Freezer breakdowns and the resulting food spoilage can be devastating for your store. Below are areas to consider in controlling this loss.
- Preventive maintenance – Regardless of the equipment, if it provides a service to the store, it needs regular attention. Developing a regular inspection schedule for refrigeration units and freezers is vital to ensuring your units operate efficiently, effectively, and continuously. During my time working in the pipeline industry, our “Friday Checks,” as we called them, was a weekly preventive maintenance program to ensure all engines were operating correctly and safely because, without the engines, we could not pump the natural gas our customers so badly needed. Preventive maintenance (PM) schedules can easily be developed and scheduled. A preventive maintenance program and inspection is nothing more than taking the time to regularly look at the components of the unit that allow it to run. PM schedules can be developed in-house, through consultation with the unit manufacturer, or PM program software can be purchased specifically to your needs.
- Emergency Preparedness – Whether it is a tornado, hurricane, electrical fire, or some other disaster, your ability to provide for your community relies on your store being prepared to react to any disaster. The link below is OSHA’s tool for developing your own plan. When planning, consider the natural disasters affecting your community. Hurricane preparedness is important in Florida, but not in the Midwest. Earthquake preparedness is a consideration for stores in the New Madrid region of Missouri, but not for regions outside a fault zone. For consideration of product spoilage, ensure you have access to backup generators, either by direct purchase or by establishing a service contract with a supplier, to ensure your store’s ability to obtain a generator and continue serving your community is not interrupted.
Being prepared through the development of a preventive maintenance program and emergency response plan are two critical components of ensuring your store continues to provide for your community.