How Orangetheory Fitness ships apps to over 1,600 franchisees with Retool
Orangetheory Fitness shipped apps to over 1,600 franchisees.
Orangetheory Fitness is a global fitness studio franchise on a mission to help people live longer, more vibrant lives. It offers coach-led, high-intensity interval workouts that combine cardio and strength training. Orangetheory’s science-backed model, which includes monitoring your real-time heart rate by the second as you work out, has helped the fitness brand skyrocket in popularity around the globe with members and franchisees alike.
1,600+ fitness studios in 25 countries
Nearly 1 million active members
Empowered franchisees by replacing legacy, in-house CRM and reducing ship time from 3 weeks to hours
As Orangetheory’s network of franchisees grew, it was critical for the company to have a software solution that could empower them with studio management tools. Franchise studio performance contributes to the overall success and revenue of the brand, but without sufficient tooling, studio managers lacked the necessary insights to understand and optimize their franchise success.
However, with a global footprint and membership approaching 1 million, development was becoming a challenge for Orangetheory. Early on, a team of 30 engineers had spent several years building a CRM in-house to support the company’s internal teams and franchisees. The monolithic tech stack made it difficult to launch features and iterate as Orangetheory scaled.
Orangetheory wanted to move away from building large, traditional applications, and replace 90 percent of their CRM functionality with a suite of focused, purpose-built apps. The goal? To build and ship the apps to both internal users and franchisees quickly and easily.
The company needed a single software development platform that could turn three-week sprints involving numerous teams into an agile, fast-paced development cycle.
To meet its tooling needs, Orangetheory considered several platforms. Many were strong contenders, but fell short when it came to the ability to write back to data sources. The company ultimately decided Retool was the best choice to help achieve the goal of accelerating development of internal tools and external portals. The ability to self-host Retool was also key for security purposes, as was the option to integrate with the Microsoft Enterprise platform, which Orangetheory uses to deliver its micro apps.
Using Retool, Orangetheory leverages a single dev stack for both internal and external apps that enables the company to quickly prototype, pilot, and deliver at high velocity. Here are a few highlights of Orangetheory’s experience with Retool:
1. Flexible external-facing apps: Orangetheory created a collection of Retool apps that franchisees can choose from, including lead and member management apps and a studio portfolio app. The ability to embed these apps into other systems and portals using Retool Embed and Retool Portals has been a game-changer, allowing franchisees to self-serve their own performance data, promo codes, customer outreach, and more to drive revenue.
2. Productivity and consistency: Orangetheory increases developer productivity with Retool by leveraging the platform’s ability to organize queries and resources into reusable components called modules. With this approach, the company can repurpose pre-built functionality and guarantee consistency across applications, improving the user experience.
3. Actionable analytics: Orangetheory can display critical business data and make it actionable within the same app, thanks to Retool’s write back functionality. This unlocks a whole new set of use cases for studio managers who can now do much more than view insights in Power BI and Domo. While the old approach was a great way to visually render analytics, users had to look at the data and then switch apps to work with it. Now, users no longer need to move between multiple tools to render visual analytics.
“We’re experiencing a huge productivity gain from Retool.” -Malcolm Greene, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Orangetheory Fitness.
Orangetheory is now supporting over 1,600 studios worldwide with Retool, delivering the needed studio management apps and features in 1/10th of the time and with only two developers. User feedback has been resoundingly positive. The company is building trust with franchisees by providing both visibility into studio performance and the tools they need to be successful.
By following the prototype→pilot→deliver model, Orangetheory’s dev team has been able to iterate on job-specific tasks and workflows in hours instead of weeks. The accelerated development cycle and valuable tooling created have led to more classes booked at franchise studios worldwide, larger class sizes, and higher member retention; in turn contributing directly to Orangetheory’s bottom line.
“If you think about traditional, large enterprise applications—these are really complex to learn, train on, modify. and enhance. When we rolled out our Retool lead management app, we were able to incorporate user feedback at rocketship speed.” -Malcolm Greene, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Orangetheory Fitness.
Orangetheory plans to shift out of pilot mode with its lead and member management apps and into delivery mode, eventually supporting nearly 10,000 users and fully replacing its legacy CRM solution with Retool apps.
“Retool has a large collection of components that will allow us to deliver some very rich external-facing apps.” -Malcolm Greene, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Orangetheory Fitness.