eSoft Planner is definitely one of the most established sports facility management software tools in the industry. But this doesn’t prevent it from having some deal-breaking downsides.
In this post, we’ll do a complete review of eSoft, and at the end - look at why Swift might be a better choice for your facility scheduling software.
eSoft Planner provides scheduling and management software for sports facilities. If you’re not sure why your sports facility might need scheduling software at all, check out this post to learn about the surprising benefits of a scheduling tool.
Ok - now back to eSoft. They’ve been around since 2007, and cater to all kinds of sports, from baseball and golf to horseback riding and gun ranges.
The eSoft Admin is the home of the app. It’s where you and your facility staff will login, operate, and manage your business. It’s also similar to the view that your customers (player, parent, or athlete) will see when trying to book online.
In this view, you’ll see different colors representing different types of services. For example - blues might indicate rentals, reds for lessons, and orange for classes. Generally, most facility owners tend to keep this page open at all times.
Let’s take a quick look at the various features that eSoft provides:
You can use the calendar view to manage schedules for rentals, lessons, classes & camps. This also means you can assign instructors and customers to bookings.
eSoft’s customer portal technically allows your customers (aka the player, parent, or athlete) to be able to book and pay for services online.
However, as we’ll see in the downsides section, this portal requires a complex signup process and is tricky to navigate.
You can also send emails and texts to customers for upcoming promotions, campaigns, and sales through eSoft.
eSoft provides many other features such as leagues & tournaments, POS, retail, etc - and their prices are adjusted based on the types of features your business needs.
The pricing for eSoft Planner is based on which feature packages you choose - and so there’s no fixed price that they charge (or show on their website). There may be additional setup fees or charges for custom features, which can all easily add up!
Despite being an established option, eSoft Planner comes with some very serious downsides - things that creep-up in your day-to-day operations. Let’s take a look at a few.
One of the most commonly brought up concerns is that their interface is a bit old, archaic, and clunky. This seems like a minor detail - but when you’re using the software every single day to run your business, small annoyances add up to a lot of toil.
Things like how many clicks it takes to achieve an action, move a booking, email someone, etc. all require efficiency so that you and your staff can focus on running your business.
In contrast, Swift is designed for the modern day and age. As easy to use and understand as something like Gmail or Google Calendar, you and your staff will be able to effortlessly navigate the tool.
A big reason why facilities adopt scheduling software is to reduce the number of calls and messages that they get every day. You can spend less time on the phone, and more time thinking about how to grow.
eSoft’s online booking system allows your customers to book services online, but it’s gated behind a complicated and high-effort login system. This means that most athletes end up calling anyway, and facility owners don’t see a drop in phone calls.
At Swift, we made sure to solve for this - ensuring that Swift’s online booking flow is as seamless as Amazon’s checkout. Now, athletes booking at facilities powered by Swift can book a rental, lesson, or class in 3 clicks and facility staff can avoid being glued to the front desk phone.
It’s a win-win for everyone!
Classes & camps are one of the biggest sources of recurring revenue (and profit) for sports facilities. This means that being able to schedule and adjust classes is one of the most important activities for facility staff.
Doing this in eSoft can be a fairly tedious process - especially if the class has many repeated sessions across multiple weeks. Front desk staff can sink hours in a day making a minor update to a recurring booking, and this is valuable time that’s lost.
Swift’s calendar works as intuitively as Google Calendar - so adjusting a recurring event takes seconds, not hours.
Here’s a 10-second GIF to illustrate just how quickly these actions are done with Swift.
We can now summarize the pros and cons of using eSoft Planner for your choice of sports facility software.
So there you have it! Although it’s a common option, the verdict is that eSoft Planner doesn’t necessarily live up to modern standards of software for sports.
That’s exactly why we built Swift. It’s the easiest way to run your sports facility, and the quickest way for your customers to book online. We’re obviously biased, but in our opinion - it’s definitely the best sports facility management software in the market today.
eSoft is a great tool in terms of the quantity of features, but modern sports facilities deserve better quality software.
If you’d like to free up your most valuable asset (your time) and stop fighting your software, book a free demo with one of our founders today!