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conference coverage

InterFace Retail Facilities Exchange

BEST PRACTICES

For Facilities & Construction


Grace Daly, interFace conference Group: as leaders in our construction and facilities industry, a vital responsibility we all have is ensuring were up to date in best practices. setting the time to meet here today with our colleagues to discuss these experiences is critical to the continued success of our business. implementing just one shared idea here can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings, both in time and money for your company. Paul Neill, Sportsmans Warehouse: For us, our hot topic pick was HVAC and the energy savings that go along with that. Our best practice is actually tying in with that as well, so using our resources as an example, Ive got 28 big box stores all across the country and weve installed a state-of-the-art type of environmental control system from TCS Basys Controls. Ive found the thing thats different about it is that its Internetbased and it can be anywhere in the world as long as youve got Internet access you can look at, view and control all of your systems. Its incredibly inexpensive to put in and quite cost-effective, so we were able to save in real life dollars about 23% of our total electric bill. Our return on investment was less than a month and a half for putting in the system, so its just unbelievable. The things we found being a big box store, a person in this department that was hot and so they would adjust the temperature and a person in this department was cold, so they would adjust the temperature and pretty soon you have units fighting each other, one heating

a roundtable discussion among vendors and retailers at the interFace Retail Facility & construction exchange, held May 1-3, 2011 in scottsdale, arizona.
MODeRateD By GRace Daly

and one cooling and just using energy and a lot of other issues like that. But through this particular system, everything is controlled off-site and it is very flexible. You can give the individuals at the store total control, you can give them very limited access to control, and you can give them no control. Its programmable so that all kinds of different levels of alarms, if you will, so as an example, if I see a first stage cooling alarm on a particular unit multiple times over a week, I know something is developing with that unit and its probably losing Freon or having issues like that. I typically know that theres a problem with my units long before probably anybody else would begin to realize it. In major cases like fan failure, it will actually text me so I can know to hop on the Internet really fast and shut that unit down before it destroys itself, so its just been very, very cost-effective. As for the lighting portion of it, being a big box, we actually have satellites in our stores, so with the simple addition of a light meter we actually measure the lighting levels coming into the locations that we have, so when its light enough and bright enough outside, we just shut off our center tubes. So, again, it makes a difference for us; it is very userfriendly and saves us a lot of money, solves a lot of problems.

A WHOLE

LOT
OF QUALITY

Mike Fairclough, Resicom: What we discussed at our table is some of what they said. We had discussed energy management but we decided to break it down a little bit, and the hot issue really that we talked about are the options that are available to retail, to all of us, in terms of energy management, whether they be rebates, or whether they be types of bulbs, and forecasting capital spent. And the two solutions that we decided to talk Preferred Vendor for Major Retailers about were maybe the most obvious, but it wasnt so obvious to me. What Throughout the Southwest I kind of learned was that you dont have to choose either/or it could MAINTENANCE be both. And the first one is to work Surface Patching | Crack Sealing | Seal Coating internally with your own design and construction team, developing and NEW CONSTRUCTION talking about the issues and seeGrading | Soil Stabilization | Paving ing whats available out there. In addition to taking advantage of all RECONSTRUCTION the trade resources that are there, Pulverize & Repave there are websites that are particular to retail and acquire rates from that. The second thing is to just hire a consultant or a company that provides some sort of shared Serving the service discounting. Really look at Southwest for your brand objectively from sort of a over 30 years 30,000-foot level to help you understand the impact that they can have. Then, going into that, we talked about the cost savings. How much

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Published in June/July 2011 n Retail Facility Business n copyright 2012 France Media, inc. n www.RetailFacilityBusiness.com

InterFace Retail Facilities Exchange

conference coverage

Paul neill, sportsmans Warehouse

Mike Fairclough, Resicom

evan Glab, Glab Maintenance

Paula settani, iKea north america

can you save? And theres two items. The first one well share was just a small incident in which the facility manager took a better understanding of what was actually happening at a store level. This one observed the operational activity of what was going on and was able to decipher a way of actually acquiring 60% savings in terms of energy, because the engineer was doing one thing to condition the air that actually had a great impact on the utilities. And just taking the time to dissect and do a walk-through of what theyre actually doing in the store, at the store level, and figuring out and correcting that, she saw a reduction of 60% in her utility bills,

which is pretty cool. Another one of the issues we talked about, was cost/ spend over spending some costs was somtimes as simple as duplicated work orders. Moving to a web-based program for managing your work order system reduced that, practically eliminated it. The second thing, it also saves money because the obvious impact or I should say, positive impact on the facilities department, they were less burdened with some of the tasking, things of tracking and updating, and interacting with the stores and they were able to focus on keeping the brand protected and moving on.

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Published in June/July 2011 n Retail Facility Business n copyright 2012 France Media, inc. n www.RetailFacilityBusiness.com

conference coverage

InterFace Retail Facilities Exchange

Evan Glab, Glab Maintenance: We talked about the ongoing need of remodels and refreshes. They keep coming up; some are required by lease, and some have just been queued up over the years. But the issue being how to do that while balancing out the daily repair and maintenance thats needed as well and also coordinating all these things around holidays and

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special events throughout the year, while doing it with a slim facilities team and also, at our table, mixing in the need to work with franchisees. The issues that come up, of course negotiating with the landlords, having specs that should fit everywhere but then having to work out all the variances, whether it be because of the landlords or because of franchisees, but taking these cookie-cutter specs and putting them in everywhere, how to do that. Also, while not overwhelming service providers and ensuring quality, timely work is being done. So thats the hot issue, but how do we overcome it? How do we get through it? The first solution as a best practice was more vacation time, so just walk away. But it comes back to just having those clearly defined specs for each project and even if some of the variances have been added in, to still have those specs ready for each store so that they can go. And keep the communication clear with the facilities team and the construction team. Have those discussions, have those meetings, whatever it takes. Also, shift the responsibility for that quality and timely work back to the service provider or the project managers; give regular recap emails including digital pictures of before and after. Thats something that keeps the connection since were working with crews out there. Typically, were not on-site, so get that feedback right from them and put that on them to explain whats going on. And that fits in even to solve the best practice of surprises. When bad things come up, we need to share those, too, so that there is no surprise, so if the store doesnt know something we dont know. Get that communication, those emails, the pictures from the project manager or service provider so that it can be taken care of right away. Also, be sure to mix in some good reports, too. Dont just wait to report back when something bad is happening. Keep everybody in the loop. So, thats our best practice to help work with the remodel and refresh issue as they keep coming up and how to handle those efficiently. Paula Settani, IKEA North America: We have a number of hot topics, actually. The first being mine, so if anybody wants to talk about this while theyre here, its snow removal on roofs. That was a huge topic for me, and I think maybe for some others with big box retailers, removing snow was a huge issue. The only way we found to remove it was labor, a man on the roof with a shovel. So, if anyone else has come up with a method for removal, Id love to talk about it. We have many vendors in our database, but how many are actually quality vendors? With reliability, value for dollars and status of work orders, are you getting what you paid for? Are work orders completed? And how do you work with that? Is it your relationship with the vendor that makes it good? Is it a new way to sign off on work orders? A store stamp? Is it an iPhone application? How do we stay updated on whats happening and are we actually getting what we paid for? Along with cost, also, is capturing accurate costs. If you have a consolidated invoice, are you able to break that down enough in order to say, This is how much I spent on a certain work order or a certain trade? Another hot topic was completing site work on time at the end of the job. So maybe that last 2%, are you done? Were you able to get that last 2% done before your big opening? We also had more discussion on janitorial issues. How do you manage that? Its like these companies sort of come and go and really its the same workers that go from one company to the next or maybe its just the same company and they opened up under a different name. So, managing janitorial, while its not actually a trade or a technical skill, its something thats very important in retail and how our stores look. And best practice, well, basically all of us came down to the relationship with the vendor. Learning how to separate a personal relationship with a vendor versus your business relationship with a vendor. You might get along great with this vendor, but maybe when it comes down to it, theyre really not the best vendor for your company for what you need from them. And we found that many vendors stay with the facility manager or the construction manager that brought them in to the company. If this construction manager or facility manager moves to the next company, the vendor stays with them because thats who you know and have a relationship with. So, thats practice, really, with building relationship. RFB

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Published in June/July 2011 n Retail Facility Business n copyright 2012 France Media, inc. n www.RetailFacilityBusiness.com