What is in this article?:
- T&O Refrigeration's success signifies a journey of high excellence in the challenging and ever-changing world of supermarket refrigeration.
- What works: honesty, persistence, quality workmanship, technician education, and treating people right.
Steve Tibbetts: “Being a regionally-based player is a key to our success. When we first opened our Nashville branch, it was a struggle. But now we have found some good people who have been with us for several years. It takes a while to plant those roots when you're expanding into other markets. When people try to expand too quickly, it can lead to their downfall."
Old School Guy Appreciates the New
He’s an old-school guy, but Tibbetts knows it would be foolish to stay entrenched in the past. Therefore, T&O adapts to new ideas, technologies, and processes as needed. A new service format is an example. In the past, technicians were assigned a territory, and were expected to catch service calls and complete preventive maintenance on their own. They’re now assigned a partner.
“One week, a tech catches service calls for his area, plus his partner’s area, while the partner completes his PMs,” he explains. “They switch roles the following week. This enables each tech to complete their PMs with minimum interruption and has resulted in overall reduced service calls and has reduced our store leak rate substantially. I’m proud to say our leak rate is single digits.”
All technicians now carry iPhones, which has improved communication and given techs access to email and Internet support.
The company is also upgrading computer hardware and business software (SAMPro, by Data Basics) and is going paperless in August. “This should improve efficiency in many ways. It will allow us to provide more meaningful and timely information to our customers,” Tibbetts explains.