Managing a supermarket is a challenging endeavor because it requires constant attention to two priorities at once – maintaining the highest-quality products and selling them, and keeping costs low and the budget under control. Often, these two goals are directly at odds with one another, and managers have to make difficult decisions about which come first.
"When it comes time to trim money from the budget, supermarket maintenance is one of the first areas that managers look."
When it comes time to trim money from the budget, supermarket maintenance is one of the first areas that managers look. Heating, cooling and refrigeration are major expenses for store managers, and any way to manage them more effectively is worth exploring. Potentially, this could mean outsourcing the maintenance function to a partner who can handle it more efficiently.
According to an IDCON blog, it's worth taking a moment to consider the benefits of outsourcing and how they can apply to your business. What elements of your operations are best handled in-house, and what should be left up to someone else? Christer Idhammar, a reliability and maintenance management consultant at the organization, explored the question.
"If you consider outsourcing, you should always ask yourself why a contractor could deliver lower costs and better reliability than you can with your own organization," Idhammar explained. "The provider will most probably argue that they can implement better reliability and maintenance processes. This might very well be true, but they also must make a profit on top of that. You have to ask why you do not have the leadership in place to do that yourself."
Different degrees of outsourcing work better for different businesses. Here's a look at three varying approaches:
Outsourcing all maintenance
If your business needs help with all maintenance processes, you might be best served by outsourcing the entire maintenance function to an outside company. This partner can provide materials, labor and logistical support to help your supermarket better meet its many needs.
Outsourcing specific processes
Perhaps one aspect of maintenance is easier for your business to handle than others. Maybe you can handle heating and air conditioning just fine, for example, but you need help with refrigeration. If there's just one specific process your business needs help with, that can be arranged.
Outsourcing support during times of crisis
Alternatively, you might have a solid grasp on your day-to-day affairs, but need help when adversity comes your way. For example, if and when a refrigerant leak happens, will you be ready to address the crisis? If not, outsourcing might just be the solution you need.