Meet Our Team: Curtis
Meet Our Team: Curtis
Douglas Equipment has a great team. Our employees are what makes us who we are.
Recently we got with Curtis, head of our service department, to discuss his role at our small company, his experience, and to ask for his expert advice. Below we have transcribed the interview for you.
How would you describe your job at Douglas Equipment?
Never a dull moment. The wonderful part of it is that it is always evolving and changing, I guess that the upside to working for a growing company.
What does running the service department entail?
In most companies in the repair industry I would simply be scheduling service calls as a dispatcher, but because we participate in installations and are a small business as well, the job requires that several different hats.
- Dispatching service calls
- Ordering parts for customers
- Performing site visits
- Evaluating and designing kitchen layouts
- Construction estimating
- Project management
- Onsite job management and implementation
- Materials acquisition
Not to mention the Fleet and property maintenance for the Douglas campus.
What recommendations would you give to keep foodservice equipment running smoothly for longer?
First and foremost for any refrigeration, always keep the condensers clean. This alone will save you a service call and add many years to your units. For equipment that is connected to water (coffee makers, ice machines, combi ovens, etc.), always have a filter inline. Hard water and scale don’t play well with hot water tanks or evaporators. Also, always change the filter per the manufacture’s guidelines.
What types of foodservice equipment does your team repair or install most frequently?
Refrigeration of various kinds, from ice makers to walk-in coolers. These tend to be the regular offenders and what we are asked to install most often.
What types of businesses does Douglas Equipment repair and install equipment for?
Anyone and everyone that has a commercial piece of equipment. From university kitchens to plastics factory break room ice makers.
Does your team work locally? Or have you been sent to other parts of the country?
I would say that we enjoy the local work and love our local customers. We have been known to travel a time or two or three. The service team has been to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Illinois, and several more locations in the surrounding states.
What changes, if any, have you noticed in the foodservice industry since you began working for Douglas Equipment?
The combi oven has taken the high production kitchens by storm. Everyone that we install them for that has never had one falls in love with it after using it. Technology, in general, has had a major impact on how we cook, everything is getting smarter it seems.
With COVID-19 affecting supplies, how hard is it to acquire parts and equipment for repairs and installation?
I would say that we are no different than any other industry when it comes to supply chain issues, unfortunately. Be it parts or materials or equipment, we all are facing some uncertainty on a delivery date when we place our orders.
What can foodservice operations do to cope with supply shortages?
If you’re talking construction then the smartest thing would to create a staggered or overlapping construction plan. Realizing and accepting early on that everything you have ordered may not arrive at the same time due to shortages is step one. Other than that, plan your operations around what you do have currently and what will have the greatest impact on your production in the near future. Get that ordered first and plan off of that what should be next based off of lead times.
When and why did you decide to work in the foodservice industry?
It was all happenstance really, I worked customer service, foodservice, and construction jobs through high school and college. I guess it was only natural that I would find my way into a job that required knowledge of all three subjects.
We would like to thank Curtis for participating in our interview series. He is a hard-working employee, truly wearing many hats and serving many foodservice enterprises.