Installation in more than 100 supermarkets per year – is it real?


Andrii Shevchenko, the chief engineer of Ralco Technic, which provides a full range of refrigeration services for retail companies, answered questions from All Retail.

– Andrei, tell us briefly about your professional experience.

– I received my education at the Odesa State Academy of Refrigeration, specializing in refrigerating machines and installations. Gained experience mainly at enterprises related to food processing and storage. He worked as a service engineer, shop manager of MHP company, and chief engineer of a project on the construction of a large fish processing plant in Africa, a food company in the Middle East. In Poland and Azerbaijan, he was engaged in the design of refrigeration systems for distribution centers.

— What processes are you responsible for at RalсoTechniс?

— For the development and implementation of new developments, for the commissioning of refrigeration systems abroad, and control of installation work, I also deal with issues of modernization of old ammonia equipment at industrial enterprises. Since the beginning of the year, our company began to work more actively in the markets of Central Asia, where my role is to help in the selection of equipment for foreign partners, collect technical documentation and solve current issues.

— What are the current trends in the use of refrigeration equipment in the retail sector?

— Ukraine is unifying the legislation with the European Union, including what concerns refrigeration units, so the unequivocal trend is systems with the alternative refrigerant R744 (СО2 ) and Waterloop systems. During 2020, we developed and installed more than 20 facilities of various purposes and capacities in Europe on CO2, in Ukraine, there are only a few such facilities, as far as we know, retailers are actively working in this direction, receiving EU grants for the implementation of such a system. We were the first in Ukraine to develop and install it in 2018, and then quickly started supplying and installing CO2 to the EU. Today, thanks to foreign experience, we adapt production processes to our realities and can completely cover the needs of the market. I can say that today we clearly understand that the needs of retailers are not only reliable or innovative equipment.

— If it`s possible, tell about it in more detail

 — We will break down the process of launching a new store into several stages:

• Capital construction
• Supply of refrigeration furniture
• Supply, installation and commissioning of refrigerating equipment
• Start of operation of the store

We do not interfere in construction, we already work on ready-made objects; furniture is supplied by manufacturers who take into account the design of the store, layout, and other parameters. We connect at the stage when the planogram of the store with placement has already been created. At this stage, the customer’s needs include the speed of work execution, quality of supplied equipment, acceptable price and quality of furniture assembly. For a furniture supplier, the quality of installation and assembly is important. For the installation team, it is important to have equipment at the site on time, connected communications, and the availability of equipment and components for the successful performance of work. At the operational stage, we take into account the interests of the store staff and service engineers. Important for staff are: convenient location of elements, protection of the system from accidental damage, access to control panels, quick navigation of the equipment, if it is necessary to submit a request for service. Conditionally, the seller only needs to name the number of the refrigerator, and thanks to electronic systems, we can review the reasons for the violation of standard operating modes. For a service engineer, the convenience of replacing components, the convenience of maintenance, the availability of technical documentation, and the availability of spare parts are important. All these processes require constant control and communication, approvals, and most importantly, that someone is responsible for the result, able to quickly solve the problems that arise, and they are always there. Therefore, in our company, each client has a personal project manager who essentially acts as his representative, ensures that the interests of the client and all interested parties are respected, and tasks were completed on time. Our clients know exactly what is happening at each stage of work. The completed work is evaluated by an independent quality control department, the final evaluation affects the motivation of all personnel involved in the project. According to the results of 2020, the average rating for projects is 9.3 out of 10, I consider this a good result. — How many stores do you install per year?

— Over the past year in In Ukraine, we installed equipment in more than 70 medium and 20 large supermarkets, we also completed retail works in Poland and Azerbaijan. If you count across all countries, we open a new store approximately every 2 days, but this is not the limit, we can do much more.

— Faster means more expensive?

— No. The cost of installation depends on the volume of work, the cost of components, and logistics. At the same time, we really use only reliable European assembly components, which are more expensive than existing analogs. As a result, it is more profitable for the client to use more expensive installation systems because modular systems allow to reduce the installation time, reduce the number of customer calls due to breakdowns, and at the same time increase the service life of the system. And the savings, in fact, are more than 50% compared to cheap counterparts, plus it’s our image. I really like the bicycle analogy. For example, you choose between 2 mountain bikes that look the same, but their cost is radically different. So, overpaying for a more expensive bike, you get a light aluminium frame, reliable switches, mechanisms and pleasure even from long trips, and buying a cheap one – constant fatigue, the need to carry a set of tools for adjustment, squeaking mechanisms and regret the money spent on it. It is important for clients to be focused on business development, confident that they are receiving high-quality services, and not to be distracted by solving any problems. — What is needed to get such a result?

— Take risks, have a good team, and your vision, to help clients promote their services on a global scale. Absorb the new technologies that exist and help the market make the transition to new global practices. Imagine that we take a system that works perfectly,


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