Rick Stein Group brings in system to track its 800 kitchen equipment assets

PADSTOW, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19:  People queue outside Rick Stein's fish and chip shop on August 19, 2013 in Padstow, England. Over recent years, the traditional Cornish fishing harbor town has become one of the countys most popular holiday destinations, helped in part by the establishment of a chain of business by celebrity chef Rick Stein and the popularity of the local area as a domestic UK holiday choice for people including the Prime Minister David Cameron and his family. However the tourist boom has had a downside for some residents, with second home buyers driving up property prices and forcing some local people away from the town.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The Rick Stein Group has selected Real Asset Management’s (RAM) comprehensive system to track and improve maintenance processes for a kitchen asset base that currently spreads across more than 20 sites.

RAM’s solution will provide a centralised database of crucial asset information and a detailed log of all work planned and completed.

Founded in 1975, the business has grown over the years and includes 10 restaurants, 4 luxury cottages, a cookery school, fisheries, a gift shop, a patisserie, a deli and 40 guest bedrooms. Whilst the heart of the business is in Cornwall, it continues to grow its presence nationwide, establishing bases in locations that include Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire.

RAM’s system will be used to record and track information related to the maintenance and running costs of the company’s 800+ asset base. This will mainly consist of large and often expensive industrial kitchen equipment such as ovens, fryers, fridges and freezers.

While currently in the preliminary stage of importing asset data, the company plans to utilise RAM’s mobile maintenance app to ensure the central database is kept up-to-date, using the latest in portable, handheld technology.

Before selecting RAM, maintenance information was stored on spreadsheets and communicated through internal emails. Moving over to a specialist system will allow this information to be accessed by any authorised employee that requires it.

Ian Fitzgerald, operations director at the Rick Stein Group, commented: “Collating all of our asset information within one location will give us greater cost visibility between all departments and monitor expenditure.

“We initially thought that the company was not of a size to warrant dedicated software. However, after evaluating the functionality on offer, we were confident that using RAM’s system would help us to reduce costs and provide a good Return-on-Investment.”

One of the key objectives of adopting RAM’s solution was to improve work scheduling processes and move from a largely reactive maintenance environment to one that predominantly consists of planned works.

“Due to the fast-paced nature of the business, we have traditionally carried out most of our asset maintenance as problems occur. With the new system, we will now be aiming to shift the current ratio of planned and reactive maintenance from a 40:60 split to 70:30, significantly reducing expensive break-downs,” added Fitzgerald.

To help optimise work scheduling, the company will have access to a comprehensive maintenance plan calendar. This will allow the business to create work orders quickly for routine tasks and schedule them into the desired cycle, i.e. weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. Jobs can be created on a drag-and-drop basis and colour-coded by priority, giving the business good visibility on which tasks need to be completed in which order.

In addition to contractor management, the software will provide the company with the ability to log information about work orders that are carried out by its own maintenance team, enabling the company to manage its internal resources more effectively and keep a record of where work has been carried out and by whom. This information has not been tracked in such detail in the past and the company will be analysing it to expose hidden costs.

In-depth reporting tools and graphical dashboards will assist the company in making decisions on whether to replace an asset or have it repaired.

“Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will provide valuable information regarding what is being spent on maintenance and how often work is being carried out. With data automatically collated and readily available, we will now be able to identify trends in equipment performance, maximising unit efficiency,” explained Fitzgerald.

The integrated health and safety certificate functionality will provide a useful service to the business. With the software in place, the company will be able to ensure that all of its essential documents are adequately managed. Having information instantly accessible will also provide more of a grasp on when certificates are due for renewal and when deadlines are approaching.

The Rick Stein Group has opted to have the system hosted on RAM’s cloud platform. A driving factor in this decision was the flexibility and capacity it offers, while also giving senior managers more control over access. Utilising the hosted platform will save the business and its internal IT resources time. The company will have all of its database backups stored for them and when upgrades are required, they will be carried out by RAM.

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