Case Study: Metropolitan Market

Grocery Store Improves the Shopper Experience by Modernizing FM Operations with ServiceChannel

Customer

Metropolitan Market, a specialty grocery chain headquartered in Seattle, operates seven stores in the Pacific Northwest. Since its founding in 1971, the company has focused on offering customers a selection of highly curated foods and goods including the “ripest fruits, the rarest cheeses, and the freshest seafood and dairy products.”

Its small facilities management team and network of outside contractors are responsible for ensuring that the in-store experience for customers matches the high quality of the foods and goods. The company’s commitment is that customers enjoy a “comfortable, convenient, inspiring environment” at all times, at all locations.

Challenges

Previous to deploying ServiceChannel, Metropolitan Market outsourced FM operations to a third party company who managed the contractors and in-house technicians at each store. The company hired a senior FM expert in 2016 who conducted an operations assessment, which revealed:

  • Lack of a proper asset management process or status reports
  • Little to no automation of work order management
  • Unacceptable levels of difficulties in dispatching the right contractors for work orders
  • No practical way to even verify that contractors had been dispatched for open work orders

Goals

Based on the assessment, Metropolitan Market decided to implement an FM technology solution that would give the company better visibility into its operations and a way to hold contractors more accountable to their service level agreements. The evaluation criteria included finding a solution that would let it:

  • Easily tag every important piece of equipment at all locations, and track each asset’s status according to key performance indicators
  • Track spend by asset and asset type
  • Make more data-based, informed repair or replace decisions throughout the asset lifecycle
  • Verify that contractors accepted their work orders and could update the company on dispatching status
  • Integrate all contractors into a single work order management platform to streamline management as well as the invoicing and payment process (e.g., enable providers to invoice through the system)

Solutions

Metropolitan Market considered a number of service automation and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) in its thorough evaluation process, which included the option of building a custom system. Ultimately, the decision makers selected ServiceChannel Service Automation due to a number of factors such as the platform’s user interface, enterprise mobility functions and the ability to integrate with other systems through an open application platform interface (API). Key ServiceChannel functionality deployed includes:

  • Mobile App, to let all store employees open work orders on the spot. The Metropolitan Market FM team reports that this has resulted in a “dramatic drop in issues going unreported”
  • Asset Manager and Asset Tagging, to help the company better track total cost of ownership (TCO) of all equipment, and to more easily identify frequently recurring problems. Metropolitan Market has now tagged every asset it wants to manage through ServiceChannel including fridge/freezer display cases, scales, food slicers and wrapping stations
  • Analytics, to generate monthly KPI reports such as the number of work orders per location or the top ten assets that created work orders. The company also analyzes vendor-specific data to stat-rank contractors in areas such as completion rates, cost overruns and on-time check-in
  • Field Tech Manager, to use internal technicians more efficiently and strategically as the “first set of eyes” on an issue before dispatching outside contractors
  • Planned Maintenance Manager, for better visibility into all recurring and routine work orders such as air/water filter replacement, fire suppression systems checks and janitorial services
  • Invoice Manager, to process every invoice digitally and enable approvals in a few clicks. The company has also integrated Invoice Manager and its accounting software, which expedites the payment process

“We are getting a lot more things done, and doing them more quickly since deploying ServiceChannel. Most importantly, we are seeing the condition of our stores improve as there are fewer unresolved or unreported issues.”

Justin Williams Facilities Manager

Benefits

Metropolitan Market reports that it has achieved the operational visibility and the vendor accountability that served as the primary motivation for transitioning to service automation. Specific benefits include:

  • Reducing total costs significantly by eliminating the third party management company
  • Tracking the status of all work orders at all times, including knowing when a work order has been dispatched and accepted
  • Better and more informed asset repair-or-replace decisions based on key data such as expected ROI

Results

The grocery chain has reported significant cost savings relative to its prior arrangement with its outsourced facilities company. In terms of quantifiable benefits since the ServiceChannel deployment, Metropolitan Market reports:

  • 100% of all critical assets and equipment tagged and tracked
  • 88% reduction in invoice & payment processing time
  • 51% increase in first time completion rates of work orders
  • 76% reduction in average resolution time (in days) for open work orders