CASO DE ESTUDIO

United Rentals' spot coolers and heaters save the day — and the drugs — at hundreds of pharmacy locations

When hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of medication is on the line and a pharmacy’s HVAC system goes down, there’s no time to waste in finding another way to maintain the target temperature. If the temperature remains even 1 degree above or below the specified threshold for more than 24 hours, the medications must be thrown out.

For one national pharmacy store chain with approximately 11,000 locations and aging HVAC units at many of them, it’s a potentially challenging situation indeed. Each pharmacy location holds, on average, half a million dollars’ worth of medication.

Watterson was selected by the pharmacy chain as the primary emergency response vendor and is tasked with providing temporary cooling and heating for locations when the rooftop units (RTUs) must be repaired or replaced.

“It’s critical that we get temporary heating and temporary cooling — especially cooling — onsite and up and running very, very quickly to maintain those temperature thresholds,” said Chris Munkvold, senior vice president of emergency response at Watterson. The window of time for installing a cooling unit is typically a mere to six to eight hours.

Watterson in turn enlisted United Rentals to provide and install temporary heating and cooling solutions to maintain target temperatures while the RTUs are repaired (which can take weeks) or replaced (which can take months). Watterson chose United Rentals because it has the largest footprint in the industry and a commitment to superior customer service.

“Quite honestly, you guys are the best at it,” Munkvold told United Rentals.

Spot coolers and heaters

In pharmacies, cooling is typically the more urgent need. United Rentals often uses 1-ton spot coolers for the job. “Spot coolers allow us to provide a quick, temporary and reliable cooling solution for a short-term rental,” said Doug Distel, national accounts manager at United Rentals. These units can be installed with relative ease by an experienced team. United Rentals typically deploys two to four units per store, for an average rental period of one month.

During winter months, when heat is needed, United Rentals provides either electric heaters or diesel indirect fired heaters, which are placed outside the building, with the warm air ducted in. The electric heaters range from 240v single-phase units to 60kW 480v three-phase units. The diesel heaters range from 200,000 Btu to 400,000 Btu.

When a site’s configuration poses a problem for installation — for example, the ceiling cavity lacks sufficient headspace for ducting — United Rentals goes above and beyond the call of duty by making introductions to potential local contractors to address the issue when Watterson does not have an existing relationship with one. “They’re able to utilize us as a third party to a third party,” said Distel.

A partnership of trust

Over more than three years, Watterson and United Rentals have together responded to climate emergencies at more than 250 store locations throughout the country. Nationwide support is essential in a situation like this, as is a sense of urgency.

“Top-notch” is how Munkvold described United Rentals’ responsiveness. “We send out a request for a spot cooling unit to an email distribution group, and within a few minutes we get a response. Within an hour we’ve got a quote in hand, and then within an hour to two of our approval, we get an email with an ETA of when the techs will be on site with the unit.”

“It’s easy to work with United Rentals,” Munkvold added. “Any day of the week, any time of day, we get a response almost instantaneously. This ensures we can work on multiple projects, with peace of mind that they’re being handled.”

Added value: Total Control®

Watterson is a strong proponent of Total Control®, United Rentals’ cloud-based account management system. “It lets them avoid adding head count where they don’t need it on the administrative side,” noted Distel. That’s because it simplifies how departments manage and pay rental equipment orders. Total Control also does more.

“It allows us to see everything that we have on rent very quickly and easily,” said Munkvold. “It allows us to pull these units off of rent when we don’t need them — and with Total Control, they’re immediately pulled off rent... .”

The end result of using Total Control is cost savings for both the company and its clients. Said Munkvold, “We can save all of our clients money by using Total Control.”

“It’s easy to work with United Rentals. Any day of the week, any time of day, we get a response almost instantaneously. This ensures we can work on multiple projects, with peace of mind that they’re being handled.”

Chris Munkvold, Watterson Senior VP of Emergency Response

Soluciones de climatización
United Results: Spot coolers and heaters used to save $500,000 worth of medication per store

Over more than three years, Watterson and United Rentals have together responded to climate emergencies at more than 250 store locations throughout the country. Nationwide support is essential in a situation like this, as is a sense of urgency.

Are you looking for Climate Solutions similar to this? Contact a United Rentals expert today.

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