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14 October 2020

How to select a store maintenance company in Europe right for you?

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If you are on this page, it most likely means that  you are fed up about managing your in-house maintenance. Maybe you are looking to change your maintenance supplier to make life easier and free your time up to focus on what really matters to you? Whatever your motivation is, the points below might help you to organise your thoughts before making your final decision to choose a store maintenance company that will work for your business.

Review carefully the store maintenance offer from your potential partner

Have a close look at the range of services on offer from a potential maintenance supplier. Are these more than you are looking for? Not enough? Or is the scope of store maintenance services just exactly what you need for your business? It is critical to find a good match for both sides for a cooperation to last successfully and bring concrete benefits.

  • Do you know what is covered by law or do you have the technical ability to take care of the issue? Always feel that you need an architect to check that you are always in compliance? It’s good to check that these critical items can be resolved by your supplier to make sure that you are not caught by surprise.
  • Be realistic about the offer and ask yourself ‘ Would I do this in my own home?’ Cleaning windows at home would be done once or twice a year, but your supplier might offer five times a year. Set your own expectations and mindset on the right level from the beginning.
  • The way the retail maintenance offer is presented can also raise some questions. Is the offer thought out or just randomly listed on the page? Do they have a reliable client portfolio? Or a case study to back up their credibility? Are they servicing small brands locally or also are supporting bigger brands across the European region?

Check out on which markets the retail maintenance company is providing their services

If you are operating in more than one country and still expanding your store network across Europe, your potential supplier would have to be able to ensure maintenance coverage where you need them.

Providing retail maintenance services across borders requires a specific knowledge and experience. The scope of inspections recommended and demanded by the law differs country by country. That is why especially preventive maintenance services should be handled by a responsible maintenance partner. The partner who understands the importance and potential legal consequences of jobs not done by the book.

Last, but not least, a retail maintenance company with a proven international footprint can provide a true efficiency in operations. This means measurable cost optimisation and overall control over maintenance management on your store network.  And, how much you value a peace of mind and the sense of security knowing that the maintenance of your all stores in the region is in good hands?

Big, small or just right store maintenance partner?

Now, does size really matter here?  Is it the bigger the company the better? Or, should we forget about the size and consider the attitude and skills that your ideal maintenance supplier should have instead?

  • Can do” attitude and flexibility in making decisions. Commitment and follow up accordingly. These are the key features that money can’t buy that build a strong business foundation.
  • Listening and communication skills. A good potential partner would start a dialog, listening carefully to what you need exactly: what your challenges are, what your expectations are. A cookie cutter solution is not what you want to hear. The right communication is also critical on an operational level–which some companies struggle to implement. Match the person to the need: you don’t need a structural engineer to tell you to change a broken tap in your bathroom, do you?
  • Focus. Focus. Companies with a larger, more complex structure might get confused on the way and lose track of what’s important for you. A leaner, customer-focused supplier ensures you get the attention you should.

A “just right partner” will support you in your expanding retail journey with a flexible, ‘can do’ attitude. They should have a clear understanding how the retail industry works and what are your expectations, plus a healthy balance of both skill and scale that suits your specific needs. You should be able to focus on growing your sales and profit, while they should take the load off your shoulders doing non-core jobs. And, they must work on a digital operations platform to back this up.

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Managing retail maintenance with a digital tool is a must

Whether it is an off the shelf industry software or custom made program for managing store maintenance services, it doesn’t really matter. Either is a must have for a modern retail facility maintenance provider. As long as it is used by a retail maintenance partner and their customer effectively, it is the foundation of a modern co-operation.

The digital tool should facilitate a smooth, two-way communication between the retail maintenance provider and a customer. With no extra paperwork and phone calls or e-mails. With a few clicks away you should be able to see the technical status of all your stores. Each planned, extra and emergency visit should be updated right away in the system. You should have access to a full history of all maintenance visits done, reports and photographic documentation from all the visits in your store across their markets of operations. You need to be moving forward and use the time you have saved to focus on what you really need to do. Even for non-tech savvy people, an intuitive, tailor made solution can fit your requirements while making you feel comfortable enough to throw those old paper record books away!

If you are currently working without software for managing maintenance, a supplier with a digital tool would be a clear bonus for you!  

Read here about the digital solution we make available to our clients in maintenance at CAPS Group

Outsourced retail maintenance team that gets it

Your extra account manager with no headcount cost.

Your partner’s maintenance team should act like your personal store maintenance manager. On one hand, one needs to supervise the overall cooperation ensuring great quality service. The information is put into the systems, numbers crunched and then analysed by an experienced person to suggest further improvements in your retail maintenance services. This is the big picture.

Save yourself some stress, time and money

On the other hand, it is all about the nighty-gritty details to make sure the job is done right.  The person needs to be detail- oriented to optimise each visit and intervention to deliver a long term efficiency and cost savings. Also, stress resistance skill comes in very handy in a role of a maintenance supervisor. The job is very much about solving problems for customers. With a wide spectrum of cases handled, learned from and solved in the maintenance industry, the experience of the outsourced team is multiplied.

Let your maintenance supplier fix things before they become a problem.

In the business of problems and stress by default, you expect your partner’s maintenance team members to stay focused, think sharp and communicate clearly. And ideally, not in just one language. Except for speaking in English common lingua, you would expect the team to speak at least one or maybe even two other languages. Fluent command in local languages can very often help to pre-empt potential misunderstandings and future problems.

It takes a special kind of character to find, hire and them further grow and motivate in the retail maintenance industry. And all this is to be taken care of for you by your maintenance supplier, with their own time and money.

Near future of store maintenance services management

The desired retail maintenance partner should also boldly peek into the future. Fast growing intelligent solutions will finally be applied in more and more industries, including retail facility maintenance. So the digitalisation and automation will also affect how we manage maintenance services. Data will be processed faster and faster and with this support the speed of reactions in maintenance will significantly improve. Some of the actions will be executed before they are flagged as an emergency status, preempting the problem.

Outsourcing store maintenance designed to save you money, time and stress

You might think outsourcing can be complicated and expensive, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Just the opposite: if the service is designed properly to fit your needs, it is meant to bring you concrete and measurable benefits like lower operational costs for your stores and improved overall efficiency in the long term. You don’t have to worry about any store technical visits and tasks, no matter how big or small. Neither will you wonder whether your stores are law-compliant or not in all the markets you are operating. These and much, much more will be taken care of for you by outsourcing maintenance services. For much less money than you think.

Your final choice of maintenance services supplier should provide a mix of competitive prices, a sense of security and efficient services over the long-term.

Find out how we at CAPS help our customers to save time, stress and money with our store maintenance services. 

 

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