Upgrading a nationwide grocer’s maintenance program

SMS Assist


A nationwide grocery chain struggled to maintain consistent, high-quality facilities operations at its 450 locations. Each of the grocer’s locations was responsible for its own facilities maintenance operations. And without a consistent program in place, there were no standards for diagnosing problems, sourcing and dispatching providers, service follow up, or invoice handling. Over time, brand quality suffered across the grocer’s entire portfolio. After a thorough review and consultation, we developed a facilities program that centralized the company’s facilities operations, created new efficiencies, and gave it the tools to spend more effectively. This was especially critical in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many grocery chains to dramatically cut costs.

Pain points

Low visibilityPoor service qualityDiminished brand value
The grocer had no system in place to manage its facilities program and the flow of its facilities spend categories.Since each store was left to its own devices to source and manage service providers, service quality was often inconsistent, with providers delivering lackluster fixes—and often off-schedule.Inconsistent service quality across the grocer’s 450 locations led to a decline in overall presentation and brand quality, which risked damage to customer trust.

How our program made a difference

Established a single point of contact
Whenever the grocer has a facilities need, store managers know they can get in touch with a dedicated contact—one with expert knowledge of their portfolio and unique maintenance needs.

Connected the grocer to our network of 20,000 vetted providers
We removed the trouble, time wasted, and the uncertainty involved in finding the right provider for any given maintenance request. Our network of trusted, qualified, and insured service providers is available for work in 55 trades.

Provided 24/7/365 access to operations and subject matter experts
In-house teams of facilities experts are always available to the grocer to diagnose an issue, review quotes and proposals, and offer personalized support. Expert help is available over a dedicated hotline, via email, or through the customer portal.

Rolled out a preventative maintenance plan
Our plan extended the life of mission-critical assets like HVAC units and refrigeration systems, and reduced the need for sudden, reactive repairs.

Improved first-time fix rates
Correctly identifying an issue and dispatching exactly the right provider is key to getting it fixed the first time. Our work order triage and dispatch processes greatly reduced the need for return trips, boosting location performance and optimizing spend.

Connected all work, assets, and stakeholders in one place
The grocer had no widespread, centralized tool for managing facilities work or sharing important knowledge with its teams. That’s where One by SMS Assist™ comes in. Our cloud-based facilities management platform became a single source of truth for anything happening at the grocer’s locations.

Key takeaways

  • Streamlined and centralized facilities operations for all 450 store locations
  • Improved first-time fix rate to 82% within the first year
  • Managed 257 capital projects throughout the grocer’s portfolio in 2020