Expertise and flexibility are in demand


More than 1000 construction sites – that's the annual workload for the installation teams of Epta Deutschland. The scope of their work ranges from installing plug-in refrigeration units to setting up entire markets. This demands flexibility and adaptability, as well as a willingness to travel, as the field service staff of the department travel throughout Germany. Today in Eckernförde, tomorrow in Nuremberg, and the day after tomorrow in Leer. Five teams, each led by a supervisor, specialize in the North, South, Central, Discount, and Furniture sectors, but can also work across different client portfolios. They install refrigeration units and compound refrigeration systems, commission them, and conduct final inspections with customers. This requires experts: the field service staff consist of construction managers, refrigeration technicians, electricians, and furniture assembly specialists. They ensure that everything runs smoothly on construction sites and that all customer requests are carefully and promptly fulfilled. They are technical experts in their field and conflict resolution specialists all in one.

Installing control and regulation technology

As part of the setup of a supermarket, refrigeration technology interfaces with many other trades during installation. The staff ensures that schedules are coordinated and collaboration with all parties involved runs smoothly. Following the installation is the commissioning of the refrigeration technology. Initially, a pressure and leak test is performed, which is a basic requirement for safe operation. After filling with refrigerant, the parameters of the control technology are adjusted. This allows the correct temperature to be ensured for each category of goods. Nowadays, almost all systems are integrated into telemonitoring, allowing the system to be monitored continuously and energy consumption to be optimized.

Prepare construction sites

"The time frames for installation work have become increasingly shorter in recent years. At the same time, customers' demands for quality are rising," says Ronny Böhme, Head of Installation at Epta Deutschland. "The deadline for the opening or reopening of a store is fixed, but if there are delays beforehand, we need to adjust our working hours." The employees in the back office handle procurement, organization, and coordination of subcontractors that Epta collaborates with, and coordinate the assembly operations. They also ensure that everything needed on the construction site is available, from components to waste containers. Additionally, they organize the site inspection by TÜV and Dekra.

Working under difficult conditions

The past two years presented the installation team with entirely new challenges: Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, it was difficult to find hotels. However, work on the construction sites had to continue as usual. It was challenging for refrigeration engineers, electricians, furniture construction experts, and site managers to reduce contacts because they were either working with other craftsmen on the construction site or were busy in markets where customer traffic continued. Nevertheless, all construction sites were handed over on schedule. How did the employees manage this? "We simply didn't lose our sense of humor," reveals the department head, who has been with Epta for 30 years. "Moreover, the whole situation had a positive effect: Video conferences showed us that our communication through them works even better than over the phone. We're going to keep it that way now."

Reinforcement Wanted

In the future, Ronny Böhme aims to broaden the Installation department and distribute the workload among more shoulders, as the number of construction sites is increasing. The tasks in the Installation department are interesting and varied. Employees deal with state-of-the-art technology and possess extensive knowledge ranging from project management to CO2 technology, as well as control, regulation, and data technology. That's precisely why some employees have been working in the department for more than 30 years. They appreciate the benefits that come with working in the Installation team: such as autonomous scheduling of working hours and innovative technology. From manufacturing in the company's own factories to operation in the supermarket, Epta products pass through the hands of many employees. At the end of this chain, the Installation team puts them into operation for the first time and hands them over to the customer. This way, employees see the results of their own work and the work of the entire Epta team. However, the support doesn't end here. After completion, the system is handed over to Epta Service.