Creating an Equipment Maintenance Plan
By Amy Boone


o far this year, this column has focused on how to select the best fitness and cardiovascular equipment for your facility; where to place it on the fitness floor for the biggest return on investment; how to foster mutually beneficial alliances with vendors; and how to solicit valuable input from members and staff. Now it is time to address the value of creating a detailed plan to repair, maintain and clean your equipment. To help you develop the “muscles” necessary to carry out this plan, my recommendations are presented as timely exercises you can master at each step of the way. Each exercise refers to an important aspect of your overall equipment maintenance plan, from creating an equipment service log, to scheduling and contracting service, to keeping inventory.

Equipment Service Log
Every facility needs an equipment service log to manage and communicate all work requests related to its fitness equipment. Ideally, this log should be kept where all employees can access it in order to promptly report and record out-of-service machines. Such access allows staff to inform inquiring members easily and accurately as to the status of a repair and also to relay information to

the managers who deal directly with the service technicians. Typically, this log is divided into the following four sections: work requests, scheduled maintenance, service directory and inventory. Depending on the size of the facility and its inventory, you may want to create a single log or one for each type of equipment (e.g., strength machines in one, cardio devices in another). Work Requests. This section of the log acts as a communication system whereby staff can report out-of-service equipment and the dates when service providers are contacted. After a repair is completed, either the service technician or management records the status of the work performed, noting the nature of the repair and any parts ordered. Scheduled Maintenance. This section lists all the scheduled repairs and services for each piece of equipment in your facility. Typically, this section is in the form of a calendar, and maintenance is scheduled at least a year in advance. The dates for each repair and service are carefully noted, along with the names of the technicians who complete the work. Think of this section of the log as a set of “history cards” that you can refer to in the event that given machines continue to break down. History cards can also limit your company’s liability in the

event of a lawsuit should a member or a guest get hurt; this information will document that your company performed regular and scheduled maintenance. Service Directory. The directory section of the log lists contact information for service technicians and equipment vendors, complete with the names of your sales representatives and phone numbers for direct access to service and parts departments. This list should include your club’s customer numbers, for easy reference when ordering. Equipment Inventory. This section of the log contains a detailed inventory of every piece of strength, cardiovascular and other fitness equipment in your facility (the pieces can be grouped by type of equipment if you are using more than one log). More details on how to complete this section are described below. Exercise: Create your own equipment service log either by duplicating the sections described above or by adding a few of your own. In the “Scheduled Maintenance” section, remember to create a separate sheet or card for each of the cardiovascular and strength machines, to detail work completed.

Schedules for Service
Typically, we treat services in one of three ways: as an emergency, as a repair with no urgency or as a preventive service. Most clubs are efficient at handling emergency repairs. With an effective equipment plan in place (including an inventory of frequently ordered parts and a responsive service team), it is possible to get equipment repaired in as little as 48 hours. However, if a part has to be ordered, repairs can take months. Out-of-service equipment can be a cancer to your club. It can cause employee frustration and lead to dissatisfaction among your members. To avoid discontent, it is best whenever possible to remove equipment from the floor if repairs will take time.

Sample Equipment Inventory
Here is an example of the specific columns you may want to include in an equipment inventory of your strength machines:
Muscle Group back triceps chest Equipment mid row seated triceps extension isolateral wide chest Make XXX YYY ZZZ Model CL-2203 BRB-24 TOP-90 Serial # 27384 92075 26024 Condition poor new good Notes Replace 2007. Bought 2003.