Terry Cates, co-founder of Lizard Monitoring located in Portland,
Ore., points out that as more off-EMS systems are used and recon-
figuration of stores becomes commonplace, it will have a significant
impact on refrigeration. Technology is moving at lightning speed, and,
while challenging, it is imperative that retailers keep up with these
burgeoning changes to ensure they reduce their risk, Cates affirms.
“Having an understanding of the advanced wireless sensor technol-
ogy and always-on cloud computing that is driving today’s intelligent
stores can only make you more capable,” says Cates. “The state of the
art is changing rapidly and the real-time data that brings unprece-
dented visibility management is very different than what has been his-
Prices to implement this technology are dropping, which means it is
actually less expensive to get better data with automation today than it
is to pay people to collect data of questionable accuracy. “One of the big-
gest mistakes retailers can make today is not being informed,” he says.
Reggie O’Donoghue, product management, retail solutions for
Kennesaw, Ga.,-based Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions,
notes that recent retail feedback has revealed that energy expenditures
and food safety continue to be a top concern for retail trading partners.
By leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) and connecting cold cases,
freezers, HVAC units and other power-using equipment to a centralized program, O’Donoghue says retailers can get an accurate picture of
their energy use that can help save money and safeguard food.
“The information allows them to manage equipment performance
and utilize settings for optimum temperatures. By using remote monitoring,” O’Donoghue continues, “retailers can gain key data insights to
help identify problem areas and opportunities for efficiencies, which
can ultimately reduce costs.” Moreover, food retailers are also depending on facility data to increase visibility and control of the store equipment that maintains product freshness. “Being able to access real time
performance data in order to address potential food safety issues, such
as equipment downtime or refrigerant leaks, can reduce maintenance
costs in addition to bettering energy efficiency,” he says.
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