As a gym owner, it’s important to cover your assets. Or to be more specific, cover your assets yourself. New cardio equipment is delivered with expansive technology for member/user entertainment with various reviews from bad to great, depending on the expectations set. These units now also include technology aimed at managing the asset when problems arise.
The latter feature is a prominent talking point in the sales process. I have been exposed to quotes like “downtime is decreased because the unit talks to the manufacturer” or “service requests happen behind the scenes.” On some level, these statements are true and may improve your current process, but there is much more to club asset management, and the best of these systems are designed for the manufacturer, not necessarily the club owner.
Club managers determined to rely only on machine-to-cloud connectivity are overlooking several aspects of equipment management, outlined here.
In connected systems this typically means error codes. Codes can lead to end results of an electro mechanical failure, but what if the failure is not detected by the system? Cracks, breaks, tears and other failures will be left to manual systems, and these failures are often causation for error codes. Strength equipment fails often as well, and has no connectivity.
Plus, clubs have many other assets that are equally important as cardio equipment. Proper documentation can help protect owners from slip and falls, malice, other liability issues, over paying for repairs and general cost of mistakes.
Things are typically fine if your “connected” equipment is under warranty and the reported problem is correct. The manufacturer will receive the complaint and send dispatch (email or notification) to the service provider. But what if you’re not under warranty? What if you want to choose a service provider that provides the best service?
The next few steps club managers are usually completely in the dark on. You should be part of and control the process. After all, you have everything at risk here. Know who is coming, when they are coming and why they are late (if they are), instead of listening to the service guy blame the manufacturer, or vice versa.
Gather service provider documents of repair for your record. Ensure you aren’t getting parts you don’t need and compare repairs to hold the techs accountable.
A repair database is useful in protecting all parties. This includes members, service providers and manufacturers. The data is generated by your members — keep it all together, protect it and use it.
The big picture here is protection. Clubs should collect and maintain their own data and never trust that a third-party can do so properly or accurately. Develop a system to record all aspects of all equipment, and you will save time, money and members.
Rusty Hosea MBA, PMP is the vice president of sales and marketing at FitnessEMS. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.