You’ve made a significant investment in a new fitness center and state-of-the-art equipment, is on-going preventive maintenance really necessary?
Your fitness center has been running fine for a few years now and all of a sudden you are looking at escalating repair costs. Could this have been avoided? Without preventive maintenance in place, unplanned service costs will occur, and not keeping up with the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance will impact your warranty coverage and product life cycle. We are always asked by customers, “If I don’t have a preventive maintenance (PM) plan will that void the product warranty?” The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) would answer an emphatic, yes. Although, this is strong ammunition to implement a pro-active PM program for your fitness center, we believe there are a number of additional business reasons to do so.
#1. Risk Management
Unfortunately, we live in a litigious society, and the last thing we want to experience is for one of our tenants or members to have an accident. Since managing property risk is a high priority for private and public entities, insuring a safe and high-quality exercise environment is critical. Consequently, implementing a pro-active, facility PM program is number one on the “to-do” list, and second, it’s prudent to create a “buffer” between the management company and the tenant and/or member. This buffer becomes a third-party, service provider. If an independent contractor is hired, it’s important that the contractor is properly vetted, and should maintain at least $5 million in aggregate insurance coverage. (For more, refer to Heartline’s article on Fitness Center Insurance, [anchor id=274 text=”click here”].)
#2. Increase Equipment Longevity
As fitness center amenities have grown in popularity, so too have their investment. After 31 years of installing fitness centers and conducting some 1,100 PM programs annually, it’s clear that PM programs extend the life of the products. As “experts” in the fitness equipment service industry, we’ve found cardio equipment that has not been maintained on a regular basis will actually fail due to lack of maintenance during the warranty period. Consequently, when the manufacturer’s warranty ends in two-to-three years, you will see operating costs (repairs) escalate for the fitness center. If you buy a new car, what happens if you don’t change the oil or rotate the tires? Would you expect your car to continue to function efficiently and the dealership to honor the warranty if something goes wrong? With a PM in place, you will lower the costs and extend the life of the equipment, which leads to our next topic.
#3. Maintaining ROI
Not only does a pro-active PM program maintaining the equipment’s useful life, but will help ensure fair-market salvage or trade-in values. Since the equipment is cared for on a regular and continuous basis, the equipment will not only operate more efficiently, but will ultimately result in an enchanced return-on-investment upon resale. Equipment found with excessive wear on key components will produce little to no trade-in value at the end of the useful life of the product.
#4. Create Safe Workout Environment
For condominiums, an attractive and safe amenity fitness center draws in potential buyers and helps to insure long-term property values. Apartment complexes require clean, state-of-the-art fitness centers to attract renters and minimize apartment vacancy and turnover. This goes for almost all properties that utilize amenities to enhance attractiveness. So, why aren’t all of these properties implementing some form of preventive maintenance to create safe, functioning exercise facilities? We feel there is a lack of education sometimes from the point of designing a fitness center to actually what you need to do with it after it is installed. Relying on the warranty or waiting until something breaks is a common notion. We have developed additional marketing materials to support the importance of PMs and how it can save you money. Just click our “[anchor id=475 text=”Service”]” wrench at the top right hand corner of the page for more information. All of these documents can be downloaded.
#5. Product Warranty
As stated in most fitness product manuals, equipment must be regularly maintained and in our experience the neglect of this can and will nullify the product’s warranty. This becomes particularly acute when a treadmill’s major component (like motor and lower board) fails after one year, and it’s determined that the treadmill’s engine compartment had never been cleaned or motor brushes had not been checked or replaced. Consequently, this red flag creates a problem between the OEM and the customer.
For further information and background on Heartline’s service capabilities and preventive maintenance contracts, please don’t hesitate in contacting Heartline Fitness today at 800-262-3348, or by email at [email protected]
By Jeff Shipman, President , Heartline Technical Services, 8041 Cessna Avenue, Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20879, heartlinefitness.com, 800-262-3348