programming and technical skills. 


Discover how configuration can empower you and your club to achieve your operational and member experience goals without the headache and heartbreak of a custom solution.