Ye Olde Sheetz Repair Shop

Shuttered convenience store now chain's equipment maintenance center

ALTOONA, Pa. -- A formerly boarded-up Sheetz convenience store in Altoona, Pa., has become an important cog in the company's six-state operation, according to a report by The Altoona Mirror. Closed in mid-2009 when Sheetz opened a new store nearby, the building reopened in early 2010 as the company's equipment maintenance training center.

Remodeled last fall, it now hosts hands-on training sessions for new and current technicians, who are responsible for upkeep on all equipment at the stores from gasoline dispensers to cappuccino machines.

Populated with retired but still-operational machines from renovated stores, the center is a key component in a four-year-old initiative that has saved a net $1.5 million by eliminating all outsourcing of maintenance, J.D. Miknis, the company's facilities and production manager, told the newspaper.

The outsourcing used to cover after-hours and weekend maintenance, Miknis said. "We were supporting a 24/7 business with a part-time maintenance operation," he said.

No longer, said the report.

Now it's a fully in-house maintenance operation, supported by intensive best-practice training at the center and a password-protected online site with equipment specifications and standardized troubleshooting guidelines, Hank Slicker, corporate trainer, told the Mirror.

Sheetz plans to open a second maintenance training center near Burlington, N.C., after it opens its second distribution center there in 2014, Slicker said.

Click here to read the full Altoona Mirror report.