Facility & Maintenance Management

Today’s Management of Dispersed Portfolios of Chain Stores

May 12, 2022

Managing a dispersed chain of stores requires constant coordination of work, ongoing communication, and management of multiple interdependent processes. Technology is becoming an integral part of management to support decision-makers and the end-user. In this post, we present an outline from the expert meeting “Technology supporting chain store management - a real vision for tomorrow"  during which Grzegorz Kossakowski, EMBA - Empik Group, Magdalena Chojnacka-Gabriel - LPP S.A., Adrian Stolarczyk – AmRest, Adam Hołownia - Auchan Retail exchanged experiences and discussed key industry challenges and opportunities during the panel “Today's management of dispersed portfolios of chain stores”.

What Are the Main Challenges of Managing a Portfolio of Dispersed Chain Stores?

The main challenge is that the facilities are dispersed across different locations and regions. Each day, a variety of entities need to be interacted with. Keeping documentation up to date and maintaining compliance with regulations is critical. To meet these challenges, elaborate management and quality assurance processes must be implemented by a large group of people. In addition, each facility has its maintenance plan that should be aligned with the overall plan of the chain stores to achieve synergy among them all. For facilities that are scattered all over the globe, a standardized scheme of activities is essential to facilitate day-to-day operations. It is challenging to implement standards. This can be achieved through technology and applications that allow users to access all the data related to their area of responsibility and make their analyses and action plans based on it.

The most important aspect, in this case, is to have accurate information about all facilities, including their location and status, as well as access to real-time data about the maintenance activities performed at each facility (such as inspections or repairs). In this area, collaboration with subcontractors should be on a long-term basis since it is important that they already know about the facilities and their specifics.

Chain stores where people come every day need to maintain safety as well as aesthetics.

What Is the Difference in Maintenance Between Freestanding Retail Stores and Those in Shopping Malls?

In freestanding facilities owned, managed, and administrated by the brand, there is a member of the technical team working there on a daily basis. Managing facilities in shopping centers is partly the center's responsibility, but there is also close collaboration with external technology providers, which tends to be long-term.

The prevention of defects is essential in managing a distributed portfolio of chain stores.
There are many installations, so responding quickly and understanding the installation is important because if there is a failure, the store cannot function, which is inconvenient for customers, and a financial loss for the company. For a brand, i.e. a simple shutter issue is a big loss because the store cannot be opened.

A restaurant chain's operations can be divided into 2 technological areas. A dedicated company is contracted for the equipment and machinery used in food processing, and the second area is building maintenance.

Which Management Processes Should Be Supported by Technology? What Is Difficult About Its Implementation?

Using technology makes work easier, so it should be supported for every process. Changing the mindset of those not inclined to use mobile apps, then training them in how to use this form of work, is the most challenging part.

The use of management support tools is about continuous improvement and learning, which is also a demanding task.

In Terms of Implementing a New Tool or Technology, What Is Worth Focusing On?

It is very important to involve all users of the system. The most important stage is the training carried out by the provider of a given technology and the provision of training materials (explanatory videos, manuals, presentations, templates, and more) that can be used repeatedly; this is important in the case of employee turnover and team growth.

Moderators of the discussion - Dariusz Meres & Adam Penkala

How To Prevent Problems – Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting is a systematic process of solving problems that is often used to find and correct problems in machines, electronic devices, etc.

The integration of troubleshooting into the system supporting the management of a distributed portfolio of chain stores saves time for system administrators first and foremost.
This is an added value for the customer because the order does not go to a vendor without being checked first, so the customer avoids unnecessary costs.  

How To Leverage Data Analytics?

SLA testing allows for detailed billing of companies. A great value is also the ability to generate reports of failure frequency or costs of individual facilities for comparative purposes, both installation of equipment and the facilities themselves. Building groups of the stores that have recurring problems and taking specific preventive actions or training, e.g. for operators of individual devices, is crucial. Without the data generated by the system, it would be difficult to take preventive actions or eliminate recurring problems, and failures.

Summary

Real estate management is a continuous and long-term process in which quality and commitment are most important. To raise the standard of operations, it is worth going hand in hand with modern technology and several solutions available on the market. Many aspects of management can be automated using these, resulting in better decisions with the aid of data analysis.

A special thank you to all media partners of the event on "Technology supporting chain store management - a real vision for tomorrow":

PropTech.zone, Proptech Foundation, Wydawnictwo CentraNet | Magazyn B2B Galerie Handlowe, Retail Journal, PMR.

Written by:
Karolina Włoch
PropTech Expert

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