So we now have greener, leaner and meaner CO2 systems, glycol systems, HFC and HC systems all designed to make our world a better environment to inhabit. But in the drive to make our environment better and the drive to make everything more energy-efficient, I think we have lost our way from the days of greenhouse-depleting systems. So what is different now? One word –maintenance.
In the bad old days, we did maintenance on all aspects of the kit that we looked after and did it well. Everything was checked, stripped down, oiled and greased. You would spend a week in a store and go over it with a fine-tooth comb.
Ultimately, it would pay off in the long term as most breakdowns would be the result of component failure, rather than lack of maintenance.
Now we all have to look at ourselves as an industry in order to carry out proper maintenance within all stores and again this would involve retailers and contractors co-operating.
Retailers would have to provide better budgets for their stores’ maintenance and get their stores to buy into the advantages of a good maintenance regime.
This would mean teaching staff at store level that emptying cases to carry out maintenance will allow them to achieve better sales figures across their estates – let’s face it, that’s what it is all about and at store level that’s all they are interested in.
Contractors also need to up their game and start to provide a good level of service to their customer base as at the moment companies buy contracts and struggle to make money once they are committed (retailers take note – you get what you pay for).
Recently on my travels I noticed how run-down many stores are – crap lying everywhere in the plant room, logs not filled in, parts not fitted and no pride in the way a store is being looked after.
There seems to be apathy in the way business is conducted, due in part to the lack of investment from retailers in their estates and the lack of investment within companies servicing these estates.
Something needs to change within our industry. We need to change the way we all operate to achieve the particular goals that retailers and contractors want to achieve; we need to have a different view and attitude in relationships to allow us to move forward.
We used to enjoy working in the refrigeration industry – now most of us are looking for a way out. We need to get back to basics in order to survive.
Anonymous Fridge Guy works as a contractor in the supermarket refrigeration sector