The Efficiency of Mechanical, Refrigeration, and Energy Equipment

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Over 50% of all mechanical, refrigeration and energy equipment isn’t running as efficiently as possible. At Vixxo, our specialists provide tailored solutions that help our clients achieve their operating goals. Experienced professionals like Vixxo’s Rick Watts provide an unmatched layer of expertise.

As the VP of Corporate Operations for Vixxo, Rick works across a Vixxo’s diverse portfolio of clients in the convenience, grocery, retail and restaurant industries. Over his career, Rick has owned several businesses, providing general contracting and mechanical maintenance services. He has over 40 years of experience in the industry, specializing in commercial construction and refrigerated store houses

He is a lifetime member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers and holds certifications from that organization, as well as from the Association of Energy Engineers. Rick provides expert recommendations on a wide variety of maintenance topics, such as:

  • Improving first-time fix rates.
  • Accurately diagnosing equipment failures.
  • Using facility data to empower maintenance programs.
  • Identifying ways to gain cost savings.

Learn more about how Vixxo helps facility leaders optimize their mechanical, refrigeration and energy maintenance programs:

Q: Regarding mechanical, refrigeration and energy needs, where do you typically see room for improved efficiency?

A: There are several areas where facility managers have an opportunity to drive efficiency. Cost management is one, data utilization is another, as is relationship management when it comes to technicians.

Roughly 50% of equipment isn’t operating efficiently at any given time, so gaining the ability to track equipment performance leads to a more optimized maintenance program. When facility managers are able to collect and analyze granular data from HVAC equipment, they can make more accurate predictions about when and how those pieces of equipment should be maintained. 

Compliance is another issue facility managers need to consider. The EPA revises its refrigerant guidelines on a near annual basis. Facility managers often lack the time to accurately assess their refrigerant use across locations, so that’s another area where an expert can provide actionable guidance. 

Q: Where do you see opportunities for facility leaders to improve their maintenance program?

A: Many of our clients have distributed locations, either spread out across a region or the entire country; senior stakeholders may not have the time or resources to keep their eyes on equipment at every location. Solutions like asset tagging, warranty tracking and service-level agreement monitoring can help facility managers gain greater visibility into equipment performance and maintenance needs.

Working with technicians requires careful attention to detail. Our Trade Specialists and customer service representatives have the training to be well-versed with technicians in the field. Often, you see that some reps don’t have the working knowledge to ask the right questions. For instance, call center representatives may not have the critical knowledge to make proper diagnoses, and that can lead to lower first-time-fix rates. Our service center reps do have that experience, so they can get to the core of the issue quickly and start working on a solution as soon as possible. 

Q: What’s one mistake you see frequently?

A: Using preventive maintenance as a cost lever can have unintended consequences down the road. Perhaps facility managers intend to perform quarterly preventive maintenance on equipment, but as the end of the quarter gets closer, the budget looks thin - so they push the maintenance to the next quarter. It saves some money in the short term, but potentially increases costs later on. What is a minor repair today could become a catastrophic failure in a month.

Q: What is unique about Vixxo’s approach to equipment maintenance?

A: Vixxo has a team of highly skilled Trade Specialists who have extensive experience in their respective fields. They support our client’s equipment maintenance needs in a variety of ways, such as clarifying root-cause analysis results, validating diagnoses and providing recommendations.

Meanwhile, we have a layer of technology that helps our clients manage their maintenance costs effectively. We leverage more than 45 million data points to ensure labor rates, and work order duration times are consistent with region-specific industry standards. Any cost deviations are addressed before the client pays a bill, eliminating any need for tedious reconciliation.

Q: How do trade specialists support client needs?

A: One of the reasons companies may find it difficult to optimize their current maintenance programs is a lack of experienced technicians. The Department of Labor has reported that the U.S. is facing a wide-spread shortage of blue collar workers.

Our Trade Specialists fill this knowledge gap with customizable support. A technician may be able to tell you that a motor has failed, for example, and that it needs to be replaced. But they might not be able to explain why the motor failed. A Trade Specialist can check the diagnosis, collect operational data and determine the root cause of the failure. So maybe you only need to replace a component within the motor, not the whole thing.

Q: How does Vixxo go above and beyond for its clients?

A: We tailor our solutions to the needs of our clients. Our ability to expertly assess and monitor equipment management programs places us in the best possible position to help our customers succeed and grow.

Not only can we identify the best technicians for each job, we help maintain strong relationships with those professionals. Our analytics solutions ensure that facility managers are aware of the status of every piece of equipment for which they are responsible. Beyond maintenance of existing equipment, we can help clients better understand how to adopt green technology and assess the ROI of capital projects. We have the expertise available to help with anything related to facility management. 


Vixxo’s solutions are highly customizable. Rick, our vetted network of service providers and team of Trade Specialists can empower your organization to optimize its maintenance program. 

Key benefits include:

  • Expert knowledge and decades of industry experience.
  • Seamless collaboration between technicians, facility managers, Trade Specialists and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Data-driven cost management.
  • Improved equipment efficiency and productivity.

To learn more about how Vixxo can support your organization’s mechanical, refrigeration and energy needs, schedule a call today.

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