The Service & Maintenance Specialist of the Year award recognises the service and maintenance providers that come to the rescue when it’s most needed.
Whether it’s efficiently carrying out PPMs or ensuring high first-time fix rates, such organisations are the unsung heroes of the kitchen industry.
We are delighted to announce that the 2021 shortlist includes the following companies:
With an increase in clients from within the care industry, Crystaltech has invested in larger van stocks to achieve higher first-time fix rates for warewashing machines and a reduction in the need for ordering parts and repeat visits. New protocols were introduced to provide assurances to this sector, including enhanced safety practices and the introduction of monthly ID badges showing testing and results of engineers. Crystaltech has acted to preserve its high staff retention rate by investing heavily in ongoing training. Separately, it has taken steps to recruit outside of the warewashing industry in order to attract new talent from the white goods sector where many individuals have enviable customer skills. New engineers undertake an intense, purpose-built in-house training programme that lasts three months.
New product development initiatives in the microwave category have kept Marren busy this year as it has also focused hard on maintaining a highly responsive service during Covid. Its 95% first-time fix ethos requires a consistent and reliable supply of parts, so it significantly increased the amount of spares it holds to prevent supply chain gaps. Two of its directors even stepped into the breach at the height of the pandemic to support the NHS and key customers, backed by a bespoke service management system that ensures sites are actively monitored. The implementation of a £100,000 service system means its Scotland and Northampton offices are 100% and 90% paperless respectively. As part of this system, it has more efficient stock control to avoid unnecessary ordering and reduce the need to ship items.
JLA has worked through the pandemic to provide its customers with a complete product supply and service solution. New working practices were created to ensure all field engineering staff could work in a safe environment, while a new logistics partnership allowed the company to augment its supply chain so that it could focus more attention on the needs of customers. The business has used its experience of the catering and laundry sector to develop new solutions to support its flagship Total Care package, including energy-saving combi ovens, smart washers and ozone disinfection systems. Investment has been made at its contact centres in Ripponden and Manchester to ensure enquiries are dealt with swiftly, while its national network of service engineers are located within a 30-minute reach of customers.
Rational Technical Services
The independent kitchen maintenance firm is one of the sector’s few carbon neutral businesses after a major internal exercise that saw it set a new environmental policy and introduce low-emissions vans to its fleet. It has also developed Kitchen Nebula, a unique piece of technology that it has created in-house to link multiple manufacturers’ portals together in one place and create bespoke customer exception reports. The system automatically creates monthly exception reports for sites, using algorithms that score on multiple factors such as available production space, ideal cooking slots for key products, fault/breakdowns, cooking errors, cleaning and hygiene data. Using open API, the system is able to connect to any equipment brand with connectivity. It is already live with a major high street chain that operates 400 locations.
A clear customer-led approach saw Total QSR cultivate new relationships during the pandemic, including four major service contracts that added £1.5m to its turnover. An extra 10 engineers have been recruited to the business to support its growth, with the company also launching a refrigeration sales and repair service. That has brought new opportunities in terms of coldroom projects and refrigeration maintenance contracts. It provided assistance on compliance, hygiene and sanitisation to help customers reopen after lockdown, making sure that any outstanding remedials from engineer visits were completed. Vans and stores stock were increased during the pandemic to aid engineers’ first-time fix efforts, while a refresh of its van livery has ensured the brand is easily recognisable on the road.
The 2021 FEJ Awards ceremony and gala dinner takes place on Thursday 23 September, the first evening of the Commercial Kitchen show, at the Hilton Canary Wharf.