Monkey Town swings to ELI Play for maintenance
National framework contract for Monkey Town branches
ELI Play Service, the new ELI Play maintenance branch, has signed a service contract with the indoor playground chain Monkey Town. Since 1 April, the 40 Monkey Town franchisees have been able to rely on ELI Play Service for 24/7 emergency aid, four inspections a year and competitively priced maintenance. And not just for ELI Play installations, but all brands.
We are discussing the agreement with Stefan de Goey of ELI Play Service. He has been in service for a few months and has the task to develop the service department into a strong and independent unit. His secret: being proactive and meet the customers. "Because that was the problem in this sector for years: manufacturers are good at designing and producing installations, but maintenance was a side issue for most.”
Safe, solid, inviting
Bart Verwijmeren and Pascal de Pon, who started Monkey Town Breda indoor playground five years ago - where this interview is taking place - also recognise this. With 1,900 square metres, their location on the outskirts of the city centre is not just the largest in the country, but also one of the most visited Monkey Towns. They've known ELI Play for many years. "Our climbing and playing installation was built some five years ago by a different supplier, but ELI Play has been doing service and maintenance here for almost three years: from repairing or replacing paddings, springs and nets to repairing or replacing pads, bridges and slides. With so many visitors per year you have to do regular maintenance to keep things solid, safe and inviting.”
Professional maintenance advice and repair activities indoor play structures
No reaction whatsoever
This is where things went wrong with the original builder of the installation. "The communication with their service department was just bad," says Bart openly. "It often took weeks before it was our turn, or we did not get a response at all. I’m so surprised to see how difficult it is in this industry to ensure proper maintenance. To find people who keep to agreements and who really make time for you when necessary.
Pascal: "As a busy park, we cannot afford to close parts of our playground for a longer period of time. We do not want that ourselves, because it doesn’t look good. Customers do not accept it either.”
Consumers are quite willing to spend money, but they also expect quality. If they see a closed attraction twice, it is on Facebook the third time.
Pascal de Pon, Monkey Town Breda
Good reviews are important. But even more important is the actual safety, according to both hosts. "As an entrepreneur, you have to be sure that your installations are 100% reliable," Bart emphasises. "Parents of playing children are increasingly asking about this. This is one of the reasons why the two have their installations inspected annually by TÜV. "We forward the test report to ELI Play Service, so that they follow up on the action points. They always do that well. If they don't finish a job the same day, for example because they still miss a part, they will make sure they solve it themselves - within a few days. Then you don't have to do that yourself. Plus: the mechanics of ELI Play Service speak Dutch. In the past, I used to have to look for images on Google to explain to Polish or Czech mechanics what I meant. Glad that's over!”
Favourable Framework Agreement
ELI Play and Monkey Town Breda have been working together for about three years now. To the full satisfaction of all concerned. When other franchisees within Monkey Town talked about problems with their service partners, the name ELI Play soon came up. From then on the ball started rolling, which resulted in the brand new, favourable framework agreement that many of the 40 franchisees have already signed up to.
For the entrepreneurs, the agreement is a good deal. Jeroen van Diesen, sales representative ELI Pay Service: Within the contract, they receive a thorough inspection of the structure four times a year for a fixed fee. We plan these well in advance of the peak periods of the year, such as school holidays. The advantage of this is that you can still have any repairs or maintenance carried out on time so that everything is in good shape before the hustle and bustle erupts.”
Within the contract, they receive a thorough inspection of the structure four times a year for a fixed fee. We plan these well in advance of the peak periods of the year, such as school holidays.
Jeroen van Diesen, ELI Play
Repairs and maintenance advice
During an inspection of an average of one and a half days, the mechanics of ELI Play Service immediately carry out small repairs, map out the state of maintenance and give maintenance advice for the coming period. Stefan: "This is how we build up a database of all the parks and installations we know - from ELI Play or from other brands - including the maintenance history. This also allows us to better advise the customer about regular and preventive maintenance and you can solve defects before they cause problems. For the entrepreneur, this has an additional advantage, Jeroen emphasises: safety and liability. "If there is an incident, our information, which we keep in a well-documented, will help you demonstrate that you have always had the necessary maintenance carried out.”
Repair activities and maintenance indoor playgrounds
24/7 emergency number
Immediate action and a quick good solution - that's what Bart and Pascal love. That's why they are also pleased with the 24/7 ELI Play Service emergency number, which is part of the new service contract. Stefan: "With ELI Play Service, we want to offer quick help, whatever the situation. Whether it's a ball pool cleaning service or a defect in a device or installation. That's why we are also expanding our mechanic's crew, so that we can offer a solution quickly - preferably within two working days.”
Certificates of Inspection
What do Bart and Pascal think are the major advantages of the service contract? "It relieves us of our worries, that's the most important thing," says Bart. "I really like it when an extra pair of eyes looks at safety: you sleep a little better at night! And if something ever goes wrong and the news is knocking on our door, Monkey Town can put 40 maintenance and inspection certificates on the table at once, of all the branches. Now there’s a solid story.”
Does the new deal also make maintenance more economical? Bart: "I assume that this is the case. I do not know the exact figures yet. But the prices have been agreed in consultation with the board of Monkey Town and have since been approved. Even more important than the price, in my opinion, is the response speed. We absolutely do not want any parts of our playground to be closed down. It must always be in great shape and safe. That’s where you earn your money.”
Lower maintenance costs
Through preventive maintenance, ELI Play Service can ensure that the costs incurred by the Monkey Town Breda, both operational and maintenance, are kept under control over the entire lifecycle. Stefan: "Our goal is to offer 100% service, 24/7, so that the entrepreneur can make the maximum amount of money with the playing structures.”