Big Y – A Big Success

Big Y is a family-owned grocery chain with more than 60 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, and southeastern New York. In August 2016, Big Y purchased eight Hannaford stores in the greater Boston area and turned to Connectivity Point/Connectivity Group to help with the ‘make-ready’ work related to network cabling and other I.T. infrastructure needed for the turnover.

This project presented some unique challenges:

  • In order to have minimum impact on sales, the turnover timeline was only 4 days.
  • Access to the stores ahead of time was limited, and usually only available overnight or limited to a few morning hours.
  • The network cabling that was needed would need to be completed before many other departments could even start their assigned tasks.
  • Two stores had Pharmacies which required zero downtime.

To help manage the timeframes and complexity of the transition, Big Y hired Bowdoin Construction and CM&B Construction to oversee four stores each. Connectivity Point assigned Len Campbell, RCDD, as the lead on the project and added Estimator/Project Manager Todd Brown to provide support.

The logistical coordination was significant—each store required a walk-thru to define the specific scope of work. Then materials and manpower needed to be coordinated with the local store manager, the GC, Big Y contacts, and other trades, along with negotiating access limitations, permits, certificates of insurance, and the usual last-minute changes to the scope of work.

While Len and Todd wrestled down the scopes of work for each site, Roy Chamberlain coordinated the schedule with Scott Gagnon, who was taking care of man-lift deliveries, and Nate Hamlyn who was purchasing materials.

Part of this project included 12 Ortronics equipment cabinets. These custom cabinets required a lead time that meant they would be delivered only days ahead of the cutover. This added to the intensity of the cutover which would require more than 20 technicians overnight.

By planning ahead and staying proactive whenever they could, the project team was in great shape for the first cutover which went off without a hitch. Following the cutover, the team moved on to the next 4 stores to prep for the following week’s cutover. Everything was looking good and going according to plan, until Monday when a scheduling change moved the cutover from midnight Tuesday to midnight on Monday. A mad scramble ensued and HUGE thank you goes out to all the technicians who answered the call to action. Within just a few hours, technicians were on-site and overnight tasks were quickly attended to. In the end, the project was a success, and the customer was extremely happy.

This was an amazing example of all the things that make this company great—flexibility, professionalism, willingness to take on a challenge, the get-it-done attitude, the customer service focus. In cases like this, there were so many examples of techs going above and beyond. Thank you to everyone involved that made the Big Y a big success!