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Goober
25-01-2011, 03:07 AM
Heard through the grapevine that Fridge Rite? (Not sure if correct name?) Australia been forced under, with a well known supermarket chain being the biggest debtor? Can any of our Aussie friends clarify?

jobeobrien
25-01-2011, 03:31 AM
Frigrite has shut its doors, Coles took all its work, and Woolworths also pulled its work to my knowledge
City Refrigeration Holdings have taken over the Coles contract

lawrence1
25-01-2011, 03:59 AM
Very sad to see a large company go down,,,many good techs are looking a job now,,,,you can blame the big 2 supermarkets and city for that.

Tesla
25-01-2011, 04:04 AM
I went to Mcalpine for a job interview 10 days ago (unsuccessful) the service manager said Frigrite were in trouble. Mcalpine had a new contract where they employed six service techs.

Magoo
25-01-2011, 04:41 AM
Friggen super market chains. They think they rule the world.
Tech's should ban them. Shovelling shyte would be more satisfying, rather than playing there game.
Suggest a tech. revolt, screw everyone. Once the product starts running on the floor, we have an advantage.
Screw them is my theory.

Tesla
25-01-2011, 04:57 AM
Magoo I agree with you but the mighty dollar - we need the work. I shop at Coles every week because I have too BUT I HAVE NOT BOUGHT ONE COLES PRODUCT IN THE LAST 7 YEARS. Monopoly with Coles and Woolworths should be out lawed. Screw them.

mikeref
25-01-2011, 05:39 AM
News to me though haven't had anything to do with above companies for many years. A local Company owner, who i helped train some years ago, used to get alot of work out of "the big two" but in my opinion, putting all your eggs in one basket has always carried heavy risk. Cannot see any sleep being lost from supermarket management. Alot of people here support the smaller outlets that support our local industries.

jobeobrien
25-01-2011, 08:50 AM
NOt the first time the supermarkets have done this in Australia too! Austral got pumped by woollies, McAlpine hussman got screwed over but stayed afloat due to their mutlinational backing.
The 2 big chains have been dictating terms for years, telling fridge companies how much they can charge for gas, parts, labour. They even buy the refrigeration cases direct now to cut out the contractors, and you will love this one, make the fridge company responsible for any warranty issues on those cabinets, gas leaks etc!
They are destroying what was a great industry!

NoNickName
25-01-2011, 10:36 AM
Visited frigrite in August 2009. They looked healthy at that time. I should still have some business cards around.
Hope the best for the employees.

paul_h
25-01-2011, 02:49 PM
Thought there was some employees from there that posted here?
If so I wish them all the best.
The duopoly of the big chain supermarkets here and their practices is one of the reasons why I was worried about ever getting into the supermarket trade here. I seriously did consider it about 3 years ago, but if they had their way, they'd import cheap labour rather than pay for a local service, or run a local company into the ground, which they seem to have done.
So I went to a/c instead

buddy
26-01-2011, 12:49 PM
Thought there was some employees from there that posted here?
If so I wish them all the best.
The duopoly of the big chain supermarkets here and their practices is one of the reasons why I was worried about ever getting into the supermarket trade here. I seriously did consider it about 3 years ago, but if they had their way, they'd import cheap labour rather than pay for a local service, or run a local company into the ground, which they seem to have done.
So I went to a/c instead

The issue is the attitude of the Supermarkets is that Ref contractors are just another vendor, like supplying commodoties, apples or oranges, your all the same, an apple is an apple, lowest bid wins.

I even hear them call Ref companys the Fridge "vendor"?

Tesla
26-01-2011, 01:03 PM
buddy you have a good point but what can we do to protect our industry which made these supermarket chains possible in the first place? No doubt they are watching what we write here. Can we use the refrigerant licensing to our advantage? Should we take over the supermarkets, after all they couldn't work without refrigeration where refrigeration can survive without supermarkets!

buddy
26-01-2011, 01:54 PM
buddy you have a good point but what can we do to protect our industry which made these supermarket chains possible in the first place? No doubt they are watching what we write here. Can we use the refrigerant licensing to our advantage? Should we take over the supermarkets, after all they couldn't work without refrigeration where refrigeration can survive without supermarkets!

You will probably find if you look at the history of the different contractors serving several different supermarket customers there was a tipping point where one company "broke ranks" and went in really really low to win all the work.

Mr Supermarket found he could get the same for less money and has held out since.

It happened in the UK and in the US, some would say that is business.

I am afraid it is the Refrigeration industries own fault...its the reason some refrigeration companies will not touch Supermarkets with a barge pole.

Tesla
26-01-2011, 02:24 PM
Thanks for the insight buddy. I think it's time we closed ranks and took it all back with compensation. I'm sure our biggest refrig companies are bigger than a single supermarket chain, we could and should take the advantage here. They tend to go for national/state contracts and purchase our manufactured cabnates with just a few refrig companies. We could get the advantage through contract law and contracts with clauses on our side if only we played the game like they do. We as an industry need to work as a team together instead of competition with each other (in this instance). like in the old days with the old boys club (not that I agree with this type of game). But if they want to play by those rules we need to learn and play better. There are many ways that I know would work but they are not positive and my nature prevents me from writing them.

paul_h
26-01-2011, 03:28 PM
Yeah, bottom line is one company went as cheap as it could go being forced too (promise of lots of work, so low $ but high frequency making it still viable) and then someone else just offered cheaper.
problem with that is the original contractor knows what they are doing and their rates reflect that, the lower bidder might be bitting off more that they can chew, not have the expertise or knowledge to take over, ie bid low because they underestimated and things are going to go to cap for both parties in the future.
That's why I hate supermarket refrig, the supermarket and their owners or any big business. They see $$ more important than level of service. Then it bites them on the arse later, service drops, income drops, but the people responsible have left.

jobeobrien
28-01-2011, 04:36 AM
Yeah, bottom line is one company went as cheap as it could go being forced too (promise of lots of work, so low $ but high frequency making it still viable) and then someone else just offered cheaper.
problem with that is the original contractor knows what they are doing and their rates reflect that, the lower bidder might be bitting off more that they can chew, not have the expertise or knowledge to take over, ie bid low because they underestimated and things are going to go to cap for both parties in the future.
That's why I hate supermarket refrig, the supermarket and their owners or any big business. They see $$ more important than level of service. Then it bites them on the arse later, service drops, income drops, but the people responsible have left.

Now Days they expect that high level of service at the sub basement prices! Have done for years! The worst thing is the refrigeration companies cant band together and hold the supermarkets to ransom as its illegal, a form of coersion. In the last 14 years i have seen hourly rates raise a massive $15, average rate now is around $80 and hour some less, we should all be able to charge the same if not more than a plumber up to and over $150 an hour normal hours, but we have done it to ourselves, you have to lower your rate to get the work, the hourly rate barely moves you have to make money on higher cost of parts. Alot of customers will bargain for $5 an hour cheaper, but wont budge paying extra on a part, weird!

I wish the days of quality came back, you pay for what you get!

Our refrigerant licence in Australia is a joke, they made classes so sparkies could install splits with a 2 day course, one for plumbers. They should have given them nothing. Make a license where a licenced person is ranked your a gold Fridgy, silver, bronze so you know if you want the best you get it, but expect to pay for it!

Just a few thoughts!

I got out of the supermarket trade years ago because the supermarkets demand the best but will tell you how much they will pay for it!

Have a good one guys!

buddy
28-01-2011, 05:31 AM
Now Days they expect that high level of service at the sub basement prices! Have done for years! The worst thing is the refrigeration companies cant band together and hold the supermarkets to ransom as its illegal, a form of coersion. In the last 14 years i have seen hourly rates raise a massive $15, average rate now is around $80 and hour some less, we should all be able to charge the same if not more than a plumber up to and over $150 an hour normal hours, but we have done it to ourselves, you have to lower your rate to get the work, the hourly rate barely moves you have to make money on higher cost of parts. Alot of customers will bargain for $5 an hour cheaper, but wont budge paying extra on a part, weird!

I wish the days of quality came back, you pay for what you get!

Our refrigerant licence in Australia is a joke, they made classes so sparkies could install splits with a 2 day course, one for plumbers. They should have given them nothing. Make a license where a licenced person is ranked your a gold Fridgy, silver, bronze so you know if you want the best you get it, but expect to pay for it!

Just a few thoughts!

I got out of the supermarket trade years ago because the supermarkets demand the best but will tell you how much they will pay for it!

Have a good one guys!

Just spread your eyes over the classified jobs section on this forum and you will see jobs for 25,000 - 30,000 a year for working in London :rolleyes:.

Besides Senior Management positions you very rarely see anything advertised above 40,000, to reach that you have to work all the O/T Buddha sends you, no summers, not seeing your kids grow up and divorce is nearly compulsory.

Gas Engineers/Plumbers rates in London, phew...Google it.

My head is hung low.

Tesla
28-01-2011, 06:33 AM
Guys some sad things being said on this post. My heart goes out to the ones who have suffered from Fridge Rite (workers only) as I know what it's like to be in the same boat.
When will we unite as an industry to set fair rates and contract conditions? not a union as such more of a standard or guild. With the cost of living in this part of the world the highest we need something to maintain consistent quality and a fair bloody go.

mikeref
28-01-2011, 09:16 AM
Guys some sad things being said on this post. My heart goes out to the ones who have suffered from Fridge Rite (workers only) as I know what it's like to be in the same boat.
When will we unite as an industry to set fair rates and contract conditions? not a union as such more of a standard or guild. With the cost of living in this part of the world the highest we need something to maintain consistent quality and a fair bloody go.
Yes, well said and i second this! Unfortunately there is always someone ready to take the challenge and attempt to make a dollar through these companies. Untill this stops, maybe nothing can change.:(

paul_h
28-01-2011, 09:55 AM
Now Days they expect that high level of service at the sub basement prices! Have done for years! The worst thing is the refrigeration companies cant band together and hold the supermarkets to ransom as its illegal, a form of coersion. In the last 14 years i have seen hourly rates raise a massive $15, average rate now is around $80 and hour some less, we should all be able to charge the same if not more than a plumber up to and over $150 an hour normal hours, but we have done it to ourselves, you have to lower your rate to get the work, the hourly rate barely moves you have to make money on higher cost of parts. Alot of customers will bargain for $5 an hour cheaper, but wont budge paying extra on a part, weird!

LOL I charge $80/hr for domestic work. And I'm self employed with no real overheads (just phone and vehicle), and I'm one of the cheapest, I have had people willing to pay more if I charge more because I don't really want the work, many domestic tradies charge more than me.
So if supermarket refrig companies are paying their guys 30-35/hr, it's amazing that many of them are profitable if charging supermarkets less than $100/hr.

750 Valve
29-01-2011, 07:14 AM
So if supermarket refrig companies are paying their guys 30-35/hr, it's amazing that many of them are profitable if charging supermarkets less than $100/hr.


Paul these days supermarket contracts are usually comprehensive and based on a store grading system with a certain amount per store per month.

There are a lot of inclusions and exclusions to it and it really needs the mechanics to be well informed of what is in and out of the contract, if a docket is worded a certain way some times you can get paid for it, describe it wrong and its covered comprehensively and you get no more cash

Goober
29-01-2011, 10:08 AM
Well said and very balanced. Always, always two sides to the story. I'm out of the Supermarket game now and have been for probably 10 years, (been in Mechanical, AC, and now small commercial) I personally don't like the way Supermarkets treat any supplier, but the shrewd heads always win through. Well said again 750 valve, Rep point for you.

Ooops, apparentley I've already rep'd you and need to spread the love around before being able to rep you again.....

paul_h
29-01-2011, 10:17 AM
Paul these days supermarket contracts are usually comprehensive and based on a store grading system with a certain amount per store per month.

There are a lot of inclusions and exclusions to it and it really needs the mechanics to be well informed of what is in and out of the contract, if a docket is worded a certain way some times you can get paid for it, describe it wrong and its covered comprehensively and you get no more cash
I worked on maybe a similar thing in the early 90s.
Performance based maintenance where we were paid a contract to maintain stuff, and we'd maintain it properly so it shouldn't break down. If it did, the repair cost came out of budget or profit.
Hopefully there was some sort of exclusion in the event of a breakdown so the customer still had to still pay for repairs :)

750 Valve
29-01-2011, 11:17 AM
I worked on maybe a similar thing in the early 90s.
Performance based maintenance where we were paid a contract to maintain stuff, and we'd maintain it properly so it shouldn't break down. If it did, the repair cost came out of budget or profit.
Hopefully there was some sort of exclusion in the event of a breakdown so the customer still had to still pay for repairs :)

No, supermarkets don't pay for repairs but there are always exclusions like case lighting and capital items (compressors, condensers, evaps, etc) but for the most part a comprehensive contract means the contractor wears the breakdown costs


By the way thanks Goober, I feel for all the people involved and agree on how bad the supermarkets can be at times but there is a little more to this than just poor Frigrite and bad Woolies and Coles

lawrence1
29-01-2011, 12:28 PM
I hope after the demise of Frigrite that the remaining contractors,,,,Austral/MAH etc get their act together and charge a price which is sustainable for their survival and not a cost that the 2 big markets stipulate otherwise they will end up like Frigrite,,,up the creek.Comprehensive service will send the contractors broke,,,,don't these idiots realise that.

750 Valve
29-01-2011, 09:13 PM
They'd be stupid if they didn't leverage the situation, somehow though I bet they didn't....

mad fridgie
29-01-2011, 09:32 PM
We all feel for those who have lost the jobs, but let me play devils advocate.
You all want cheap groceries, you all want good returns on your investments. The supermarkets then screw there suppliers ( and remember the suppliers allow this to happen).
Thers is a good chance that you pension companies invest in these supermarkets.
It would be intersting what the annual return on investment is for these supermarket chains (equivelent of interest made on money in the bank)

lawrence1
29-01-2011, 09:48 PM
Think about,,,with one less contractor out there what are the other contractors going to do with their prices,,,,lower them??? i don't think so.,,there is less competition now so they may complete a store and make,, oh a profit (what's that)

750 Valve
30-01-2011, 03:14 AM
Think about,,,with one less contractor out there what are the other contractors going to do with their prices,,,,lower them??? i don't think so.,,there is less competition now so they may complete a store and make,, oh a profit (what's that)


I hope they do, and a good one at that!

What goes around always comes around and maybe its time for the companies left to make some cash. You have to factor in that each state has its own state based contractors in the mix as well like Contract and Alliance in Sydney, QAL in the north and west, Hill's, Sims and Gordon down south, etc as well as the tw or three nationals like Hussmann, Austral and Bakers (who are in WA, QLD, Vic and NSW now). So there is no shortage of supermarket contractors out there willing to bid on work and some have less overheads than others....

masterant
30-01-2011, 11:55 AM
It all comes down to the fact while there is comperhensive service contracts any company that is involved is going to find it hard to make any money like the old days. I think WW may have tried to put the wind up frigrite after the senoir managment started to finnally stand up to them not actully meaning to put them under. As for them pulling all there install work thats not correct as there was a job in progress when the shut down call come in. As with coles WW can see a cheaper way of mantaining and installing there equipment at a cost to the refrigeration industry going are the days a the fridgie making heaps of cash out of the supermarket industry. Just like the farmers we are all going to get screwed.

paul_h
30-01-2011, 02:07 PM
It all comes down to the fact while there is comperhensive service contracts any company that is involved is going to find it hard to make any money like the old days. I think WW may have tried to put the wind up frigrite after the senoir managment started to finnally stand up to them not actully meaning to put them under. As for them pulling all there install work thats not correct as there was a job in progress when the shut down call come in. As with coles WW can see a cheaper way of mantaining and installing there equipment at a cost to the refrigeration industry going are the days a the fridgie making heaps of cash out of the supermarket industry. Just like the farmers we are all going to get screwed.
Wait what? The fridgie making heaps of cash? It's one of the lowest paying trades except for motor mechanics. Every electrician, plumber, builder etc has always earned more because they have unions, lobbyists and laws behind them. Fridgies have nothing, hence others can get an arctick licence even if not a fridgey.
I left the trade in 1998 because it paid stuff all. Only came back because rates got to $30/hr.
But hell, I don't personally know any fridgies, just friends doing general work getting more than $30/hr (like security, office work, delivery work, drivers etc).
So there's never been a gravy train in the trade, and still isn't even in non supermarket work.
As far as farmers, they are normally set up well, just have bad years due to weather. That's different to always being crapped on and being a low paying trade year after year.

masterant
31-01-2011, 05:27 AM
Maybe u need to move to another state as the gravy it flows freely in my houshold. as for anyone getting an arc tick licence installing single headed splits under 18 kw is not being a fridgie thats just cash work. either way miles off topic.

750 Valve
01-02-2011, 11:36 AM
I agree, the gravy paid for a lot my goodies over the years, on most job sites supermarket guys are paid more than sparkies and plumbers (not counting blokes that subcontract - I mean those on wages). Yeah I found out Frigrite had a few WW installs on the go at the time of demise. There is a difference between standing up to someone and alienating 2 of your 3 ONLY customers....

lawrence1
01-02-2011, 11:55 AM
I really hope that emaining large contractors sit down and think about what's happened to Frigrite (minus the bloody bean counters) and have a serious look at their clients.Do you see supermarkets going broke?????Hell no,just the companies that set them up and maintain their most precious assets,,,REFRIGERATION,,,for God's sake wake up to yourselves or you'll end up like Frigrite,,,up the bloody creek.
Lawrie

paul_h
01-02-2011, 05:02 PM
I agree, the gravy paid for a lot my goodies over the years, on most job sites supermarket guys are paid more than sparkies and plumbers (not counting blokes that subcontract - I mean those on wages). Yeah I found out Frigrite had a few WW installs on the go at the time of demise. There is a difference between standing up to someone and alienating 2 of your 3 ONLY customers....
Oh well ,then maybe just WA as I have never earned more than any sparkie or plumber, and even people doing non trade unskilled work often equal or better me.

Old School
21-02-2011, 04:30 AM
have been sitting here reading the above posts and comments on frigrite WW and Coles, and realy hate to state the obvious that untill the big names in the refrigeration industry grow a set and stand up to the supermarket chains then we will continue to remain a sub section of the supermarket industry or be coles little bitch like city fm.
30 yrs in the trade has taught me that u cant fix stupid, and untill we do then bend over and touch your toes cos here comes the big supermarket chains.

mecks
21-02-2011, 08:22 AM
No pt in blaming the supermarket giants. They run their business to maximise their profits. Frigrite must have diversified its portfolio, which they didnt. The worse part is their management changed about an year and half back. These blokes knew nothing about refrigeration. When you say ph chart they thought you are talking about phone numbers!! Pitiable part is this company had some 1000's of manyears of world class experience which the new management allowed to be blown off in just 6 months:confused: . If only they had used that experience wisely, they could have spun Coles and Woollies around their fingers. But then you need some wisemen on the board. You can't run a companay with "bored" members of high ego and low refrigeration IQ mate!!!

Tesla
21-02-2011, 12:25 PM
mecks good defense for the supermarkets but at the end of the day they blew it for them selves. Sure the company said may not have been perfect but screw them (supermarkets) anyway all they give a crap about is money/profit for their investors. They should be regulated - it is our food chain they are playing with. Just wait for the repercussions. They have been too greedy and will at the end of the day make the whole of us (society) suffer and there is some thing like antibodies in society.

improver No1
22-02-2011, 12:00 PM
Fridge rite are still going strong my brother is a project manager for them in Austrailia.

lawrence1
23-02-2011, 07:56 AM
Don't think so.
The door has shut.

NoNickName
23-02-2011, 08:23 AM
Fridge rite are still going strong my brother is a project manager for them in Austrailia.

Since when you don't hear from him?

pooletable
27-02-2011, 08:32 AM
I work for City Fm, and laugh at peoples perceptions of how the Coles/City partnership works..
Snooze ya loose i say...we here for the long haul folks, get used to it...

lawrence1
27-02-2011, 10:05 PM
So why did someone up top jump ship recently?

improver No1
13-03-2011, 10:10 PM
Since when you don't hear from him?

Well I spoke to him 8th March 2011 and he knew nothing about them closing any doors and said work is going strong.

lowcool
14-03-2011, 01:14 AM
feburarys asx status
http://www.delisted.com.au/Company/9243/FRIGRITE%20LIMITED

Magoo
14-03-2011, 04:01 AM
Comprehensive service contracts should be black listed, in totum. They are for the convenience of bean counters, a one up fixed price for refrigeration service and repair, per annum. Forecast it wrong and company goes to the wall.
Ask a super market for a one up fixed price for a loaf of bread spanning a period of 12 months with a fixed supply contract, reveiwable after 12 months, and the reaction would be, get ######. So what is different for refrig service. We all eat bread and food commodities.
Has everyone figured out how super markets actually make money on the so often publisised low margin per item, it makes my blood boil when I here that garbage in the press all the friggen time, that is here in NZ of course. I do not imagine the formula changes inter-nationally

mikeref
14-03-2011, 06:38 AM
One local supplier of fresh produce to Woolies can wait for some months to get paid while everybody that shops at these outlets pays before leaving. What happens to the dollars at the end of every day? Why the time lag in paying their contractors? I think the money is invested in overseas markets at the expense of every contractor that has had the thumb screws applied. Want a tax break, build another store, but get someone who thinks they can make a living from them to supply services at rock bottom prices, then charge the public what they wish, cutting out the small business owner of a corner store in that location. You think they pay the same price for electricity as we do?.. Mike.

AUScooler:-)
06-04-2011, 10:13 AM
Is Hastie buying up some of frigrite?

Goober
07-04-2011, 08:21 AM
Now Hastie.........there's another one reported to be in trouble......Ahhhh, ya got love the the fridgie grapevine

750 Valve
08-04-2011, 01:31 PM
Is Hastie buying up some of frigrite?

.................No.

Brian_UK
01-05-2012, 10:51 PM
test post---------

Goober
02-05-2012, 06:13 AM
Test post received....over.