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Customer Stories

Nationwide Grocery Chain

Nationwide Grocery Chain hero.JPG


The logistics of managing over five million sq ft of space in eighty-four grocery stores across twenty states was challenging for the nationwide grocery store facilities maintenance organization. The chain’s facility managers sought a single-source provider that could handle its HVACR and building systems, scheduled preventive  maintenance, unscheduled on-call repair/replacement services 24/7, as well as minor construction projects for the total building.

With the project partially funded by 5 percent of sales, the managed services provider needed to adhere to strict contractual requirements and stay within budgetary guidelines to keep the stores operational and fiscally responsible. Specific challenges faced by the nationwide grocery chain facilities maintenance group were to find a managed services provider that could:

• Organize and mobilize its in-field, trained and equipped
technicians, and their regional supervisors within a short,
two-week start-up period
• Meet a two-hour emergency response time, even to the
remote locations of some installations
• Qualify subcontractors with specialty skills in various
building systems, including fire systems, security systems,
overhead doors, automatic doors and generators, who were
capable of responding 24/7
• Adhere to extensive reporting and invoicing requirements


The nationwide grocery chain solicited bids for the managed services program, beginning with a pilot that included forty-one grocery stores in nine states. If the pilot proved valuable, the program would be expanded to other maintenance groups.

Nelson Refrigeration (Nelson), a Hussmann company, had an extensive knowledge of the chain store’s systems and equipment and an excellent business relationship with the group’s management. The company had provided HVACR service to the group for over twenty years and completed a variety of construction projects including remodels, new stores and design-builds.

Faced with the daunting task of running multiple sites dispersed across numerous states, the nationwide grocery chain sought to hire a single-source service provider to handle its facilities management needs.
January 2014.

A comprehensive solution meets agency specifications

Nelson approached Trane U.S. Inc. (Trane) about teaming up to submit a proposal to the nationwide grocery chain. The two companies partnered as a single-source provider to offer a comprehensive solution to meet the bid specifications and requirements. Trane offered integrated facility management and equipment maintenance services experience, contract management and administration capabilities, and enabled data management and call center services. Nelson would perform all maintenance operations with field technicians and regional supervisors, and planning, scheduling, safety management, training, estimating and procurement.

Trane with Nelson were awarded the bid to perform comprehensive facilities maintenance services 24/7/365 in a centrally managed services program for the supermarkets predominately located in the southeast region of the United States. Management, supervision, mobile technicians, tools, parts, materials, call and dispatch center, and Comfortsite, a web-based facility data management system, are provided for performance of:

• Maintenance and repairs of HVAC and refrigeration systems, cooler and freezer cases, fire protection and life
safety systems, security systems, electrical and plumbing systems and fixtures, dock systems, wall systems, flooring, automatic sliding and overhead door systems, commercial window systems, roof systems, and interior/exterior lighting
• Restoration/renovation projects
• Locksmith and key services
• Refrigerant management services


Trane and Nelson jointly organized to manage and deliver scheduled and on-call unscheduled services for the nationwide grocery chain, providing them with greater control over store assets. Implementation of the forty-one store managed services pilot program proved successful with improved facilities and equipment, and reduced operating and capital expenses.

The Trane-Nelson team delivered excellent quality of service and cost control performance and developed outstanding customer business relations on the nationwide grocery chain Facility Pilot Program. As a result, the nationwide grocery chain used the pilot model to expand to other grocery stores.

The return on investment for the managed services program supported the nationwide grocery chain’s decision to source whole facility maintenance services for the remaining stores in three other regions of the U.S. In addition to the forty-one original pilot stores, the Nelson-Trane team is now providing services for forty-three additional stores located in eleven states, contributing to the chain’s business mission.