NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- Genuardi Super Markets here is using a new computer program to improve its monitoring of refrigeration systems.
Through a software package at the corporate office, the retailer is compiling records from all 23 stores, enhancing its ability to identify and fix equipment problems, said Thomas Brodowski, facilities manager.
"The computer in our office prints graphs and copies of service orders. It tells us how many times this rack went down or this piece of equipment failed," he said. "From that we can tell which equipment has been on the heavy maintenance side, and which ones are causing the most headaches.
"From that information, we can say, 'Maybe we don't want to use that equipment anymore. Maybe the quality isn't there,' " Brodowski added.
Genuardi has been electronically compiling information on leakage rates, service records and other store refrigeration systems data for about three months, Brodowski said, adding that a majority of the chain is now on-line.
The program is an enhancement of Genuardi's manual method for tracking its refrigeration systems -- a log in each store in which employees recorded all repairs and refills. Information in the logs is now being entered into the central computer.
Of most importance are the records each store keeps on how many times a coolant system was recharged or repaired for leaks. "If we service it and fill out a service ticket, that's input into the computer," he said. "That way we can track how much refrigerant we're losing per store, per year."
Centralizing all store information also helps the retailer prepare for possible audits by the Environmental Protection Agency, which requires extensive documentation of systems performance.
"The EPA wants all kinds of information," Brodowski said. "They want to see how much refrigerant you bought and how much you use in new stores; how much you leak. If your leakage rate is over 35%, you've got to have detailed service records showing that you went in there, found and repaired those leaks. Otherwise there's a large fine to be paid."