01 Feb 2023 World leisure: news, training & property
 
 
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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2022 issue 8

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Leisure Management - Orbit4: Control your assets

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Orbit4: Control your assets


Fast-growing tech business Orbit4 is empowering gym operators to optimise the value of their most expensive assets

Gyms need a more sophisticated approach to managing their most valuable assets Photo: Shutterstock / vectorfusionart
Orbit4

Tell us about Orbit4
It’s the world’s first digital ecosystem to fully automate the entire commercial fitness equipment journey. For the first time, gym operators can use a bespoke asset management system that controls the management of assets and also automates their procurement processes.

The system is data-driven, using information such as historic asset behaviour and total cost of ownership to give operators full control of their fitness assets, as well as saving money, reducing down-time, relieving pressure on gym floor staff and ensuring better customer service.

How do you calculate total cost of ownership?
This is the purchase price plus the amount you spend to maintain and service that commodity.

In many industries, we track cost of ownership via digital systems, so we can make the right decision when it comes to maximising the residual value of an asset or replacing it with new equipment at the right time.

In the automotive sector, this process has been sophisticated for many years, however, in our industry, most operators purchase equipment but don’t have a digital focus on asset management, track cost of ownership or use data to make procurement decisions.

Considering fitness equipment is one of the largest capital expenses, due diligence has been patchy across our sector and this often results in a somewhat traditional approach to procurement.

Operators who use Orbit 4 have their own asset management portal, as well as a ticketing system for servicing which runs on our mobile app and is immediately connected to their incumbent service provider(s).

They can then understand more about what’s going on with their assets and use the data to make decisions about equipment and service contract purchases.

How do service providers and manufacturers fit in?
Once assets are on-boarded into Orbit4, operators cluster these by service contract and then invite the incumbent service provider (often the manufacturer) to be connected to their Orbit4 account and associated service contract.

Once connected, the fitness team can raise service tickets via the mobile app. This process is super easy and allows gym teams to spend more time with members.

When the service provider responds, push notifications alert the fitness team to the message and continued communication contributes to the final resolution of the service or repair – either resulting in advice to fix the asset(s) or confirming an engineer is booked to attend site.

The ticket is closed by the service provider once the asset(s) are repaired and a cost to repair is attributed to each asset. Over the lifespan of the equipment, the system generates individual service histories, exactly like the logbook in our cars.

How can operators guarantee they’re not spending too much?
Owners and managers allocate a ‘cap spend’ for each product category. For example, treadmills’ spend cap could be £1,750.

As service and repair tickets are generated and completed over the lifespan of the assets, costs are attributed to each asset, eating into this cap spend.

Products eventually hit ‘maturity’ where all cap spend has been used up and at this point, operators are alerted and presented with automated fitness equipment quotes, finance options and instant trade-in valuations via the Orbit4 connected procurement ecosystem.

Where do the quotes, finance options and trade-in valuation come from?
Quotes and trade-in values are generated automatically via our aggregated platforms Fitness Compared, Fitness Finance, WeServiceGymEquipment.com and WeBuyGymEquipment.com.

Orbit4 has also qualified and aggregated over 120 of the industry’s best partners, so gym operators have access to the wider market. This includes Life Fitness, Precor, Jordan, Concept II and many more.

Why is asset data so important?
For the last 45 years, gym operators haven’t fully focused on their most expensive purchase, which is commercial gym equipment.

Data relating to things like maintenance cost has often been ignored, resulting in a lack of data-driven decision-making when it comes to the right time to trade-in or buy new equipment. When you look at industry trends in terms of purchasing cycles, these can range from four to 15 years. Why? Because there isn’t a sophisticated approach to asset management and purchasing. Data is paramount and Orbit4 is here to deliver exactly that!

What are your plans for growth?
Following an injection of funding in 2021, the company has already expanded its offering into the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).Mark Fest, ex-CEO of Les Mills DACH, joined the company to be head of international for Orbit4 and its associated brands.

Our plans for 2023 and 2024 will see a full launch for Orbit4 in North American and the Nordic region, in addition, we plan to launch WeBuyGymEquipment.com into Australia to support Anytime Fitness and other key accounts with their buyback requirements.

• Explainer video: www.hcmmag.com/Orbit4

• Email us: info@orbit4.org

• Book your Orbit4 demo: www.orbit4.org

"Make data-driven decisions when it comes to the time to trade in and buy new" – Daniel Jones


Originally published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 8

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