Planned Preventative Maintenance: 8 Questions all Businesses need to ask…

Acme Maintenance

Taking up a planned preventative maintenance contract can protect your investment and ensure that you are always getting the best performance from your equipment. Here at Acme we would always recommend taking out a plan, reliability is essential and knowing that your systems are protected is fundamental.

In a busy environment it is easy to neglect your equipment until something goes wrong, which can result in a large bill and loss of output.

But when so many companies claim to be offering top of the range maintenance packages, it is difficult for operators to determine whether they are getting the best package for their money.

Simon Mallett, Commercial Director and Catering specialist outlines the top questions that you need to ask yourself and any prospective preventative maintenance provider.

1. Can the provider deliver what I want?

One size does not fit all and a lot of maintenance providers seem to forget this, it is important that you find a ppm provider that tailors their packages around your needs.

Having said this, it is also important to understand what you want and need from a ppm contract. All too often operators go in without knowing what they want and come out with a gold standard ppm contract when in fact all they needed was a basic package.

Take a few minutes to think about what your company really needs, is it compliance and no more, genuine care for your equipment or partnership and dialogue with your service partner?

2. What is the scope of the work included?

Before signing a ppm contract, make sure that you and your provider sit down and go through what needs to be done to what equipment and how often. Establish the difference between a first service, an interim service and a safety check.

Normal working hours usually between 8.30am and 5.00pm are charged at a standard rate, but if access to your company is restricted at these times then costs may be higher, especially at weekends. Therefore it is important to iron out the details with the provider so that this can be included in your plan.

An annual safety check on electrical equipment is common practice, Gas equipment on the other hand should be checked regularly as should combi ovens and refrigeration cabinets. This is essential in order to maintain performance and extend the life of the equipment.

3. In the event of a breakdown, how quickly will my equipment

    be fixed?

This is probably the most important question you can ask, after all, this is probably the sole reason you are considering taking out a ppm plan. So determining right from the start how quickly your equipment will be fixed in fundamental.

You need to make sure that what you are being quoted is actually going to be delivered by the provider, including what guarantees there are that they will visit your business/s as often as the agreement states.

Therefore it is imperative that you employ a reliable, credible and well established company. Do not cut costs by using a cheap provider, this will only cost you more in the long run.

How do I know if a company is reputable? Look at their client list, their accreditations – are they a member of reputable bodies such as CEDA, Refcom, etc? How long has the company been running? And finally, how competent are their customer service team? These are the people you will be dealing with, so it is important to make sure that your supplier has a professional and competent customer service team.

4. Where is the provider located?

It is important to check where your potential provider is located, do they have one head office or other offices scattered across the country? How many engineers do they have and how many of these are close to your business?

Having engineers in your city/area means that lead times on fixing your equipment will be reduced, having a regional base close by will mean that engineers have access to complex equipment that they may not have in their van stock.

5. How much will it cost me?

Before you sign anything make sure you know the true costs of your PPM plan. It is important to work out how much it is going to cost you over the time agreed, be sure to define what is included in the cost so that you don’t get any nasty surprises six months down the line.

It is important that you invest well in your maintenance package, going for the cheapest option may save you money in the long run, but is something goes wrong with your equipment and you need a fast reactive service, the chances are you will not be covered and you will also have to fork out for labour and parts.

6. What extra charges can I expect?

If you take out a comprehensive package, there should not be any extra charges. However if your business does not require this kind of package, it is important that you fully understand what is included in your package and what you may have to pay for. Do not be afraid to ask questions, if there is anything you are unsure about make sure you have all the answers before you sign a contract, read the small print – maintenance packages can often be complex.

Finally, make sure that your provider gives you a schedule of works that they will deliver for each appliance, so both of you are fully aware of the scope of work included.

7. What Accreditations does the provider have?

Accreditations are not there for show, they are there to tell you that a company can do what they say they can. Some accreditations are more important than others, if you are searching for a provider to maintain your gas equipment, make sure that they are Gas Safe accredited and for refrigeration that their engineers are F-Gas Registered.

Accreditations and the standing of a company in the industry is important and should influence your decision in choosing a supplier, you need to feel confident that your chosen provider has the skills and knowledge to effect a safe and efficient service. Safety accreditations such as Altius and Safe Contractor also show the company take Health and Safety seriously and the works will be carried out safely.

8. How will I know that the work has been carried out?

This is particularly relevant to companies with different estates, knowing that your provider has done the work you are paying for is crucial. Good service organisations will provide job sheets which show that comprehensive checks have been made to your appliances and that they are in safe and working condition.

My final comments? Make sure you read the terms and conditions, know what you are signing up for and make sure that your supplier is reputable, you need to know that you can reply on them to get the job done. Spend some time doing a bit of research on the company, talk to their service department about the different options available before you set up a meeting so that you can bring up certain points you are unsure about and negotiate these.

For more information about PPM plans you can take a look at our website: www.acmefg.com or take a look at our maintenance brochure, we offer our customers three set plans and then tailor these plans to suit your specific needs and requirements.

Acme Maintenance Packages


Acme Acquires Severn Catering Services

Acme acquires catering firm SCS

The Acme Facilities Group, the leading national provider of catering, refrigeration, HVAC and fabrication services announced today that it has further strengthened its National Catering division with the acquisition of Severn Catering Services Limited.

Severn Catering Services also known as SCS are based in Gloucester and have been trading since 1985. They are leaders in their field, providing reactive breakdown service and preventative maintenance cover to a wide range of public and private sector organisations throughout mainland UK.

SCS have a strong network of engineers spread across the country and centred in most major UK cities, in particular, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

“We are delighted with this latest acquisition and welcome Chris and all the SCS employees into the Group. SCS joining the group supports our vision of becoming the customer’s single source solutions provider” said Chris Allen, Group Managing Director – Acme.

“This deal strengthens our engineering coverage and enhances Acme’s expanding catering division while SCS will be able to offer their customers additional services such as the supply and installation of commercial catering equipment, refrigeration and HVAC.”

“It is with great pleasure and excitement that I join The Acme Facilities Group and assist their expansion” said Chris Hopkins Director at Severn Catering Services, “I am looking forward to working with Acme and this deal ensures we can continue to deliver the fast, efficient and reliable service the catering industry has come to expect.”

Since 1964, Acme have established a proven reputation as a company delivering solutions to our clients’ specific requirements and this acquisition further strengthens our capabilities. Our success has stemmed from a proven ability to deliver quality and affordable services on a national scale and the acquisition of SCS is part of our ongoing expansion strategy.

Chris Allen,

Group Managing Director



Acme finally have a blog! We realised that it was about time that we showed you how great we are! Our blog will give you a range of information about the company, what we are doing, any special offers or competitions we have and how the company is progressing throughout the year. We will talk about any major contracts we have, the clients we are working with and the great work we have done for them. But, we also want to show you just how much we know about our industry, so we will be posting regularly about new trends within the market, how you can save your business money and some neat little tips and tricks.

So make sure that you keep checking our blog regularly, so you don’t miss a thing!

A little bit about us, you are here, so this probably means that you know roughly what Acme do, but you might be surprised at just how versatile we are.

We are your single source solutions provider, established in 1964, we specialise in commercial refrigeration, catering equipment, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.

But did you also know that we are experts in kitchen design and we also have our own fabrication team to make bespoke stainless steel solutions for commercial kitchens?

We have the knowledge, ability and expertise to design, install and maintain a full turn-key kitchen fit out and we do this on a regular basis for a wide range of sectors. We also work closely with a multitude of councils in schools and hospitals.

We are exceptionally proud of our after sales service, bringing you a wide range of maintenance packages for your peace of mind. We have been working with Thwaites Brewery since the beginning of Acme, providing them with reactive service work for 1300 accounts mainly maintaining their cellar cooling and line cooling.

Have a look at our website for more information – www.acmefg.com

Or call a member of our sales team today on 01254 277999