I recently wrote an article for Convenience Store Decisions, highlighting the practical benefits of facility controls for today’s convenience store operator. A brief summary of the article is below.
Today, many convenience stores utilize energy management systems for HVAC, refrigeration, lighting and other building systems. Some retailers couple this with monitoring services that provide real-time performance data on building operations, system efficiency, energy usage and more. These operators can use facility insights to increase equipment uptime, eliminate unnecessary truck rolls, minimize emergency service call costs and improve effectiveness of service technicians.
Below are six benefits of using facility controls for improved operation and maintenance of convenience store refrigeration systems:
- Information and expertise keeps stores operating smoothly.
- Expert triage avoids unnecessary, costly service calls.
- Direct-to-store alerts allow local problem solving.
- Remote monitoring can identify system issues before they appear locally.
- When service calls are needed, technicians are better prepared before dispatch.
- Operate consistently across all stores with enterprise-wide control.
There is a great opportunity for convenience store operators to better utilize store equipment for a higher return on investment by leveraging energy management systems and monitoring services. New technology and IoT deployment is improving options daily, and Emerson Climate Technologies can help operators currently using these systems to better understand the latest capabilities available.
Read the full Convenience Store Decisions article online here.
Product Manager, ProAct Enterprise Software and Services
Emerson Climate Technologies Retail Solutions
In a recent article for Chain Store Age, I shared insights around five trends facing the supermarket retail industry in 2016. Below are the highlights.
As 2016 begins, supermarket retailers continue to adapt to changing consumer demands, industry issues and regulations affecting their businesses. Some grocers are expanding their footprints, others are narrowing to specialty formats, and some seem to be doing both. All are facing increased competition and high expectations around freshness, convenience and transparency.
We see the emerging trends below critical for retail businesses in 2016 and beyond:
- Authenticating the fresh foods story: Fresh is at the forefront. We’re seeing an increase in the overall offering of fresh as retailers aim to meet the expectations of today’s consumer. What is needed now is to prove “fresh.”
- Convergence of concepts driven by convenience: Driven by the consumer’s demand for convenience, food retail concepts, formats and locations are converging. Today’s shoppers are pushing retail businesses to expand, invest in fresh foods and provide a consistent brand experience.
- Impact of changing regulations: Two regulatory issues, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and refrigerant regulation changes, will be top of mind for food retailers in 2016.
- Turning workforce concerns into opportunities: There is an increasing difficulty in maintaining a skilled technical workforce. As the current workforce ages, technical experts are harder to find, and concerns arise around workforce costs.
- Consolidation propels operational improvements: As large format stores get even bigger and small format stores become more specialized, retailers are reinvesting in new and/or consolidated infrastructures. With this comes a greater need for improved equipment operation and maintenance.
Read the full article on Chain Store Age here.
And for industry insights on 2016 equipment, design and operations trends, read this recent Grocery Headquarters article.
President, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies
In the foodservice, supermarket and transport industries, operators have varying options to attempt to overcome the hundreds of start/stop cycles a compressor can go through to produce the necessary refrigeration load on a typical day. Uneven rack systems still result in high cycling rates and do not offer the desired temperature precision. Hot gas-bypass systems are not energy efficient and are often unreliable. Even variable-speed technology, while an effective form of capacity modulation, is cost prohibitive, especially when replacement costs are considered.
In a recent article for CSPnet.com, deputy group editor Abbie Westra interviewed two experts from our Retail Solutions team to discuss solutions that bring connectivity to foodservice equipment. Paul Hepperla shares some of the highlights below.
At Emerson Climate Technologies, we’ve been talking about connected kitchen technology as the latest in our offering for foodservice retailers. Dean Landeche, VP of marketing for Retail Solutions, and I sat down with an editor from CSPnet.com to discuss how we’re helping foodservice equipment manufacturers bring the Internet of Things to commercial kitchens.
The magnitude of changes affecting the commercial refrigeration industry today is unprecedented. As we strive to balance the regulatory forces with emerging technologies and develop the next generation of innovations, one thing is clear: we can’t do it alone.