Self Performing Facility Maintenance in 16 States

This is a shout out to all of our incredible customers who have grown with us over the years. We committed to provide you with excellent communication and true self performed facility maintenance service. You trusted us in return with more and more of your business.

Map-for-Slider-16-States

Thank you. We are very excited to continue serving each of you.

Advanced Retail Solutions, Inc. is a self performing electrical, plumbing, general maintenance, and construction service provider.

Please let us know how we can help make your job simple.

The Communication Gap

Every time ARS earns a new customer, we sit down for a meeting or have a conference call to discuss procedures and expectations. It’s important to us to get on the same page so we can start providing exceptional service that meets our new customers needs from day one. During this conversation, I love ask this question, “What is the single most important thing that you are looking for in your ideal maintenance contractor?” Overwhelmingly, the response is, “Communication.”

Before I started asking this question, I would of thought the answer would be price or not making mistakes, but it’s not. It’s communication. Our customers want to know what is going on with the jobs they send to their contractors. They don’t want to be blind sided when their boss asks for an update, and they don’t want any “surprises” on the invoice.

We have worked hard as an organization to commit ourselves to constant improvement. We believe that complacency kills improvement, and without constant improvement, we are not offering additional value to our customers. So, when our customers ask for communication, we give it to them.

Here are 5 ways that we provide this:

  • We Self Perform: This is the greatest way that we speed up communication. Our guys are doing the work. They are trained by our standards. We don’t have to wait for a sub to call us back after he talks to his tech because our employee is doing the work at your store. Eliminating layers improves the service that you get.
  • Dedicated Client Account Managers: This individual is a customer service master. They work to become experts on your business needs. They strive to think like you and make your job easy.
  • Proactive Project Management: This means that we are planning days in advance. We are looking at historical call volume and making adjustments. We can tell you in minutes when we will be able to make it to your site. This allows you to have a timeline to provide your stores.
  • Additional Customer Support: There are few things that are worse than waiting on hold. We have additional customer service representatives that support our Client Account Managers and Dispatchers. If a customer is on the phone, we don’t keep them waiting.
  • Continuous Follow Up: We are going to stay in touch with you to make sure that you are happy. We ask our customer to tell us how we can improve. Our goal is to have open and proactive communication with our customers.

If you are looking for a new facility maintenance contractor in the southeast, ARS would love the opportunity to show you what we can do.

Advanced Retail Solutions, Inc. is a self performing electrical, plumbing, general maintenance, and construction service provider.

Please let us know how we can help make your job simple.

[photo by Simone Lovati]

We Are First and Foremost a Customer Service Company

Facility maintenance professionals have a lot going on. They should not have to worry about their contractors.

Customer Service Professional

When I first came into this industry, I had no idea about the amount of variables that a facility maintenance professional has to deal with on a daily basis. It is incredible. From the outside, facility maintenance seems so simple. You have a building. Something breaks. It gets fixed. But when you start to explore, you learn about lease agreements, utility issues, energy management, security management, supply purchasing, stocking restroom and cleaning supplies, floor care, PM programs, and the list goes on. The fact is, facility maintenance professionals have a lot on their plates.

Advanced Retail Solutions is a facility repair and construction company. We live in the world of fixing and building things. However, our customers have taught us that their jobs are much more involved than our little area of the industry. They want us to be the most helpful contractor they work with. This is why we have committed ourselves to be, first and foremost, a customer service company.

What Does This Mean?

Communication is our first priority. You need accurate information, and you need it quickly.

You get a dedicated client account manager who’s job is to be an expert on your expecations and then exceed them.

We self perform the work. Adding layers in a process only complicates the process. We do the work ourselves so we can control quality, ETA’s and cost. Plus, our guys understand your concerns and expecations. We can’t offer the same commitment level with a sub.

You have a lot going on and a lot of things to pay attention to. You shouldn’t have to worry about your contractors too. Our job is to make your job easy.

Advanced Retail Solutions, Inc. is a self performing electrical, plumbing, general maintenance, and construction service provider.

Please let us know how we can help make your job simple.

[photo by bloomsburys]

Drain Line Jetting

 Are you tired of continuously having to have your drains cleared of grease and sludge? Use Best Practice: Drain Line Jetting to extend the life of your cleared drain lines.

What is Drain Line Jetting?

Drain line jetting is a pipe cleaning process that uses large volumes of water under extreme high pressure in order to completely remove all sludge from the interior walls of the drain and sewer lines. Unlike other methods such as “snaking” that sends a long, flexible metal tube that cuts a hole in the blockage creating a small line of exit for the sludge, Drain Line Jetting completely clears all debris including grease, debris, sludge, etc. leaving your sewer lines as clean as the first day they were put in. For best results it is a good idea to routinely schedule your drain line jetting for preventative maintenance.

How does Drain Line Jetting Work?

Drain line jetting is done through an accessible opening called a clean out. The clean out is made to give the plumber the ability to easily access and remove sludge and other debris from the drains and sewer lines. A drain line jetting truck consists of a large tank of water, a custom built high pressure hose, a special high-strength nozzle that has small holes releasing large amounts of extremely pressurized water and a pressurizing machine. This pressurizing machine enables the water in the hose to spray out at a rate of up to 3,500 PSI and a flow rate of 18 GPM. The nozzle of the drain line jetting hose is placed at the downstream end of the plumbing system and it works it’s way upstream. All of the cleared sludge and debris will flow downstream where the drainage path is already clear resulting in a completely sludge and debris free drain line.

What are the benefits of Drain Line Jetting?

Drain line jetting does not clear a blocked line, it completely cleans out your drain. A few more key benefits of drain line jetting are:

  • Safe for all pipes
  • Clears blockages and fully cleans the pipe
  • Long lasting results
  • Can be routinely scheduled for preventative maintenance
  • Fast and effective
  • Drain line jetting is extremely effective for cleaning:
  • Sewer lines and systems
  • Storm systems
  • Stack lines
  • Catch basin lines
  • Rain Leaders
  • Pump chambers and lines
  • Grease tanks and lines

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced Retail Solutions, Inc. is a self performing electrical, plumbing, general maintenance, and construction service provider.

Please let us know how we can help make your job simple.

 

 

 

10 Steps to Create an Effective Rollout for Your Retail Chain

Are you looking for help with your rollout? Call us at 678-262-4540.

We have managed hundreds of rollouts. Here are some things that we have learned in the process.

Test the idea out in a few locations.

So, you have a great innovative idea that will make your facility a safer place to work, environmentally sustainable, consumer friendly or just good looking. Before you spend the time and effort to implement the idea across all of your stores you should test it out. Testing the idea in a handful of your stores will allow you to understand the challenges that will come from making the changes and decide if the return on investment is worth it.

Decide on a project manager.

A project is more effective and efficient when there is someone to manage and lead it. A project manager is put into place to ensure that someone is constantly up to date on the project and that questions are directed to one central place. The individual that you choose for this job should be organized, have strong troubleshooting skills, and effective time management skills.

Create a project plan.

Your project plan for your rollout is basically the blue print of your project. The project plan should include:

  • The tasks that need to be done to complete the project
  • Which tasks are dependent upon one another
  • The duration of time that each task will take
  • Who will be responsible for the different tasks
  • Forecast of the resources needed for the rollout
  • How you will track the progress of the rollout

Include the managers of the local facilities in the planning process.

When planning a rollout, whether it be national or regional, it is easy to forget out how the rollout will effect the stores and sales. Be sure to include your store managers in the planning process. They will probably have very beneficial information in regards to high traffic times for their individual stores, specific store challenges and recommendations for more effective ways to go about implementing the rollout. The store managers are a beneficial tool that should not be forgotten during the rollout planing process.

Address large and small issues at pre-installation meetings.

Take a look at the issues that you are going to be faced with. Sit down with the appropriate people and decide how you will accomplish your rollout in light of these challenges. You may even find that changes need to be made to make your rollout as effective as possible.

Find a contractor that fits your needs.

The most ideal contractor for a rollout is one that has experience handling regional and national rollouts. Consider using a contractor that is available to perform services over a larger coverage area as well. This will allow for you to use the same contractor for the majority of your work and decrease the amount of communication needed to accomplish the job. Take a look at our recent blog “Questions to Ask Your Contractor” for some great tips on choosing a contractor.

Create a detailed rollout plan for each facility.

Get as detailed as possible, even at the store level! Create a specific rollout plan for each store. Include this information in your main rollout plan.

Review the rollout plan.

Do you really need to review your plan again? Yes! Double check for any last minute errors or conflicts in your rollout plan. You will be happy you did if you find any issues that could have caused bigger problems in the long run.

Implement rollout plan.

Now that your done planning, get the ball rolling on your rollout. Remember to track the progress of your tasks as you move through this process in order to stay on schedule. If you do get off schedule, you will find out immediately and can put measures in place to prevent further delays.

Properly maintain your facility.

Okay, so your project is completed. Don’t let all this hard work go to waste by not properly maintaining your facility. Set up reoccurring maintenance visits from your maintenance contractor to keep your facilities new addition in shape. This will save you time and money in the long run.

Advanced Retail Solutions is a self performing facility maintenance and construction company in 13 states. Please let us know how we can help you.

Questions to Ask Your Contractor

To ensure that you receive the quality and professional maintenance services you and your company deserves use these questions as a tool to help you find the best contractor for your company. After asking these questions you will not have to guess who you want  coming to your store the next time you make a service call.

“Do they have an online presence?”

It is no secret that one of the first places people go for information is the internet, so  it is important that your contractor sustains  a professional and current online presence. This is a chance for you to get a good impression of a prospective facility maintenance contractor’s brand prior to speaking with them. A more future forward thinking contractor may have a social media presence as well. If the contractor you are about to hire does not care enough to keep up an online presence, you have to ask, how much effort are they going to put into the work they do for your company. You can check out our homepage here.

“What trades do they perform and what kind of coverage area do they have?”

Based on your needs and your company’s needs, is it preferable to use a facility maintenance contractor that has a wide range of trade expertise or one that is more specialized? Are you looking for a large coverage area or targeted cities? As a rule of thumb, the larger the trade and coverage area they have the less work there is for you to find a facility maintenance company that is able to perform in all your different locations. Check out our trades and coverage area.

“Do they contract the work out or self perform?”

3rd party maintenance contractors subcontract all of the work that they receive. This means that when your company calls in a service request at a 3rd party contractor, they will send the call to a  local company to perform the work.  The company you speak with on the phone is not necessarily going to be the company showing up to your door. While this can be convenient by having one company to call, it can add layers of communication and cost(link to layers post) to the process. Another area of concern in regards to working with a 3rd party contractor is there is no clear idea of who they are sending out to your company. Advanced Retail Solutions is a complete self performing facility maintenance company; we do not accept a service call we cannot self perform.

How do they ensure the quality of their work?

When you call a facility maintenance company you want to be assured that the technicians that are coming out to help you are going to complete the job and complete it well. It is important to have a dedicated contact that is knowledgeable about your expectations and familiar with the service calls that you have sent to them.  Advanced Retail Solutions provides   a client account manager that understands the business and the needs of  each account that we acquire. ARS also has a call center that is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week for the convenience of our clients. You can find out more about our services and philosophies here.

Advanced Retail Solutions, Inc. is a self performing electrical, plumbing, general maintenance, and construction service provider.

Please let us know how we can help make your job simple.

ARS will be at the PRSM 2012 National Conference

 

Advanced Retail Solutions is getting ready for the PRSM 2012 National Conference.  We are excited to educate ourselves about the industry best practices, hot topics in retail and new trends.

Also, we can’t wait to introduce ourselves to businesses that don’t know us yet! With more than 1,600 retail facilities professionals attending, we are sure we will learn a lot about what is important to our clients and prospects.

PRSM 2012 National Conference will be held April 18th through the 20th in Anaheim, California. PRSM 2012 National Conference is the must attend retail facilities maintenance event.

PRSM has conveniently located the conference on the Anaheim Convention Center campus. Education and housing will be hosted in the luxurious Hilton Anaheim Hotel while the Exhibition will be in the Convention Center.

PRSM 2012 National Conference will have tons of education and networking.

  • Over 40 education sessions taught by leading professionals in the facility maintenance industry.
  • Customized educational experiences with nine different education tracks.
  • The opportunity to get advise and discuss topics that are important to you.
  • Continuing education credits and professional distinction via the RFMP certification program.
  • Best Practices: topics including HVAC, sustainability, energy management and more.
  • 1600 of your facility maintenance peers to learn from and network with.
  • A Supplier showcase for demonstrating services
  • The chance to meet numerous vendors or future vendor face to face in one place.

To learn more or to register visit the PRSM 2012 National Conference website.

Advanced Retail Solutions, Inc. is a self performing electrical, plumbing, general maintenance, and construction service provider.

Please let us know how we can help make your job simple.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Contractor

Choosing facility maintenance contractors can be challenging. There are many variables to consider that will affect the quality of service that you receive. It is important as a facility manager to understand you and your company’s needs prior to selecting on-boarding a new contractor. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself in order to gain a better understanding of the kind of facility maintenance contractor it will take to support your facilities program. You will feel more prepared and confident in your decisions after going through this process.

  • What resources do you have available to you financially and in terms of personnel? This will help you determine the number of individual contractors that you can manage.
  • How many locations do you have and how large of a geographic area to those locations span? This will help you decide on how large or small the footprint of contractors you hire need to be.
  • What type of facility maintenance contractor do you want to use? There are local, metro, regional and national. Additionally, there are companies that self-perform, subcontract, or a mixture of both. There are also 3rd party companies that will act as a call center for your stores.
  • Where were the bulk of your previous maintenance changes made in the past (electrical, plumbing, general maintenance, construction, etc.)? You will want to make sure the contractor you pick has the ability to perform all the trades you are in need of.
  • If you are phasing in a facility maintenance company, do you know the locations you would like to start with and possibly expand into? Depending on your needs you may want a contractor that has a large enough coverage area when and if expansion comes into play.
  • Have you researched the out-sourcing process and have strong contracts in place that support your current facility requirements and any future changes?

When you take on the responsibility of finding a facility maintenance contractor for your company it is important to have a strong understanding of what you are looking for. There are many choices, and the more information you have, the more likely you will find the contractors that are best suited for your company’s facility maintenance needs. We hope these questions can help you along your way!

Advanced Retail Solutions, Inc. is a self performing electrical, plumbing, general maintenance, and construction service provider.

Please let us know how we can help make your job simple.

Solution Minded Repairs

BEFORE

How to extend the life your your cart return area.

In the retail world, first impressions have a profound affect on sales. Every store faces normal wear and tear that, when left un-repaired, can negatively affect valuable first impressions. This is especially true when discussing the areas at the entrance of a store. Instead of repairing what is broken, consider leveraging the repair to put preventative measures in place for the future. The following is an example.

The cart return area of small box retail stores can take a beating. It is also one of the first things a customer sees when they enter the store. In many situations, there is nothing more than drywall to guide shopping carts to their appropriate spot and installing a cart corral is not an option. This can create a situation where the area is constantly in need of repairs.

One of our technicians went to a job site where he was faced with the challenge of repairing the cart return area at the store. He found that there was extensive damage from the metal shopping carts hitting the drywall. If he simply chose to do a drywall repair, the store would continue to have the damage from the carts hitting the wall and would need to continue to repair the area.

Our technician suggested the use of alternative materials to repair the cart return area. He choose to use wainscoting to create a more attractive and durable surface.  This gave the area a custom tailored look that showed a higher level of craftsmanship and reduced the need for future repairs in the area.

The automatic response to this repair would have been to correct the existing structural damage. Our technician choose to think about why the repair existed, not just about what the repair was. He created a solution minded repair that would last!

AFTER

Advanced Retail Solutions, Inc. is a self performing electrical, plumbing, general maintenance, and construction service provider.

Please let us know how we can help make your job simple.

Facility Maintenance Best Practices

What is a “Best Practice”? 

A Best practice is a technique or a process that has continuously produced superior results in comparison to other techniques and processes. A Best Practice is constantly evolving as new resources and challenges emerge in the business environment. Simply put, a Best Practice is learning from the experiences of others.

Best Practices are a great tool for all businesses in any segment. Benchmarking your internal processes to Best Practices in Facility Maintenance is a great way to improve what you are currently doing.  The important thing to remember when implementing Best Practices into your business is to customize the practices to fit the needs of your company.

Best Practices can allow your business to:

  • increase competitive advantage
  • increase sales and develop new markets
  • reduce costs and become more efficient
  • improve the skills of your workforce
  • use technology more effectively
  • reduce waste and improve quality

At Advanced Retail Solutions we are constantly improving ourselves and seeking new and innovative Best Practices to implement into our organization. Sometimes these changes can be challenging but in the end we always find it to be worth it! Because of the volume of service calls we perform, we frequently come across effective Best Practices for our clients. 

Listed below is the table of contents for our Best Practice series. This is just the beginning of this list! Check in frequently to see new additions.

Advanced Retail Solutions, Inc. is a self performing electrical, plumbing, general maintenance, and construction service provider.

Please let us know how we can help make your job simple.

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