By Nicolas Veslin

(5 minutes)

We observe that a retail sales network changes its visual identity on average every 7 years. And since a rebranding requires a strong mobilization of the company and is expensive, the investment must be profitable.

You must therefore organize effective maintenance of your signs and your points of sale. Because a new sign, broken or dirty, gives the same deplorable result on the perception of the customer as an old sign broken or dirty … except that you have just spent thousands of euros to install it.

So as not to throw your money out the window, maintain your points of sale.


Processes, contracts, logistics, management tools, advice and experience sharing … We give you all the answers


There are two kinds of maintenance which correspond to two different needs.

Preventive maintenance which concerns the anticipated maintenance of the installed equipment, such as the verification of the fastenings, the relamping, the functional tests of the equipment. It is organized, planned, controlled. Daily maintenance, dusting, cleaning, are part of preventive maintenance.

Corrective maintenance, which concerns repair of breakdowns, reconditioning following vandalism or the replacement of objects following accidental breakages.

NV • Spacing, or worse, eliminating preventive maintenance and doing only troubleshooting is not a good calculation. On the contrary, the final cost will be higher.

The cost in euros first, because the material degrades more quickly if it is not maintained, because emergency interventions cost more than interventions planned and organized on rounds, and finally because some breakdowns lead to operating loss.

It also costs a lot in brand image, which is difficult to convert into euros but which is very real.

Who wants to enter a store plunged into darkness or whose sign threatens to fall?


The point of sale managers. They are the first links in the information chain. They send repair requests to the Help Desk.

The Help Desk. He collects and processes requests for intervention. He plans the interventions and monitors their proper execution.
This function is provided by the network head or can be outsourced to a specialized company such as IMEI.

Specialized or multi-technical maintenance companies.
Note that the shopfitters who have rebranded the network know the products. They are therefore obviously key players in the maintenance of signs. When the rebranding has been managed by the sign manufacturer, he also knows how to handle maintenance interventions.


The technical scope, that is to say the range of works included in maintenance management depends on each network. Networks place the cursor on Cleaning or Maintenance in sometimes different places. Some networks include equipment modifications (adding or modifying a sign, for example) in Maintenance. Furthermore, depending on whether your stores are integrated or franchised, the technical scope is also variable.

Even if all the networks are different, we can nevertheless list the following main principles which are found in the majority of organizations:

  • cleaning of premises and shop windows, furniture, POS display and poster holders and equipment: Cleaning at the charge of the point of sale.
  • relamping, cleaning of signs, replacement of visual identity products, furniture, equipment: Maintenance supported by the network head.
  • Work to restore floors, walls, ceilings, etc. : at the expense of the franchisee or the head of the network for integrated sites.

The types of work that may fall under the Maintenance of points of sale are:

  • electrical work
  • plumbing work
  • carpentry work
  • soil work
  • repair or replacement of signs or concept objects
  • interior painting work
  • facade cleaning
  • ventilation and air conditioning work
  • escalators and elevators

For very specific products or products with a high security component, such as elevators, the networks call on specialized companies or suppliers of this equipment. For other work, you can call on an all trades company (Entreprise Tous Corps d’État in french).


As for the organization of a deployment project, we will use a work by Workflow. A workflow is the formalization of the sequence of tasks in a process. It describes the sequence of tasks, the stakeholders, the information exchanged.

NV The workflow is an essential tool in the management of multisite projects, whose operation will be repetitive. If your points of sale are all different, the organization set up is part of an established process.

The detail of the workflows is different for each organization. However, the macro tasks are as follows concerning corrective maintenance:

Declaration of failure and Repair Order.
It is, most often, made by the manager of the point of sale who detects a breakdown, breakage, theft, damage by vandalism.

Qualification of the request.
It is made by the HelpDesk, who verifies that the request (Repair Order) falls within the scope of Maintenance and which performs a pre-diagnosis.

Search for an artisan if the sites are not pre-assigned by a framework contract or if the intervention is “outside the schedule”.

Quote / Order

Intervention planning

Intervention and closure of the intervention.

Equipment stock management and warranty / after-sales management.

NV Qualification is important because it makes it possible to validate that the Repair Order falls within the contractual field of Maintenance and that it is not a request for work or a request for additional equipment and control that it respects the guidelines.

It also makes it possible to clearly specify the request; a front sign is not a banner sign, which is not a kakemono … For the intervention to be effective, it is necessary to make the correct diagnosis and not to operate the left leg when the right is broken!

Qualification is essential finally in the contractual framework of a franchise.

The processes are of course different if we consider preventive maintenance interventions, which can be planned and organized in rounds, or corrective maintenance which must be dealt with more or less quickly depending on the emergency of the Repair Order.


These are two fundamental points for successfully managing the maintenance of your network.

The Information relates first of all to the equipment of each site:

  • references of installed objects,
  • names of supplier companies,
  • names of installation companies,
  • installation dates,
  • warranty periods,
  • maintenance sheets,
  • material sheets,

They also relate to the dates linked to each Workflow event, the quantities, the photos, the types of breakdowns, etc.

The use of a Workflow makes it possible to properly organize communication between stakeholders and in particular with point of sale managers. This Communication organization will be integrated into the Communication Plan phase of the Change Management. For quality service and to let the point of sale manager know that you meet his needs perfectly, you must:

  • inform and train him in procedures
  • take into account any request 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • notify him that his request is taken into account after qualification or why his request is not taken into account
  • notify him of the key stages in advancing his request
  • notify him of the date of the intervention

NV Network Heads, do not neglect the communication towards the Site Managers.

They are your internal customers. You offer them a service of maintenance management. And a good relationship with its network is essential for its good health and its development.

To go further, you can set up a monitoring of your network’s satisfaction with the service provided by companies and by your own services. Because improving Quality first involves measuring satisfaction and then implementing corrective actions (see PDCA method).

As part of this continuous improvement, you will not forget to set up, from the construction of your management tool, the pathologies analysis. It will allow you to detect weaknesses on certain product references.

You can advantageously include in your supply contracts a clause linked to pathologies.

CMMS SOFTWARE (computerized maintenance management system)

There are many Maintenance management softwares for the tertiary sector, there is much less for agencies or retail shops. Nevertheless, it is difficult to do without even if you have a small network.

To choose it well, the first thing to do is to define your needs and build your Workflow, ie the process of your maintenance interventions. Your management tool should allow you to follow the interventions on each site and to have an overview in the form of a Dashboard gathering the key, technical and economic indicators.

For a perfect integration of the maintenance tool in your organization, it is very interesting to provide Site Managers with a declaration interface (Repair order). In the form of a web interface and / or a mobile application.

NV Your tool should be able to edit the documents linked to an intervention (estimate, intervention report, etc.), manage after-sales service / guarantees, manage stocks, and follow your workflow to manage information and communications to the relevant stakeholders at the right time with the right documents.

IMEI develops your tailor-made management tool, which perfectly and solely meets your needs for the right cost.

IMEI Services Cloud® is the brand of IMEI which develops project management web tools, maintenance management and business mobile applications.


NV As with a deployment project, Logistics plays a very important role in the organization of your Maintenance management.

We will even talk about Supply Chain Management because it will involve suppliers upstream by building up stocks and downstream by managing the treatment of defective or broken products by their scrapping or repair. The restocking strategy, volume estimation, minimum order quantities, purchase prices, storage locations; all these subjects must be defined before procurement by the project team and the purchasing department.

To help you organize your maintenance management of your network, IMEI provides your Operational and Purchasing departments with a duo of expert Consultants in Supply Chain Management and Maintenance.

Monitoring of stocks is imperative and must be linked to monitoring the consumption of products. Consumption projections help to anticipate the restocking triggers. You are based on past consumption, expected turnover, expected events and supply times. A software will be an interesting ally to monitor stocks in real time and allow this anticipation.

For restocking, take into account the minimum purchase quantities. Indeed, some products will require purchases of raw materials (ABS, aluminum sheets, etc.) in minimal quantities by the manufacturer. The buyer and the manufacturer must be absolutely in line with these minimum purchase quantities which guarantee the sale prices. You avoid litigation, delivery delays, uncontrolled price changes, and for manufacturers: negative margins!

As for a deployment project, the contracts signed with companies and suppliers must describe the liability shift between the manufacturer and the installer as well as the dates taken into account for the warranty periods and their duration.


. AFNOR standard : standard NF EN 13306 gives the terminology of maintenance (in french).


The articles published on are extracts from L’Université IMEI’s internal training modules, the aim of which is to share knowledge, values, know-how and methods with IMEI employees.

Writer :

Nicolas VESLIN
Specialist in concept deployments since 2003

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