Running a successful fitness business is a balancing act. Ensuring member satisfaction is the foundation of this success, but balancing outgoings with income is another vital element. Equipment maintenance is one of the things that can dramatically impact all of these areas.
In this article – Bryan Christiansen from Limble CMMS explains how to reduce equipment maintenance costs in your fitness facility.
Maintenance is a crucial aspect of running a fitness facility. Equipment, furniture, utilities, and the space itself all have to be kept in good condition for many different reasons.
First and foremost is safety. If not correctly maintained, facilities and the equipment within deteriorates with use over time, creating possible safety risks for all gym-goers. Even if we put those risks aside, it’s quite obvious that proper maintenance contributes immensely to customer satisfaction and to the prestige and growth of any fitness facility.
While it is an indispensable part of running a fitness facility, maintenance can well turn out to be a costly affair. However, there are ways to stay in control of your maintenance expenditures. Staying in control of your operational costs is extremely important to stay afloat in these tough times.
The following are five tips for reducing the maintenance costs of your fitness facility…
1. Have a preventive maintenance schedule
It is a very bad practice to wait for things to break down before taking action. Doing this puts your clients at risk, creates halts in activities, and makes you spend a lot on repairs.
You can avoid this by creating a thorough, comprehensive, and proactive maintenance schedule that ensures that all equipment and the entire facility are checked and serviced regularly. Implementing and running preventive maintenance is much cheaper than dealing with the consequences of unplanned issues.
Because there are so many things to be maintained in a fitness facility, drawing up and following a maintenance schedule can be hectic.
If you have an in-house maintenance team, you can significantly reduce this workload by investing in a CMMS that helps you manage and track all maintenance work. In this scenario, another cost-saving practice is to carefully stock spare parts. This way, you will not have to make costly emergency orders for replacement parts.
If you’re outsourcing maintenance work, you can look for a company that puts a lot of importance on preventive maintenance.
2. Review and track the quality of performed maintenance work
Fitness facilities often outsource maintenance to a maintenance company. When doing the same, you have to carry out adequate monitoring and quality control to ensure that things are done correctly.
Preventive maintenance has to be done correctly for it to have any cost-saving effects. If maintenance is not carried out properly on a piece of equipment, it’s still going to end up damaged, leaving you to spend heavy repair costs.
What’s even worse, poor preventive maintenance is going to be even more expensive as the total costs of running preventive maintenance and the cost of the emergency maintenance are cumulative.
If maintenance work is performed in-house, ensure that the people performing it are properly trained and know what they are doing – for all of the same reasons just stated above.
3. Invest in high-quality equipment
Purchasing used equipment in questionable condition to save money can be one of the costliest mistakes you can make. Even without misuse, the constant wear and tear is bound to leave some impact on the longevity of the equipment.
The worse the condition of the equipment is, the more resources you need to spend (on repairs, replacement parts, holding more spare parts in stock, hiring more people to tend to the higher volume of maintenance work, etc.).
Imagine you have only a couple of cross machines at your gym. One of them is often “down” because the cable needs to be replaced and the other one has a problem with a pulley that doesn’t turn smoothly. People are not going to be happy about it. With a gym at every corner, customer dissatisfaction will be reflected in your bottom line.
While you’re at it, it is also not a bad idea to purchase items that have favorable warranties.
4. Insure your facility and expensive equipment
Liability coverage is another excellent way to save costs on maintenance in the long run. There are many types of insurance, specifically for fitness centers. One of these which directly affects maintenance cost is equipment breakdown coverage.
You can try to insure your expensive pieces of equipment to save cost if they ever break down. It’s essential that you hire a professional to evaluate your facility and recommend the best insurance package.
5. Educate customers on the proper use of your facility and equipment
Improper use is one of the leading causes of equipment damage. Regardless of the quality of the equipment or frequency of preventive maintenance, any piece of equipment that is continuously mishandled will quickly deteriorate.
To avoid this, ensure that you create general guidelines on the proper use of the equipment. Through monitoring, encourage and enforce these guidelines.
Have your trainers keep an eye on new people in the gym and help them out if necessary. Make sure that people who just signed-up know who they can ask if they are unsure how a piece of equipment works.
If you have someone that is new to fitness in general, it doesn’t hurt to have someone go with them and show how to use equipment that is mishandled most often.
This can save you a lot of money on unnecessary maintenance and repairs.
Maintaining a fitness facility doesn’t have to be a bottomless pit of unexpected expenses. By using some of the tips we outlined here, you can significantly reduce your fitness facilities maintenance cost while increasing patronage.
Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO at Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern, easy to use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations.