By Dennis Bartkowiak, Commercial Kitchen Installation operations manager at EMR
Commercial Kitchen Installation is a specialized service offered at EMR. EMR’s Commercial Kitchen Installation operations manager, Dennis Bartkowiak, pulling on his 20 years of experience, discusses the installation job process and shares pro tips from the field.
Commercial Kitchen Equipment Installation Job Process
1. Quote Preparation
A request for quote is received from the customer followed by the scope of work, which details the needs of the installation job, outlining general equipment necessities from cooking to refrigeration, to warewashing. Customers look to the service agent as the expert in guiding them toward the right purchase to meet their commercial foodservice needs. During this stage, the service agent seeks to discover information like the following:
An onsite visit is scheduled with the customer to review the scope of work and determine the best approach to the job based on the service agent’s recommendations and the kitchen specifications. Spaces vary kitchen to kitchen. This is a key step in the process to ensure the recommendations are sound.
With customer approval in hand, the request to the equipment dealer is made. The request is often times open-ended, as offering options at various price points, allows the customer to make an informed business decision. It’s not uncommon to submit four to five manufacturers of one specific oven, for example, at various prices. Once all details have been compiled, an official proposal is submitted for customer review and selection.
A tentative schedule for the work is set. The installation team contacts the dealers to place the order(s). Service agents rely on the dealers’ lead times to manufacture, ship, and deliver the commercial kitchen equipment. In EMR’s case, we accept delivery local to headquarters in Baltimore, where our installation operation has its home base. Once the equipment is received, the receiving department inspects for any damage. If the equipment is cleared, the customer is contacted to schedule a firm date and time for the install. All equipment is received by the service agent, regardless of the customer’s location. At EMR, this is a quality control mechanism.
4. Installation Start-Up & Review
Factory-trained installation technicians arrive onsite to perform the install. The mechanical aptitude of each technician is an integral element of a quality installation. After the equipment is in place, all utility connections are made and the manufacturer start-ups begin. These are instructions prescribed by the manufacturers for their equipment to confirm it is properly functioning against factory guidelines. A review of these specifications is conducted with the customer that instructs them on the equipment operation, maintenance, and cleaning procedure.
5. Warranty Submittals
At EMR, we have a department dedicated to warranty. The necessary paperwork is completely based on the equipment start-up date. The forms are housed in the warranty department and supplied to the manufacturer for their records.
Customer-supplied equipment can be problematic. In these cases, the service agency isn’t able to complete the full job process, including critical steps like making equipment recommendations, understanding the necessary utilities needed for hook-up, ensuring the right electrical supplies are available, and conducting an onsite visit of the space before purchase. Often times work has to be redone or delayed based on lack of continuity and control of the process, directly affecting the customer’s bottom line.
Receiving all equipment to a headquarter location, regardless of the location of the customer, is critical to the quality of the service. This allows for equipment inspection to take place before dispatching the job. Arriving onsite with the right equipment, the first time, managing the customer’s expectations, and eliminating unforeseen problems is the goal.