Amount of uptime a retailer should
look for in a kiosk solution
Source: Apex Supply Chain Technologies
TRENDS TO WATCH
occur, while also being energy-efficient, space-efficient
and labor-efficient to keep costs down,” he says.
As labor and operational costs continue to rise and grocery
prepared foods becomes an increasingly important magnet
for shoppers, investing in equipment that reduces labor is
critical, says Tami Olson, director of national accounts—
retail for Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based equipment manufacturer Alto-Shaam.
Grocers should look for foodservice equipment that
offers programmable and efficient cooking and cleaning
functions that allow them to cook and display preprepared
food, which will allow them to “provide quick meal solutions for their on-the-go customers, which helps boost impulse sales,” Olson says.
This concept is also crucial in deli operations, says Dan
Assell, market manager, food machines, for Troy, Ohio-based equipment and technology manufacturer Hobart.
“It’s important that the labor available has foodservice
equipment, like slicers, that keep them productive and
minimize unnecessary downtime in service and production,” he says. “Functioning to the fullest in this grocery
space is key.”
Next-Generation Design Planning
Mark Hardy, president of Chicago-based virtual-reality
service provider InContext Solutions, says virtual reality
is cutting down operational costs and time requirements
associated with the design and remodel of a store, and it
also “eliminates geographic barriers, allowing stakeholders
to collaborate anytime, anywhere, eliminating the need to
travel, while also maintaining new transformative ideas out
of the eyes of competitors.”
When imagining these store redesigns, Hardy urges re-
tailers to, in addition to creating a logical store flow, find
ways to inspire or create excitement for shoppers and
create “the feeling of being special, whether in their daily
routines with the family at home or entertaining friends.”
These considerations for store design will become
increasingly important, he says, as stores become “mi-
cro-fulfillment centers” for home delivery or click-and-
collect orders that require more SKUs.
Through Internet of Things
While energy efficiency is important, retailers
must also consider the long-term sustainability of their equipment decisions as environmental legislation progresses, says Andre
Patenaude, director of food retail marketing
and growth strategy, cold chain, for St. Louis-based Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions.
One way to ensure viable energy efficiency is to leverage the internet of things, which
“provides opportunities to help continually optimize and
upgrade the equipment in your facilities, and this will likely translate into helping to lower energy costs,” Patenaude
He equates investing in an internet of things infrastructure to “buying futures in your system for tomorrow,”
saying that it helps enable access to more data points and
identify which assets are experiencing performance issues
or consuming excess energy.
“Many operators already have pieces of these infrastructures in place but may not be leveraging them to their
full potential,” Patenaude says. “Often, a much more detailed understanding of energy, equipment and system
performances is available without significant additional
Avoiding unnecessary downtime
with equipment such as slicers is
critical in deli operations.
Functioning to the fullest in
this grocery space is key.”
—Dan Assell, Hobart