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Health Club Management

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Up & running

How much is broken equipment costing your club? Kath Hudson reports on cloud-based technology that can be used to reduce downtime and keep members happy

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 11
If members have flagging commitment and can’t do their workout because of kit problems, they’re halfway to becoming a lapsed member

As a gym user, it’s annoying to see an ‘out of action’ notice on the same piece of equipment for days, even weeks; as a health club operator, keeping on top of repairs and maintenance can be a headache.

Without surveying your members, it’s hard to put a price on how much revenue broken equipment costs your club, but suffice to say, to neglect it is false economy. Personally I know many people who’ve left clubs because they’re fed up with equipment taking too long to be fixed. This morning, I myself felt disgruntled when I was planning a cycle and there were no bikes working at my gym. The staff are irritatingly vague about when they’ll be working again, and I’ve advised my cycling-mad husband to hold off his membership until the equipment’s repaired.

In a world where customers are ever-more savvy and want value for money, keeping on top of repairs is vital. If members have flagging commitment and find they can’t do their workout because of kit problems, they’re halfway to becoming a lapsed member. Equally, given that many people go to the gym to relieve frustration, the last thing the club should be doing is adding to them.

However, thanks to the proliferation of new web- and cloud-based technologies, it’s become much simpler to report problems, chart progress in the repairs – handy for members who complain – and plan maintenance to avoid breakdowns in the first place. And all this from a quick glance at an iPad, computer or phone, meaning you don’t even need to be on-site to be on top of repairs. No excuses.

CLUB VITALS

Club Vitals offers a cloud-based system for maintaining equipment. Very simply, it involves a sticker being placed on equipment which has a number and a QR code. If there’s an issue with the equipment, staff can log into the cloud-based account to report the number and a brief statement, or scan the QR code. Once the fault has been reported, an engineer is swiftly informed so it reduces the downtime. A preventative maintenance module has also been added recently, to plan maintenance or cleaning.

According to Skye Kaiss, president of Club Vitals, the advantages are that it saves time: equipment is mended quicker, keeping members happy. As all the records of each piece of equipment are kept in one place, including warranty and history, there’s also never a problem with lost communication, records are quick and easy to pull up, and it’s easy to spot if one piece of equipment has a history of problems. As it’s cloud-based, fire, theft or server crashes aren’t a threat.

“Some of our clients have reported over 1,000 maintenance issues a year. Without Club Vitals, this would certainly not happen and, since these problems would not have been communicated, they would not have been fixed,” says Kaiss. “Equipment downtime, along with facility cleanliness, is one key reasons why members stay or leave.”

PRECOR

Precor’s cloud-based Preva Business Suite provides real-time status updates on CV equipment, telling the operator if the machines are in use or idle, if a service is required, or if an inspection is needed because the machine has not been used for more than 30 minutes in any 72-hour period – suggesting something might be wrong with it.

Operators can run reports showing daily use of equipment, cumulative use, and trends by time. The system also provides essential information about the products, such as serial numbers and lifetime usage data.
The cumulative use report, showing total lifetime use of any machine in the gym, can help operators prolong the life of their kit by swapping stations that are continually used for those in less popular positions: for example, one US gym found end treadmills were used far more than those in the middle of the row.

The daily report offers operational and marketing benefits too, says Brent Brooks, VP of networked fitness at Precor: “Operators can establish a picture of their quiet periods and create targeted campaigns to attract more members during those times, such as corporate members or retired groups.

“It can also help inform purchasing decisions. For example, if 100 per cent of the treadmills are being used during peak times, they could increase the number of units available. Alternatively, they could offer training sessions or challenges on some of the less busy equipment, to encourage usage and variety in their members’ workouts.”

Precor’s Preva allows operators to monitor equipment usage by time of day
Precor’s Preva allows operators to monitor equipment usage by time of day

FITNESSEMS

“Those using FitnessEMS have found the repair process is speeded up by 40 per cent, as operators can immediately see when issues are occurring, as well as what’s being done to the correct the problem,” says Rusty Hosea, managing director of marketing and project management at FitnessEMS. “Also, technicians can learn from previous repair history through complaint/resolution searches.”

The cloud-based nature of the system allows FitnessEMS to add updates and functionality behind the scenes, with no interruption to the operator. A comprehensive maintenance schedule module has recently been added, which includes a real-time checklist for technicians and auto-emailed PDF reporting for managers. An entry-level product with less functionality is available for smaller clubs, personal training studios and apartment complex gyms.

“Depending on the health club operation, FitnessEMS can decrease equipment downtime by 50 per cent. A typical repair lifecycle for a treadmill belt and deck is seven days, but FitnessEMS reduces this to four days or fewer,” says Hosea. “This means fewer members are exposed to broken-down equipment, which is important when around 3 per cent of total attrition is equipment-related.

“We also offer materials and advice to help clubs. Managers may find themselves spending less than five minutes a day on maintenance issues.”

LIFE FITNESS

Discover cardio products from Life Fitness now integrate with its LFconnect technology, a cloud-based solution that gives clubs access to free asset management, and vital data on the usage of the equipment.

By logging on to LFconnect.com, managers can accurately monitor usage of their equipment and generate reports anywhere, anytime, about a variety of measures such as how many hours the equipment has been used, total distance, number of workouts, belt hours, belt distance and life hours. This real-time information can be accessed remotely by Life Fitness technicians and head office.

“The diagnostics, together with our dedicated service call systems and performance reports, ensure our technicians can get to the bottom of any underlying issues,” says Margaret Vane, UK service manager at Life Fitness. “This wealth of data is used to create bespoke maintenance programmes or service interventions for customers, which help prevent future issues.”

LFconnect monitors everything from number of workouts to belt hours
LFconnect monitors everything from number of workouts to belt hours

SERVICESPORT

Servicesport operates an online estate management system which allows customers to see a ‘live time’ database of their fitness equipment across multiple sites, along with service history, redeployment history, condition, usage, age, location, warranty status, market value and cost to refurbish.   

The system allows operators to run summary reports, dashboards, league tables and charts so the data can be filtered into meaningful information. Equipment breakdowns can be reported, and videos or photographs of faults uploaded, to improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis. Progress on repairs and services can be tracked live, so clubs know when an engineer is coming.

“The main benefit is knowledge,” says Susie Marriott, commercial director at Servicesport. “Knowing what you have, where it is, what it’s worth, whether it’s in good or bad condition and how much investment is required to bring it up to a uniform standard allows our customers to plan the largest of estates very simply.”

Servicesport is now working with GYMetrix to identify, across an operator’s estate, which gyms are short of kit and which have an excess. This helps operators optimise their assets by moving equipment between gyms.

http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2013_11service.gif
How badly is broken equipment affecting your club? Kath Hudson reports on the cloud-based solutions that can cut downtime
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    features

    Up & running

    How much is broken equipment costing your club? Kath Hudson reports on cloud-based technology that can be used to reduce downtime and keep members happy

    By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 11
    If members have flagging commitment and can’t do their workout because of kit problems, they’re halfway to becoming a lapsed member

    As a gym user, it’s annoying to see an ‘out of action’ notice on the same piece of equipment for days, even weeks; as a health club operator, keeping on top of repairs and maintenance can be a headache.

    Without surveying your members, it’s hard to put a price on how much revenue broken equipment costs your club, but suffice to say, to neglect it is false economy. Personally I know many people who’ve left clubs because they’re fed up with equipment taking too long to be fixed. This morning, I myself felt disgruntled when I was planning a cycle and there were no bikes working at my gym. The staff are irritatingly vague about when they’ll be working again, and I’ve advised my cycling-mad husband to hold off his membership until the equipment’s repaired.

    In a world where customers are ever-more savvy and want value for money, keeping on top of repairs is vital. If members have flagging commitment and find they can’t do their workout because of kit problems, they’re halfway to becoming a lapsed member. Equally, given that many people go to the gym to relieve frustration, the last thing the club should be doing is adding to them.

    However, thanks to the proliferation of new web- and cloud-based technologies, it’s become much simpler to report problems, chart progress in the repairs – handy for members who complain – and plan maintenance to avoid breakdowns in the first place. And all this from a quick glance at an iPad, computer or phone, meaning you don’t even need to be on-site to be on top of repairs. No excuses.

    CLUB VITALS

    Club Vitals offers a cloud-based system for maintaining equipment. Very simply, it involves a sticker being placed on equipment which has a number and a QR code. If there’s an issue with the equipment, staff can log into the cloud-based account to report the number and a brief statement, or scan the QR code. Once the fault has been reported, an engineer is swiftly informed so it reduces the downtime. A preventative maintenance module has also been added recently, to plan maintenance or cleaning.

    According to Skye Kaiss, president of Club Vitals, the advantages are that it saves time: equipment is mended quicker, keeping members happy. As all the records of each piece of equipment are kept in one place, including warranty and history, there’s also never a problem with lost communication, records are quick and easy to pull up, and it’s easy to spot if one piece of equipment has a history of problems. As it’s cloud-based, fire, theft or server crashes aren’t a threat.

    “Some of our clients have reported over 1,000 maintenance issues a year. Without Club Vitals, this would certainly not happen and, since these problems would not have been communicated, they would not have been fixed,” says Kaiss. “Equipment downtime, along with facility cleanliness, is one key reasons why members stay or leave.”

    PRECOR

    Precor’s cloud-based Preva Business Suite provides real-time status updates on CV equipment, telling the operator if the machines are in use or idle, if a service is required, or if an inspection is needed because the machine has not been used for more than 30 minutes in any 72-hour period – suggesting something might be wrong with it.

    Operators can run reports showing daily use of equipment, cumulative use, and trends by time. The system also provides essential information about the products, such as serial numbers and lifetime usage data.
    The cumulative use report, showing total lifetime use of any machine in the gym, can help operators prolong the life of their kit by swapping stations that are continually used for those in less popular positions: for example, one US gym found end treadmills were used far more than those in the middle of the row.

    The daily report offers operational and marketing benefits too, says Brent Brooks, VP of networked fitness at Precor: “Operators can establish a picture of their quiet periods and create targeted campaigns to attract more members during those times, such as corporate members or retired groups.

    “It can also help inform purchasing decisions. For example, if 100 per cent of the treadmills are being used during peak times, they could increase the number of units available. Alternatively, they could offer training sessions or challenges on some of the less busy equipment, to encourage usage and variety in their members’ workouts.”

    Precor’s Preva allows operators to monitor equipment usage by time of day
    Precor’s Preva allows operators to monitor equipment usage by time of day

    FITNESSEMS

    “Those using FitnessEMS have found the repair process is speeded up by 40 per cent, as operators can immediately see when issues are occurring, as well as what’s being done to the correct the problem,” says Rusty Hosea, managing director of marketing and project management at FitnessEMS. “Also, technicians can learn from previous repair history through complaint/resolution searches.”

    The cloud-based nature of the system allows FitnessEMS to add updates and functionality behind the scenes, with no interruption to the operator. A comprehensive maintenance schedule module has recently been added, which includes a real-time checklist for technicians and auto-emailed PDF reporting for managers. An entry-level product with less functionality is available for smaller clubs, personal training studios and apartment complex gyms.

    “Depending on the health club operation, FitnessEMS can decrease equipment downtime by 50 per cent. A typical repair lifecycle for a treadmill belt and deck is seven days, but FitnessEMS reduces this to four days or fewer,” says Hosea. “This means fewer members are exposed to broken-down equipment, which is important when around 3 per cent of total attrition is equipment-related.

    “We also offer materials and advice to help clubs. Managers may find themselves spending less than five minutes a day on maintenance issues.”

    LIFE FITNESS

    Discover cardio products from Life Fitness now integrate with its LFconnect technology, a cloud-based solution that gives clubs access to free asset management, and vital data on the usage of the equipment.

    By logging on to LFconnect.com, managers can accurately monitor usage of their equipment and generate reports anywhere, anytime, about a variety of measures such as how many hours the equipment has been used, total distance, number of workouts, belt hours, belt distance and life hours. This real-time information can be accessed remotely by Life Fitness technicians and head office.

    “The diagnostics, together with our dedicated service call systems and performance reports, ensure our technicians can get to the bottom of any underlying issues,” says Margaret Vane, UK service manager at Life Fitness. “This wealth of data is used to create bespoke maintenance programmes or service interventions for customers, which help prevent future issues.”

    LFconnect monitors everything from number of workouts to belt hours
    LFconnect monitors everything from number of workouts to belt hours

    SERVICESPORT

    Servicesport operates an online estate management system which allows customers to see a ‘live time’ database of their fitness equipment across multiple sites, along with service history, redeployment history, condition, usage, age, location, warranty status, market value and cost to refurbish.   

    The system allows operators to run summary reports, dashboards, league tables and charts so the data can be filtered into meaningful information. Equipment breakdowns can be reported, and videos or photographs of faults uploaded, to improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis. Progress on repairs and services can be tracked live, so clubs know when an engineer is coming.

    “The main benefit is knowledge,” says Susie Marriott, commercial director at Servicesport. “Knowing what you have, where it is, what it’s worth, whether it’s in good or bad condition and how much investment is required to bring it up to a uniform standard allows our customers to plan the largest of estates very simply.”

    Servicesport is now working with GYMetrix to identify, across an operator’s estate, which gyms are short of kit and which have an excess. This helps operators optimise their assets by moving equipment between gyms.

    http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2013_11service.gif
    How badly is broken equipment affecting your club? Kath Hudson reports on the cloud-based solutions that can cut downtime
    Latest News
    ukactive has questioned the government's decision to make all employers start paying towards the wages ...
    Latest News
    A study on how exercise changes the body at a molecular level has suggested that ...
    Latest News
    A new industry support association, Fitness United, launches today (1 June) to bring suppliers and ...
    Latest News
    Corporate broking and advisory firm, Peel Hunt, has issued a 'buy' recommendation for shares in ...
    Latest News
    Health club chain 24 Hour Fitness has reopened some of its sites in Texas and ...
    Latest News
    The fitness industry in Europe is uniting today (30 May) to launch #beactivehour, a free ...
    Latest News
    PureGym has become the latest fitness operator to deploy a digital offering in a bid ...
    Latest News
    A new report has revealed the likely timescales and shape of the UK fitness market's ...
    Latest News
    There has been a "surge in appreciation" of exercise during lockdown, with people turning to ...
    Latest News
    Gyms and health clubs in Dubai, UAE, have begun reopening their doors today (27 May) ...
    Job search
    POST YOUR JOB
    Opinion
    promotion
    Hedgehog Concept Ltd has developed software that allows its clients to track usage and customer volume on a minute to minute basis.
    Opinion: Is your software fit for COVID-19?
    Featured supplier news
    Featured supplier: Gympass partners with Wexer to launch on-demand workouts for operators
    Gympass has launched Gympass Plus - including an on-demand platform powered by Wexer - for its 2,200+ operator partners. The platform comprises more than 500 workouts from 18 content providers including Zumba and Gaiam.
    Featured supplier news
    Featured supplier: EGYM presents Corona Gym Solution, for the successful re-opening of fitness studios
    Finally, the time has come: fitness and health facilities around the globe are gradually resuming operations.
    Video Gallery
    Technogym mywellness app
    Technogym
    Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Read more
    More videos:
      Company profiles
      Company profile: Healthcheck Services Ltd
      Here at Healthcheck Services, we want to empower you, your clients & your staff to ...
      Company profiles
      Company profile: EMD UK
      EMD UK is the national governing body for group exercise. Funded by Sport England, EMD ...
      Catalogue Gallery
      Click on a catalogue to view it online
      Directory
      Lockers/interior design
      Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
      Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
      Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
      Whole body cryotherapy
      Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
      Locking solutions
      Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
      Exercise equipment
      Star Trac / Core Health & Fitness: Exercise equipment
      Design consultants
      Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
      Independent service & maintenance
      Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
      Management software
      Fisikal: Management software
      Trade associations
      International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
      Flooring
      Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
      Property & Tenders
      Greywell, Hampshire
      Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
      Property & Tenders
      Derby City Council
      Property & Tenders
      Diary dates
      13 Jun 2020
      Worldwide, Various,
      Diary dates
      06-07 Jul 2020
      Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      28-31 Aug 2020
      Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
      Diary dates
      21-24 Sep 2020
      Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
      Diary dates
      01-02 Oct 2020
      Whittlebury Hall, Whittlebury, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      11-12 Oct 2020
      ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      17-23 Oct 2020
      Pinggu, Beijing, China
      Diary dates
      27-30 Oct 2020
      Messe Stuttgart, Germany
      Diary dates
      30-31 Oct 2020
      NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      27-28 Nov 2020
      Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
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