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The Goldilocks Scenario of Equipment Asset Management


You’re likely familiar with the story of “The Three Bears,” in which a young girl name Goldilocks tastes three bowls of porridge — one that’s too hot, and one that’s too cold, with the last one being “just right.”

This lesson can apply to fitness asset management. As Rusty Hosea of FitnessEMS explains in a recent webinar hosted by Club Solutions, when it comes to equipment maintenance and repair, many club operators struggle to find the perfect combination of processes, procedures and outsourcing that is “just right” for their gym.

Most club operators have an Equipment Management Score (EMS) ranging between 0 (this operator does no maintenance whatsoever) and 100 (this operator does all repairs and maintenance in-house).

Although you may think 100 is the goal to shoot for, Hosea explained that for many club operators, the sweet spot is actually somewhere in the middle. But why?

Let’s say your EMS is close to 0, meaning you do no regular maintenance on your equipment and ignore all warning signs of wear and tear. The downsides of this score include:

  • No repair history, meaning you can’t prove proper maintenance and care.
  • Faster equipment fail rate.
  • More expensive repairs.
  • Increased equipment downtime, leading to decreased customer satisfaction.

On the other end of the spectrum, let’s say your EMS is 100 — meaning you have a fully-staffed in-house technician team and do your own warranty work. Although this may work for some clubs, for many operators this scenario has the following downsides:

  • Requires you to pay competitive rates for skilled technicians and for them to become certified by the equipment manufacturer.
  • No shared liability with a service provider.

For many club operators, being somewhere in between 0 and 100 on the EMS scale is much more cost-effective and beneficial.

In this case, Hosea explained it’s important to assign internal staff some responsibility for equipment maintenance and repair, including doing daily walk-throughs, regular maintenance and testing. This scenario will lead to a reduced total cost of ownership for your equipment and improved record keeping.

Your “just right” scenario may also include working with a service provider to help meet all of your equipment maintenance and repair needs. If this is the case, Hosea explained there are a few things you can focus on to ensure the best results: communication, documentation and accountability.

“Have some sort of process where you’re the quarterback — you pass the ball to the service provider and then monitor [the process],” advised Hosea.

So, where you do fall on the EMS scale? Are you too hot, too cold, or just right?

To access to full webinar on “Improving Your Equipment Management Score,” click here.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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