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Prevention always beats cure....when it comes to cost savings

How is the Arolite approach to catering equipment maintenance and repair different?
The traditional, reactive approach to catering equipment maintenance leads to customers getting caught out by unexpected break-downs, uncertainty about repair costs and repeat repairs that throw good money after bad. Arolite take an innovative approach to managing catering equipment to prevent unnecessary breakdowns and down time; an asset management methodology that puts control back in the hands of our customers.

Can you prove your approach to commercial kitchen maintenance works?
Our diagnostic approach is tried and tested and proven to work. Picturehouse Cinemas for example has benefitted from Arolite’s asset management methodology for over a year now. They are seeing measurable results including cheaper equipment purchases at higher specifications and time savings of up to 40 hours per month:

 “We cannot fault Arolite, they are wonderful and save us around two hours each day of management time previously spent chasing up engineers, identifying equipment and pacifying our on-site staff. Arolite have had a huge positive impact on our operation”, Facilities Manager, Jamie Dunstall.

Asking customers the question “why do you need to call an engineer out?” and thereby identifying the root causes, creates the opportunity to look at the performance history of commercial kitchen equipment such as commercial ovens, commercial refrigerators and commercial dishwashers. We put an agreed preventative program in place, which can include maintenance, refurbishment, recommendations for the right replacements or staff training in the appropriate usage of equipment.

How can I keep track of costs?
Director David Khanna clarifies: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. We use a state of the art asset tagging, grading and fault logging system to measure the equipment lifecycle. We continually hear from multi-site operators that they have cost control issues because of a lack of cost visibility, often repairing the same problematic equipment time and again. We ensure the right sourcing of equipment for our customer in the first place, and then repair or replace it as necessary over time using specialist engineers. We deliver impressive first fix rates and above all, we provide excellent communication and responsiveness to save our customers time, money and stress”.

What types of company do you work with?
We are ideally set-up to partner all major, multi-site commercial catering operations as seen by our clients in the food, retail, leisure and charity sectors. Clients such as Google, Dunelm Mills and Ginsters. We are independently assessed and certified to ISO9001:2008 quality management systems and ISO14001:2004 environmental management standards. We carry on going from strength to strength since we started almost a decade ago and we continue to lead the industry in becoming more customer-centric, cost-conscious and generally smarter in the way catering equipment maintenance operates.

Why Arolite?
CEO Vinod Khanna explains: “We are traditional in our values. We’re all about the customer and doing right by them and agreeing a catering equipment maintenance and repair program that is appropriate for our customers’ needs and budget. It’s a bit different from the normal, reactive way of working, but once a client experiences our proactive, full life cycle approach they see the benefits of not having to chase engineers and costs.”

For more information, you can view the results from our 2016 customer satisfaction survey.

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Great catering equipment support starts with ‘Why’, not ‘How?’
It is understandable that when we meet a prospective client for the first time their questions focus on;

•    How much are your call out fees and hourly labour rate?
•    How many engineers do you employ?
•    How quickly can you get an engineer to site when things go wrong?

We believe the first question should be ‘Why is our equipment breaking down?

Rather than dealing with just the symptoms we like to deal with the root causes, helping you become proactive rather than reactive. This begins with a proper assessment of the equipment. 

If this assessment shows: 

•        Poor maintenance, we look at a suitable maintenance programme to reduce expensive equipment breakdowns.

•        If it is user misuse we will look to work with the clients on the training of onsite staff and we will screen out these calls before an engineer attends site.

•        If it is equipment selection we work with the client to ensure they get the right equipment based on its application and their budgets.

•        If it is to do with design or parts we use our expertise to work with the manufacturers to resolve. 

And of course at the point that an engineer is required we send a skilled engineer to site, with the correct parts and expertise to get the equipment back in service as quickly as possible. 

Having started with why, we can focus on what.

We ask potential clients ... ‘Do you have an accurate idea of what equipment you have on site and its current condition?’

Because if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it as the old adage goes.

Yet we continually hear from multi-site operators they have issues with cost control, where they;

•    May not have visibility of costs until the bill(s) come in;
•    Could have replaced the equipment for the cost of the repairs;
•    Are constantly repairing the same problematic equipment.

We work with our clients to employ a full asset registration system for each and every item of commercial catering equipment they have on site. We then use this asset register as a database on our systems, to measure and manage the activity and costs on our client’s behalf. 

We work with our clients through good communication and reporting to put cost-control measures in place. These include;

•    Pre-authorisation limits 
•    Escalation & quotation procedures 
•    A suitable replacement strategy once the equipment is at the end of its economic working life on site. 

This strategy has led to our clients saving much more than a few pounds on the engineer’s call out fee or the hourly labour rate! They also have the added peace of mind knowing all our activity is carried out is within the safeguard of our independently audited quality, environment & Health & Safety systems.

We hope this offers you some food for thought when choosing your next catering equipment support provider

David Khanna 
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Sharing our experience with the Chartered Institute of Personal Development
Arolite has been featured by the Charted Institute of Personal Development in a 3rd research report this month. 

Syrita Foster Arolite's HR and Finance Manager commented: "We have been happy to participate in these major CIPD reseach reports over the last 18 months, because as an organisation we are commited to the highest standards of service delivery for our customers, and this is only possible through an ongoing investment in our team. As a Charted member it is important to me that we share our exprience with an important organisation such as the CIPD."

You can view all three reports below:

- CIPD April 2015 research report
Making maximum impact HR professional SME

- CIPD July 2014 research report 
Recruiting and developing talented people for SME growth  

- CIPD May 2014 research report  
Keeping culture, purpose and values at the heart of your SME 
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