This has contributed to the growth of the weight loss industry, where companies continually recommend novel illusions ranging from fitness programs to diet pills and surgical procedures (Clatter, 201 2) in an attempt to profit from this lucrative business. Advances in technology have enabled a much more effective approach to weight loss for the industry, where it offers both convenience and results to individuals’ weight management progress (Gloater, 2012). This has since led to an increasing number of health-conscious individuals turning to tech oenology for their weight management plans (Weinstein, 2013).
Hence, the above-mentioned trend could adversely affect our company’s equines as consumers choose to patronize other companies that offer a more technological-based weight management program. A survey conducted by AC Nielsen showed that 1 in 2 Singapore are attempting to lose weight (as cited in Gogh & Pang, 2012). Consequently, this means that there is a huge market for weight management companies in Singapore and the inactivity of our company visa-visa the trend could potentially cost us a significant portion of the market share.
Currently, our company does not adopt any forms of technology to complement our services, aside from the existing weapon that is meant to roved information on our company and programs available. Thus, this report seeks to examine and evaluate the relevance of incorporating technology to our services, as well as providing recommendations and course of action should the company decide to adopt technology to its course Of business.
Technology is taking on an increasingly pivotal role in weight management (Weight Watchers Partners with Philips, 2012) and this can be attributed to the improved results that technology has on weight management programs, where studies have shown that technology-based weight loss intervention alps in producing more effective weight loss results (Challis, Wassails, Bergamot, & Gore-Belton, 2010). In addition, the convenience that technology brings to weight management (Challis et al. , 2010; Weinstein, 201 3) makes it an attractive choice among health-conscious consumers.
As such, the use of technology is highly valued by both consumers and companies in the weight management industry. The use Of technology in weight management can be categorized primarily to 2 categories: 2. Tracking Devices Internet 2. 1 Tracking Devices Tracking devices are often used in weight management for self-monitoring purposes. The concept of self-monitoring plays an integral role in weight management, where studies have shown that consistent self-monitoring of one’s dietary and physical activities is associated with greater weight loss (as cited in Challis et al. , 2010).
However, self- monitoring in the past was a cumbersome task which Often discouraged many from tracking their progress (Weinstein, 2013). The advancement in technology has since simplified the tracking process with the introduction of smartened applications to track dietary and physical activities (Weinstein, 2013), as well as electronic devices such as Fit One refer to Appendix A for how it works) that is more portable and produces more accurate readings based on its extensive features, which includes tracking of altitude and moon tutoring of sleep activity (Fit website).
The popularity of such tracking devices in weight management can be attributed to the improved results in weight loss, where a study (refer to Appendix B) published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that the use of technology in monitoring one’s dietary and physical activities eventually led to more effective weight loss (as cited in Gloater, 2012). Application to Fitness Tutor Our company currently tracks members’ physical activities via traditional pen- and-paper method, which can be time-consuming and inefficient in producing results.
Health- conscious consumers are proactively seeking for additional healthcare amenities and by incorporating such tracking devices into our services, it could potentially increase membership sign-ups (Sullivan, 2005). In addition, consumers often prefer a more personalized training program for their weight management plans, as generic programs may not be effective for all individuals. This is evident from research studies, which have shown that rationalized program produces more effective results (as cited in Challis et al. 2010). Thus, the progress data on individuals’ dietary and physical activities obtained via the tracking devices would enable our company to craft out personalized programs conveniently based on the individuals’ progress, as well as reducing paperwork and freeing up more time for our trainers to attend to more members. However, one drawback could be the initial costs of purchasing these devices. These costs are likely to be passed on to consumers and there is the risk of losing our customer base.
Nevertheless, since health-conscious consumers are increasingly proactive in seeking for value-added healthcare services (Sullivan, 2005), it generally means that they are less sensitive to price increases of our weight management programs. This is especially true for our customer base, where they are largely well-educated and tech- savvy professionals. 2. 2 Internet The use of internet in weight management has been increasingly popular (as cited in Ballasting & Stephenson, 2011) and it has since given rise to 2 notable forms of service for health-conscious individuals, namely: 1. Online Weight Loss Programs 2.
Online Communities 2. 2. 1 Online Weight Loss Programs This approach has been increasingly popular and this is evident from the rising demand for online personal training (as cited in Shaver, 2006), where individuals work on a given structured program independently while receiving guidance from the trainer via email. The popularity of such online programs can be attributed to the results it delivers atop of the convenience. This is supported by a study, which showed that participants who received consistent feedback from a counselor via email eventually produced better eight loss results (as cited in Challis et al. 2010). The online personal training business is lucrative and it appears that demand for such services will likely remain strong for subsequent years (as cited in Shaver, 2006). By adopting this service, we would be able to cater to busy individuals as well as the lower- tier income group, since such online services are usually more affordable (Shaver, 2006). In addition, this move could potentially open up the overseas market through online services and hence, ultimately favorable to our revenue. 2. 2. 2 Online Communities
Online communities in the form of internet forums and social networking sites are widely used by individuals looking into weight management (as cited in Ballasting & Stephenson, 2011). This can be credited to the anonymity function, which allows individuals to be more comfortable in posing sensitive weight management questions (as cited in Ballasting & Stephenson, 2011 Furthermore, such communities often foster social support, which is associated with better weight loss results (as cited in Ballasting & Stephenson, 2011; Challis et al. 2010). Although individuals can seek social support through families ND friends, they often turn to online communities instead (as cited in Ballasting & Stephenson, 201 1). This is due to their preference for the weak social ties formed in online communities, which provides them with more objective feedbacks with little obligations involved (as cited in Ballasting & Stephenson, 201 1). By incorporating online communities such as a forum into our business, there are several benefits to be gained.
The social support formed among members in the forum would facilitate sharing experiences that would be helpful to other members’ weight management plans. This was evinced in a study, which showed that successful weight loss stories play an important role in individuals’ weight loss endeavourer (as cited in Ballasting & Stephenson, 2011 Hence, this could translate to better weight loss results for our company and subsequently, better publicity on our programs. In addition, the social support formed among members in the forum would foster commonality (as cited in Challis et al. 2010) and hence, result in stronger emotional attachment amongst them, which could potentially lead to higher member retention rates. 3. Industry The importance of technology in the weight management industry has been acknowledged by numerous companies, which have mostly incorporated some forms of technology to complement their services. This can be seen in the case of Weight Watchers, where the company employs an arsenal Of both digital tools and electronic devices to aid in their members’ weight management plans (Weight Watchers Partners with Philips, 2012).
Retrofit has also observed comparatively higher member retention rates with their amalgamation of using both tracking technologies as well as a panel of weight loss experts to advise its members on their progress (Clatter, 2012). Retrofits strategy was so successful that it led to a partnership with National Football League Players Association as its official weight loss program and has since elicited numerous positive reviews (Clatter, 2012). 4. Conclusion It appears that the use of technology supplemented by professional advice is a good formula for effective weight management and this has been widely adopted by many weight loss companies.
Health-conscious individuals now favor the use of technology to address their weight management plans due to the effectiveness and convenience that it delivers. With numerous other impasses riding on this wave and embracing technology to cater to this market group, it would be advantageous for Fitness Tutor to adopt these technologies as a means of improving our business. In view of the above discussions, there are 3 recommendations for the company should it decide to adopt technology to its service: 1.
Incorporate Fit One Provide Online Personal Training Programs Introduce Online Forum Incorporate Fit One Fitness Tutor can consider the option of equipping members with Fit One, where members can track their dietary and physical activities during and after training sessions. Our trainers would obtain the account details from the members to access their progress data, which will be automatically uploaded to Fits website via the device. With these data, our trainers would proceed to craft out a more effective and personalized program based on members’ progress.
The Fit One device is priced at approximately $125 per piece (Fit website). Our company could introduce an online personal train ins program, where members under this program would first provide the trainer with their health records and goals. Subsequently, trainers would craft out a personalized eight management program for the members to follow, as well as provide support via email. The trainers would also modify the program monthly according to members’ progress, all of which would be communicated through email.
We could incorporate the sign-ups and details of the online program into our existing website with the help of our current webmaster at negligible costs. The program can be priced between $200-300 per month based on current market rates. Fitness Tutor can request for the current webmaster to introduce an online forum into our website at negligible costs. Our trainers can take on the role of administrators, where they would monitor members’ needs and address any concerns accordingly. Word Count: 1799 6.
Appendix A Fit One’s portability allows the user to track their activities conveniently, where its features include the tracking of steps taken, calories burnt, distance traveled, stairs climbed, hours slept as well as the quality of sleep. The device automatically synchronizes the users data to Fit. Com, where the user can access their progress data with their account details. Users can also log their food calories intake to their account to create a more comprehensive regress report for their reference.