In this two-part blog, I’ll examine the issues faced by retailers as they relate to the management of their facilities.
In this first part, I’ll look at some of the facilities maintenance issues facing store managers that can cause delays in issuing service requests, and in part two, I’ll discuss the role mobile software can play to positively affect the efficiency and timeliness of creating and managing service requests.
In my time overseeing the facilities department at a multi-unit restaurant chain, I witnessed many of the challenges and frustrations facing store managers and staff when it came to equipment repairs or replacements and physical plant work. What I’d like to outline here are a few of the issues store managers face related to the creation and management of service requests and the resulting work orders.
Common Challenges and Frustrations
The challenges faced by stores when it comes to service requests are both numerous and can seem overwhelming. Let’s review some that I experienced.
- Timeliness: The timely issuance of service requests is key to keeping equipment up-time at a very high level. In my experience, service requests were often delayed because store managers may not have been physically at their store due to meetings or other responsibilities. In cases where the request involves a piece of revenue-generating equipment, the delay can also contribute to lost sales.
- Authority: Most store employees have no authority or understanding of how to deal with a service request. In our case, those with limited authority to create the service request were not always comfortable with using the backroom computer software, which again translated into delays and potential lost sales.
- Visibility: Once the request for service is made, the store often does not have visibility into which vendor is assigned the request – particularly when there are multiple vendor options. Store managers need to know which vendor was selected, for various reasons, including their prior history with the company, as well as the ability to alert their employees about who would be out to fix the issue. Additionally, in cases where the repair or replacement could not be remedied on the first visit, store managers do not have visibility into the status of the work which results in additional phone calls to the vendor or the facility manager to obtain an update.
- Scheduling: Staff needs to know when the service repair company plans to be at the store. Business operations are complex, and store managers need to have the window of time in which to expect the vendor. Typically, this information is not available, and can cause frustration for managers wanting to be at the store to speak to the repair person, or have an assistant manager there to discuss the issues and potential impacts on their store.
- Ease of Access: When a store has multiple open service requests and work orders, staff need one place to quickly see the list and status of each. Not having easy access to updated information can cause additional frustration and wasted time with follow up.
- Rating: As work is completed, store managers often feel they don’t have a way to record feedback to the company regarding:
- An outstanding issue
- Quality and/or time to complete the work was unacceptable
- Vendor took too long to arrive at the store
- Vendor disrupted the business more than necessary and may have had an impact on sales
Part two of this post will address facilities maintenance solutions to all of these issues. In the interim, read about how Tango can help.