How to make the most of the MySkateRepair Program
By Keith Loria May 8, 2019
MySkateRepair is a web-based program that helps rinks track when the skates go in and out of the skate room for liability purposes. KC Perkins, information technology director for the RSA, developed the program and as of early April, 106 skating rinks have begun utilizing the platform.
“One of the largest issues with insurance claims is dealing with maintenance, and the reason this program is important is because it eliminates a need for a paper trail so you’re not lugging around notebooks,” he says. “You can store information from any accident in a cloud drive, so if you need it for trial purposes, you can pull that information. You can also upload any file documents, which takes the issue of tampering out of the equation because everything is tracked.”
Reminders are also sent every three months to maintain the skates so inspection is always up to date. Inventory can also be tracked for parts used and it helps an operator know what to order and if there’s an uneven pair due to a skate being lost, stolen or used for parts.
Perkins explains that skate inspections are done by skate type and size and any that don’t pass inspection are logged accordingly. An employee then attests to the fact that all inspections were completed within that size and a computerized record will then automatically be placed on every skate within that size. The employee would then repair the skates as needed and log those accordingly.
Once the MySkateRepair program is set up, inspecting and repairing can be done simply on an iPad or any other electronic device either in the skate room or at personal computer in the office.
Fred Knepshield, owner of Valarena Roller Rink, North Apollo, Pennsylvania, notes the My Skate Repair program has added a higher level of organization and discipline to his skate inventory and maintenance processes, replacing an Excel-based skate inventory list and a manual maintenance tracking and reporting process.
“The system is easy to use and requires minimal effort for data entry and recording skate maintenance details,” he says. “I like the way the system provides alerts for skate inspections. My skate room staff now asks me, on a regular basis, to see a report on what skates require an inspection. I greatly appreciate their proactive energy for this non-glamorous task.
He also appreciates that the system is endorsed by the RSA and the insurance provider JBL Trinity Group.
“Our customer’s safety is critical,” Knepshield says. “We do a quick inspection of all skates at the time of the rental. The customer sees this process, which is important. However, a worn wheel or burned-out bearing doesn’t always get detected. So, having a scheduled maintenance process complements the daily inspections. We use the system’s list of maintenance and repair items as our inspection check list.”
Most insurance companies set a standard on how often rental skates should be inspected and can deny claims based on inspections not being completed, so that’s another strong reason he gives for using this system.
Ed Hughes, owner of Northland Rolladium Skate Center, Liberty, Missouri, says the center has already maintained paper records of skate maintenance, though that became cumbersome and hard to keep up. Once the software for the MySkateRepair program was introduced, he was quick to jump on board.
“We spent probably 3-4 weeks of going through our entire rental rack, numbering the skates and putting them into the system, and now I have one gentleman who can maintain it all, and it’s made the job a heck of a lot easier,” he says. “Alerts will come up letting us know when things are due for inspection, so we don’t have to constantly go through checking every size; we just do them as needed when they come up.”
Things don’t get overlooked and it allows the center to keep up with any issues that might creep up with a skate.
Although Northland Rolladium hasn’t needed to utilize the system to help in any legal matters, Hughes says he would have loved to have had something like this in the past when an older gentleman fell and broke his leg.
“I immediately grabbed the skates and quarantined them and a few weeks down the road, they filed a claim, saying the plate broke,” he says. “The plate didn’t break. And there were enough holes in their story that a judge ended up throwing the case out, but now if something like that happened, I could use the serial number of the skate and get the record and show proof that nothing is wrong with that skate. It’s all about risk management and saving insurance dollars.”
Chanel Bellotto of Lakeland Skate World, Lakeland, Florida, was interested in the program mainly because of the organization that it offers.
“We had not marked the skates or given them codes or IDs and I’m not sure of how many rink owners really do that, but when you have an accident, you need to mark those skates somehow and know which ones were involved in the accident in case you have to have them recalled or have someone else look at them,” she says. “This program makes it really easy to organize our 600-plus pair of skates we have in inventory.”
Additionally, it lets her track how many skates of each pair are available and alerts her to when things need to be done.
“The RSA gives the members tools to use and this was one of those that everyone should be utilizing,” Bellotto says. “And it can do so much more than just organization. It allows us to access some important information that we may need to maintain later for a judge if someone decided to do a lawsuit against us.”
For example, Lakeland Skate World now files all of its accident reports using the MySkateRepair program, uploading video of the actual accident.
“We’ve had to pull up stuff on it and it’s been great. If you can’t get the information you need, it’s a problem, but this is a very easy system to use,” Bellotto says. “My staff knows that when an accident happens, they need to get information and upload stuff so it’s all secure and we can get it when we need it.”
Unlike the old way when an accident report form would just go to Bellotto’s house and she would file it away in a file cabinet, and now everything is input into the system.
“And in the past, we didn’t have video because we didn’t have a place to store it,” she says. “Now, our system in place has video uploaded with the accident report form in every case. It’s an extra barrier of protection.”
The program is also very easy to learn and Bellotto and her staff have had no difficulties getting things to work properly.
Rink operators can also mark skates as missing or destroyed so that the inventory of skates is always accurate, making placing orders with a skate vendor easier.
Perkins says in today’s age, documentation is imperative and you want to make sure you are covered for anything that can happen.
“If you don’t document it, you’re at fault,” he says. “More insurance companies today are looking for this type of system because it makes their job much easier.”
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