As most people know, many times, the cost of ownership can add up to a big number. Think about a car…you might spend $20,000 on the car itself but when you add up the costs of buying gas, insurance, car tags, oil changes, new tires, the occasional repair, and the interest on the loan, the costs of owning the car add up over the years. Although it doesn’t have the impact of the big upfront number, many times, the cost of owning the car over the years easily exceed the cost of buying the car. According to AAA in 2015, the average cost of owning a car was over $8,300 a year.
The same issue can arise with fitness equipment, especially for gym owners. The difference is that it is much easier to avoid expensive repairs with fitness equipment than it is with a car. The car is exposed to the elements, wide temperature changes, road hazards, and wide differences in road conditions. With fitness equipment, you can control much of the outside influence upon the machine.
With proper setup, fitness equipment can be optimized to have fewer problems if you have a repair technician that knows what they are doing. A good example is a physical therapy unit that we started working on about 20 years ago. The fitness store that had sold them their treadmills had a devil of a time keeping the treadmills running and the physical therapy clinic had thought they might just give up and buy new treadmills before they called us. When we evaluated the treadmills, it was clear that the fitness store didn’t have technicians that knew what they were doing so they were fixing symptoms instead of the problem. The second thing we realized was they were notreplacing wear parts before they became a problem…a program we call preventative maintenance.
So, we fixed the problem the physical therapy clinic was having and explained to them the reason they were having these problems and spending thousands per machine to keep them running, was because they were not being properly maintained, they agreed to let us bring the treadmills up to speed, so to speak.
The end result was that the clinic that thought they were facing a five figure bill to replace their treadmills paid us a couple of grand up front to bring everything up to speed and then paid us to visit quarterly to spot problems BEFORE they happened and the result was they were able to keep the same treadmills for 5 more years with NO more repairs before they decided they wanted to have the latest models.
The net result for the clinic was they were able to drop their repair expense over a 5 year window by 80%. You also could bet that when they bought their new treadmills, we continued our program of preventative maintenance because they were able to experience the value of taking care of the equipment. The parts they didn’t consider is since the machines didn’t break down for 5 years and were running much smoother, they didn’t experience the soft costs of having downtime, had the machines available for customers to use the machines without interruption, and the reduced electrical expenses because the machines were running more efficiently. The benefits to properly maintained equipment far outweigh the expense of a regular preventative maintenance program.