Glab Maintenance Services
Successfully executing multiple store projects.
Some have said they would rather build new than remodel. How true that is considering also the numerous variances in each store that need to be considered when remodeling or refreshing multiple locations at one time. As economic growth continues, and deferred work piles up, the challenge of successfully executing remodels, refreshes and rollouts needs attention.
Clearly Define Specifications
Step one is to clearly define the specifications. The general scope of work and affected stores will have already been determined at this point. The key in eliminating surprises when the project starts is to plan for them ahead of time. Create easy to read specifications. Also, provide the specs for the store manager so they are aware of what is to be done.
Clearly define any shipment of materials. How will the shipment be tracked to know that it is on time? When it gets to the store, who will be responsible to keep it separate and secure? A relatively minor delay in materials management at one store during a rollout project can delay other stores.
During the bidding process some adjustments to the scope of work can be caught and possibly changed. Then when the project is awarded, have the contractor again walk through prior to the project with store management. Analyze and document any approved changes before work begins.
Throughout this phase, also have the contractor review any requirements for permitting and landlord or mall requirements. Since the store will likely stay open, any work done during the day or overnight will have to be coordinated carefully — including any security or lock-in requirements.
Build a balanced timeline to meet the deadlines for completion. When handling multiple stores, have a timeline for the facilities team so that projects are spread out evenly. Consider the structure of the department also since the repair and maintenance work at all other stores may still have to be kept up with simultaneously.
The facilities team should also have any adjustments to the scheduling that may be made at the store level reported back to them. A conference call with the store and contractor can be beneficial a few days before the project begins. If working with a national service provider to coordinate a grouping of these, include them in all conference calls or even invite them to your corporate office to be a part of such discussions. Though this may seem somewhat time-consuming and extensive, diligent planning makes for a much smoother project.
At specified times, have progress reports submitted by the contractor and store over the phone or via email. Most often this should be a daily requirement. How much progress has been made? Were there any problems encountered? Is the deadline for completion still on track?
Providing supporting pictures should be a requirement. This helps the facilities team to visualize the project and identify the unique situations at each store. Contractors should have the means to send pictures directly from the site using a phone or even a laptop. Such pictures need to be clear to show enough detail and not too broad so that nothing stands out. If a contractor doesn’t have the means to send such pictures, perhaps the store can assist.
When problems come up, do not let emotion overrule reasonableness. A qualified contractor or national service provider will not only present the problem encountered, but a solution to it. Compare that with the experience of the facilities team and move ahead with the most reasonable solution to the problem.
National service providers should keep in close contact with store management to get feedback on the project, including comments on the quality of work and professionalism of the crew working. This feedback will be helpful in knowing what the crew can improve on if they are being used for other stores in the rollout, or for other projects the national service provider will use them for.
The final walk-through should allow store management to be with the contractor and clear up any punch list items and make sure the project is closed out properly. The facilities team should monitor this final walk-through so that critical details are not overlooked.
Upon completion, follow the same steps as at the beginning. Have communication with all involved. What was learned? What could have been done better? What would have made it easier for the store? the contractor? the national service provider? the facilities team? Then document this so that it is not forgotten. While the store and local contractor will move on after the project is done, the facilities team will be right back at this next week, month and year!
A rollout, refresh or remodel can do a lot to add to the value and sales of a store. With proper planning, reporting, communication and documentation, we can execute these successfully!
— Evan Glab is the owner and founder of Glab Maintenance Services, which has been providing nationwide maintenance and repairs since 2003. He can be reached at [email protected].