WOODINVILLE, WA — Precor is teaming up with some of the top — and largest — fitness club chains to refine InSite, the company's wireless service technology aimed at providing club management with information to better run their business.

“For more than 20 years, Precor has been a fitness equipment innovator. For the first time, Precor has developed a service that is specifically to help fitness clubs or facility managers address one of their greatest business challenges: managing fitness equipment operations,” said Precor President Paul J. Byrne.”

Executives from top club chains — 24 hour fitness, Gold's Gym and Bally Total Fitness, who are participating in InSite implementation projects — said they expect to gain dramatic new efficiencies through the new service.

“Multilocation operations face a challenge in gathering and analyzing data and information on a system-wide basis,” Gene LaMott, CEO and president of Gold's Gym, said.

“InSite offers possibilities to aggregate data across a national network. With the ability to capture and aggregate accurate, real-time data on an individual club or system-wide basis, InSite represents the next generation in club management tools.”

Precor and involved clubs aren't disclosing system hardware or software specifics beyond explaining that InSite “reads” fitness machine repair, service and usage information, and wirelessly transmits real-time data to a computer that can be accessed from anywhere.

The company said, though, that InSite automated alerts inform club management or service resources to maintenance. Additionally, machine usage tracking will be another feature of the technology.

“The result is better, faster data that managers can apply to make smarter decisions,” added Byrne.

“This technology will not only keep machines up and running, it will help them with tracking equipment usage, placement and other aspects of equipment decisions clubs are faced with so they can concentrate on acquiring customers and keeping them satisfied.”

Byrne said Precor expects to launch InSite for large, multilocation Precor customers in 2004, with plans to expand the service to smaller clubs or facility operations at a later date since the only real technology necessary at the club level is Internet access.