Setting up a planned maintenance program in the foodservice industry is easier said than done. Technicians and service companies might hear a wide variety of objections from customers. Everything from budget constraints to having a manufacturer warranty is cited as reason for not wanting one.
On the latest episode of the Service Calls podcast, JR Weber, director of sales at General Parts, offered helpful ways technicians can present planned maintenance programs to clients. Below is a quick recap of some of Weber’s tips, so you can deliver a solid pitch or response on the fly.
Discuss Options Prior to Installation
Broaching the subject about maintenance plans during or shortly after the installation process might seem premature to some. However, Weber mentioned that an authorized agency should discuss planned maintenance programs before installation occurs. That way, customers understand how they can maximize the lifespan of the equipment after making a major investment.
“In theory, preventative maintenance and planned maintenance should be discussed with the customer at the point of purchase,” Weber said. “So they understand what the expectations are, how they’re going to get the biggest value and ROI on their equipment and how to keep their piece of equipment up and running for as long as possible without breakdown.”
Stress Cost Savings for Emergency Repairs
Some restaurants or facilities with commercial kitchens might say they don’t have the budget to pay for a planned maintenance program. Weber said that technicians should remind customers how costly it could be when they don’t have a planned maintenance program.
“Planned maintenance really is about avoiding breakdowns at inopportune times,” he said. “Not only is it going to increase the longevity of that piece of equipment, which is already an investment because the equipment today is expensive, but [planned maintenance] also is really going to keep it running to avoid those very expensive emergency service calls outside of the warranty period.”
Explain Why the Pros Should Do the Work
Most commercial kitchens have staffs that conduct routine cleaning every day and week. Of course, some preventative maintenance tasks throughout the year require more than just cleaning. Weber stressed that technicians should emphasize how preventative maintenance is more than just cleaning.
“[Maintenance] is anticipating the breakdown, ohming out elements, checking out motors and really doing a deep cleaning on the fans and high-priority components,” Weber said. “[High-priority components] that often fail and catching those failures before they actually happen.”
Want to learn more helpful tips for setting up planned maintenance programs for foodservice customers? Check out the full 12-minute episode on FERmag.com or wherever you listen to podcasts.