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Emerging Trends in Data and Reporting for Retailers [Video]

Smart appliances, systems and buildings deliver vast amounts of data, but often, it is difficult to extract the most useful information. In a recent E360 Conference presentation, I shared insights around emerging trends in data and reporting for food retailers to improve operational efficiencies.

You can watch the video and read the highlights below.

Food retailers collect data from varying sources including building management systems, energy management applications, maintenance management systems and other sources. All of these systems have traditionally had their own reporting, making it challenging for users to access, aggregate and utilize this data for actionable insights.

One way to make sense of all of this data is to distill it appropriately based on job function. Report and user-interface needs are based on the user’s role in the organization (store manager, technician, facility manager), the user’s particular informational needs (facility maintenance, energy manager, executive summary) and whether or not they need real-time data or trending and analysis data.

There are several factors that allow retailers to gain operational intelligence:

  • Immediacy. Having easy access to real-time information and the insightful analytics behind that data without the need to go out and search for it.
  • Role-based UI. After logging in, the system recognizes what type of information each user is looking for and provides that automatically.
  • Advanced analytics. Condition-based maintenance and refrigerant leak detection are aggregated with the core facility systems data to provide better insights into operations.
  • Energy. Evaluate energy data and relate it with other relevant data, such as maintenance records and alarms, to understand how energy usage is impacted by other factors.
  • Dashboards. Aggregate all of the data from multiple sources and display the insights to the user in the most useful way for each individual.

Understanding how to make sense of all of the vast amounts of facility data available to retailers can result in increased customer satisfaction and employee engagement, as well as operational improvements.

For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website.

Scott Fritz
Director of Enterprise Services
Retail Solutions
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Refrigerant Leak Detection Technology Saves $$ and the Environment

I recently wrote an article featured in Contracting Business discussing the importance of refrigerant leak detection as an essential service for retailers and HVACR contractors.

Refrigerant leaks have long been viewed as an inevitable part of operating a retail refrigeration system.  Retailers often wrote these leaks off as the cost of doing business, but the impact of refrigerant leaks goes beyond what most may expect. The true costs of refrigerant leaks are often underestimated, and contractors who understand this impact will be more valuable partners for their clients.

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According to the EPA’s GreenChill research, the average supermarket loses about 25 percent — or about 875 pounds — of its refrigerant supply because of leaks. When you multiply this across many stores in a grocery chain, the costs can be significant — not only in terms of the cost of the refrigerant, but with associated labor costs. There is also a potential loss of business because of food disruptions and food quality issues that may arise.

Refrigerant leaks also have an environmental impact. Most commonly used refrigerants are greenhouse gases and some are ozone-depleting substances. Assuming a leak rate of 20 percent across a chain of 100 typical supermarket stores, the amount of refrigerant leaked annually is equivalent to the emissions of 24,000 cars or 10,600 homes.

The EPA has had regulations in place for a number of years as part of the Clean Air Act. Now, the EPA has proposed an update to those regulations governing most refrigerants that could impact both contractors and retail operators. Contractors who keep up with how these regulations are changing can be better retailer partners by aligning their services to meet these changes. An effective leak detection program can help retailers manage and properly repair refrigerant leaks and avoid costly EPA settlements.

The goal should be not only to establish proper leak detection response protocols, but also to institute proactive measures that minimize or eliminate leaks altogether. A zero-tolerance policy for leaks is ideal. Accurate detection methods, reliable notifications and continuous monitoring are the key elements needed for effective leak detection programs.

To learn more about refrigerant leak detection for contractors, read the full Contracting Business article here.

 For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website.

 John Wallace
Director of Innovation
Emerson Climate Technologies Retail Solutions

New E360 Webinar Explains How to Meet 2017/2020 Energy Regulations

In the last several years, our industry has seen the introduction of numerous energy efficiency and environmental regulations. While many stakeholders had hoped these new standards would not be enforced, the compliance dates for these rulings are rapidly approaching. Among the first of these is the Department of Energy’s (DOE) rule on energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. The rule, which took effect on May 27, 2014, has a compliance date of May 27, 2017.

Despite industry objections via a formal petition submitted to federal court, this minimum efficiency ruling on stand-alone, self-contained equipment will be upheld. And with subsequent deadlines on ice machines and walk-in units planned for 2018 and 2020, stakeholders throughout the industry are evaluating the impacts to their businesses.

But the DOE is only one factor in this regulatory equation. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rulings and proposals regarding acceptable refrigerants will also be taking place during the same time frame. Keeping track of these rulings, understanding how they interact, and making sense of their far-reaching implications is no small task.

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Our next E360 Webinar will tackle this challenge head on, focusing both on the near-term compliance deadline of March 2017 and what to expect over the next several years. The Webinar will be presented by Brian Buynacek, senior refrigeration engineer and marketing consultant, and Ani Jayanth, foodservice marketing manager, on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 2–3 p.m. EDT.

In the Webinar, Buynacek and Jayanth will lay out a regulatory road map and present compliance strategies. Between now and 2020, there are nine legislated requirements that the refrigeration industry will need to deal with. Five of these come from the EPA, with the remainder falling under the DOE’s jurisdiction. The Webinar will address the implications of these compliance dates, starting with a focus on the first major hurdle — the 2017 DOE energy standard for stand-alone equipment, such as reach-in refrigeration units typically used in restaurants and convenience stores.

The Webinar will take a look at data that speaks to the industry’s level of preparedness, including the number of end users and manufacturers who are either already actively pursuing measures to ensure compliance or making plans to meet these dates. As achieving regulatory compliance becomes a component in most retailers’ business plans, many are officially stating an environmental goal of moving to a new refrigerant with much lower global warming potential. In fact, we’ve estimated that 83 percent of the industry’s top 50 retailers are testing refrigerant alternatives via pilot programs in field sites.

As much as 62 percent of manufacturers are engaged in lab testing to prepare for DOE regulations, and more than half of end users and manufacturers have a plan in place to meet compliance dates. What this also means is that many are still seeking guidance on how to become better prepared, but many are unfortunately not ready to address these challenges.

Whether you use or manufacture reach-ins, walk-ins, ice machines or rack systems, achieving compliance will require different strategies for each refrigeration equipment class. The Webinar will detail what’s required for each class as well as explore the implications that changing system designs will have on manufacturers and end users.

Register now and be sure to save the date for this timely discussion.

 

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