by: Santiago Jaramillo H.
More than being a simple supplier of refrigeration equipment and services, companies demand from contractors a greater accompaniment in their cold processes, which would allow them to be more efficient when exercising their productive activity.
Representatives of companies in the poultry, meat and dairy sector agree that although they currently have relatively good attention, advice and supply from their refrigeration contractors, they need to go a little further in the search for solutions to meet the expectation of their customers.
They recognize that the characteristics that involve a good contractor are several: solidity, seriousness, good technicians, good products, stock of spare parts and speed of delivery and, above all, a good response to the needs posed by the client.
Precisely in this aspect, Yaqueline Garcés, representative of the Department of Assemblies and Maintenance of the Cooperativa Colanta Ltda., one of the most important companies in the dairy sector in Colombia, maintains that "the main need of the Cooperative in terms of refrigeration is the low coverage at the national level, both in capital cities, and in municipalities of the Atlantic Coast, Pacific, center of the country and the Cundiboyacense area in terms of advice and support in the design, selection, installation and maintenance both corrective and preventive and monitoring of the condition of the refrigeration systems that allow compliance with current legal regulations, through duly qualified personnel available 24 hours a day. "
Likewise, Luis Blasiak, industrial manager of the Uruguayan company Nirea S.A. - Frigorífico San Jacinto, goes a little further by stressing that the refrigeration system plays a central role in the entire production process of the refrigerator and that is why the importance of having a good accompaniment, "the colder the greater the amount of tons of production. In our particular case, cold is used in pre-cold or maturation chambers and other types of accumulation chambers or lungs, in refrigerated aisles, in the continuous cooling chamber or shock chamber, in the cooled product tanks and in the frozen product tanks."
Blasiak warns that the systems used in the Nirea S.A. - Frigorífico San Jacinto plant have screw compressors with oil injection, with ammonia as a refrigerant fluid, which requires effective supervision and control.
Meanwhile, a representative of the Colombian poultry industry, who asked not to reveal her name, nor the company in which she provides services for the management linked to chicken production, said that "preserving the cold chain in this industry will always be a challenge, but if you have the accompaniment and active advice of a contractor or refrigeration supplier the production work will be more efficient."
Better service, better productivity
The refrigeration contractor is an extension of the human resource necessary in companies to execute the maintenance plans of refrigeration systems, also fulfills the role of preserving in the best way the operation of the equipment that participates in the cold chain, through the development of preventive maintenance plans, corrective and programmed.
One of the recommendations made by industry representatives with a view to improving this reciprocal business relationship, and therefore of good functioning in production, between refrigeration contractors and their users, focuses on thinking about customer service and the particular needs of each one. Having good products, with their spare parts and a good customer service department, are items that they take for granted should be a priority.
"Establishing permanent contact with the maintenance area, presenting new technologies or the evolution of products, providing training to plant personnel for both operation and maintenance," is something that the industrial manager of the Uruguayan company Nirea S.A. - Frigorífico San Jacinto highlights as necessary.
Meanwhile, our guest from Cooperativa Colanta Ltda. highlights that a good way for the refrigeration contractor to do their job better is through the implementation of concrete guidelines in relation to the development of work plans and programs related to the maintenance of equipment that are governed under the PHVA scheme.
"For us it has been a success story to take into account the contractors in the plans of continuous improvement and training of the technicians, making them participate in many of the benefits that the cooperative offers," garcés acknowledges.
For her part, the representative of the chicken processing company in Colombia recommends as a priority to establish an unrestricted contact with the client by the refrigeration contractor, as this allows him to have first-hand knowledge of his needs and difficulties in the production process.
"When service is bad, everyone loses; the customer loses, the company loses, the employees lose and, of course, the suppliers are also affected because their customers will surely look for better options. That is why an excellent service is more profitable, more attractive and leads to the success of the company, "says the Colombian guest.
He also adds that "it is important to listen to the client in order to establish a better strategy and work on the requirements or failures of the service."
In all relationships there are always problems, that is clear, and more if it is one in which the production of a company is involved, but the important thing about it is not to stay recriminating and looking for more inconveniences in the problems, but to find in these strengths with a view to achieving success.
That is why we wanted to ask the industry representatives what were the main difficulties they faced in their relationship with their cold suppliers or their refrigeration contractors.
Faced with this questioning, our guests indicated that the main failures are:
-Failure to respond time when a service is requested.
-Delay in the delivery of spare parts or in the performance of services in the maintenance of machinery.
-Delays in delivering documents inherent in billing for services rendered or collection of spare parts.
-Teams that have not responded to their theoretical capacity.
-Lack of reaction on the part of the contractors to untimely problems inherent in the proper functioning of the equipment.
-Failures in the processes of advice, training, monitoring and control.
-The responsibility of companies and / or suppliers of spare parts and services regarding guarantees is insufficient since the support is minimal and the consumer must assume high costs in terms of money, production and time due to the delay in a response by the supplier.
In summary, it can be said that compliance with certified technical skills, experience in years of work on refrigeration systems, honesty, integrity and recursion when executing your work as a contractor, in addition to the sense of belonging and responsibility that gives you to do the job well, properly following the principles and guidelines of each company, they are values that in the contractor play a preponderant role and determine the success in their activity.