Inspecting and Reporting Field Outages

At any given time, at least some of a retailer’s locations have sign and exterior lighting outages. The percentage of outages largely depends on the company’s inspection and reporting process. Do you know what percentage of your retail locations have outages right now? Probably not.

To better maintain your location signs and lighting, you should have a reporting program in place that is both consistent and a high priority. By doing so you will largely reduce the percentage of outages at your locations.

In a study we performed at MX Services, two retailers in the same business, both with similar exterior signs and lighting, were analyzed to determine the number of field outages at each location. Night surveys were performed visually, with the following results:

Retailer A had outages at 52% of its locations

Retailer B had outages at just 8% of its locations

During a two-week follow up, it was found that Retailer A had only repaired 4% of those outages, while Retailer B repaired 100% of the outages reported.

Why was there such a big difference between the two retailers? Inspections and reporting. The responsibility fell on the local managers at Retailer A to inspect and report outages. Some of them perform the nighttime inspections of the property as directed by their home office, while others are only calling in when a customer or an employee notices the outage. There is a definite lack of consistency and priority.

At Retailer B, night inspections are performed on a monthly basis by an outside firm. That company is responsible for visually inspecting each site and reporting all outages. Repair orders are submitted from the reports, streamlining the entire process.

Most retailers have some type of inspection and reporting processes in place. Having a consistent program in place for your company will dramatically lower the amount of outages you have and will keep your image looking its best. Well-lit signage will also keep your cust

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