First Choice Expand Essential Equipment Offerings for Engineers
9 September 2020
First Choice has always been known as being the one-stop solution for genuine OEM catering spares, accessories and consumables. We continually strive to develop innovative solutions to address the challenges faced by our industry and satisfy demand gaps in the foodservice aftersales market. Some key examples of this are in our training division, logistics and investment in technology.
Our dedicated training division, First Choice Training, offers a range of technical training courses for major equipment brands, is an LCL Awards Approved ACS gas assessment centre and offers a specially developed City & Guilds accredited electrical competency course for commercial catering equipment.
The logistics solutions we offer our customers fulfil very real and specific requirements for many businesses working within catering equipment service. From standard next-day and timed deliveries to in-boot, Royal Mail PUDO and ByBox, we offer truly innovative logistics solutions to satisfy any customer needs.
By investing in technology like the lean lifts in our distribution hub, we are able to increase our stock optimisation and pick & pack efficiency.
Through conversations with training course attendees, customers and our manufacturer partners, it quickly became apparent that a demand gap had emerged that needed to be solved; ensuring that service technicians are equipped with the very best catering equipment specific tools, bags, workwear and PPE.
For the last couple of years, we have been working closely with one of our major manufacturer partners, Hobart UK Service, to develop solutions for their service technicians. Our first collaboration was to create a van stock tool kit bag suited to the needs of catering equipment service. The kit we developed provided technicians the option of a standard tool kit bag, or a trolley / rucksack tool bag suited to use in bigger cities where site access is only on foot.
To make the ordering process for this kit as easy and fast as possible for the technicians, we developed an online ordering platform with the available options. The result was that service managers found that technicians spent less time shopping around for tools & equipment and were completing more service calls – so win, win!
Taking advantage of our large UK stock and global supply chains, we were able to not only have the right part for the job, but now also the right tools for the job.
With fast response auto-replenishment systems in place for reordering tools by quantity and value, technician managers at Hobart UK Service saw significant savings in both time and resources. With momentum gaining, we continued to work on further solutions together to simplify the procurement process and reduce resource drain for sourcing sundry or small items that technicians use on a daily basis.
In mid-2018, we launched four additional kits for Hobart UK Service, tailored to the requirements of their technicians:
- Health & Safety Kit
- Gas Safe Kit
- Workwear & PPE
- Equipment Installation Parts Kit
Hobart Service Director Keith Mackie recently endorsed the range of engineer add on products First Choice stock and deliver on a daily basis direct to Hobart Service technicians.
Particularly in the now ‘new normal’ pandemic world where workwear and health & safety on and off-site are paramount for all.
“Hobart Service worked closely with our key suppliers First Choice to bolster PPE supply provisions to enable our field operatives to work safely and have adequate equipment provided for them to carry out their day to day roles.
Compiling new Risk Assessments specifically for supporting workers having to attend sites within potentially high-risk areas.
Regularly communicating to our field service staff and internal employees to provide regular government guidance updates in order to ensure the business remains compliant and in line with current requirements”