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Posts from the ‘Facility Management’ Category

How Big Data Can Enhance Sustainability Initiatives

ronchapek_2 Ron Chapek | Director of Product Management, ProAct Enterprise Software Services

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Today, across nearly all industries, corporations are being held to higher standards for sustainable operations and the food retail industry is no different. For convenience stores, much of the drive to be more sustainable is coming from evolving consumer demands. According to a Nielsen’s 2014 corporate social responsibility survey, 55% of global respondents said they are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact — an increase from 50% in 2012 and 45% in 2011.

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An increasingly important tool to help operators enhance sustainability efforts to meet changing consumer demands and government regulations is the gathering of data that can be strategically used to reduce waste, increase efficiency and ensure food freshness and safety. One way to accomplish this is through remote monitoring.

Remote monitoring services collect data from sensors that monitor conditions like products and case temperatures. They also provide real-time performance data on critical store equipment, including insights around energy expenditure, equipment operating condition and health, facility maintenance needs, refrigerant leaks and shrink causes.

With remote monitoring, retailers can also control and monitor facility systems across multiple sites and entire enterprises, giving them the ability to monitor food and maintain efficiency throughout the entire chain.

By leveraging the data gathered via monitoring, companies can not only improve efforts to safeguard food and gain operational efficiency, they can also contribute to sustainability efforts.

For more information, read the full article here.


Retail and Foodservice 2025: The Future for Customers, Operators and Facilities

Ed_McKiernan Ed McKiernan | President, Emerson Retail Solutions

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Food retail and food service environments are quickly evolving. As retail stores and restaurants adapt to changing infrastructure and facility requirements, it is important that operators understand where the market is heading and the impact these changes will have on their operations.

To help operators prepare for the future, Emerson commissioned global research firm Euromonitor International to identify trends that will shape the grocery retail and chained foodservice markets through 2025, and determine what impact these developments will have on retail store and restaurant design and infrastructure.

Euromonitor International is the world’s leading independent provider of strategic market research. With more than 40 years experience, the firm has offices around the world, analysts in over 100 countries and market research on every key trend and driver.

The research firm identified five megatrends that will have the strongest impact on retail and restaurant operations and facilities management over the next eight years:

  1. Digital Shoppers
  2. Focus on Convenience
  3. New Retail Formats
  4. Experiential Retail
  5. Omni-Channel Proficiency

These trends were shared at the Emerson E360 Annual Conference and on a global webcast. Over the next few posts, we will also take a closer look at each one of these trends, beginning with the first one.

Trend: Digital Shoppers

Consumers are becoming more connected, and expecting a connected experience when they interact with brands or purchase products. Currently, 3 in 4 U.S. households own a smartphone, and 47 percent of digital purchases in the United States are made through mobile devices. As the wireless infrastructure strengthens, the Internet becomes omnipresent and the prices of devices come down, these numbers will continue to grow.

We are already seeing a shift with many retailers moving toward mobile engagement with consumers within the store to create a better shopping experience and a stronger customer relationship. Also, more retailers in the U.S. are offering mobile order and pay capabilities to simplify transactions. Some retailers are even going beyond mobile and offering conversational commerce, where for instance, a virtual personal assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa can deliver your item within a short period of time.

So, what should retail and foodservice organizations do in terms of facility management and operations to stay ahead of this trend and customer expectations?

  • Facilities – Overhaul store layout (parking, checkout, dining area, etc.) to drive traffic and attract new trip types and consumers.
  • Supply Chain – Align online and physical inventory and offer real-time tracking of sources and orders to encourage repeat consideration and engage and inform customers.
  • e-Commerce – Implement digital order and payment platforms and offer a personalized, seamless experience to lower costs, reduce errors and increase customer satisfaction.
  • Human Resources – Make sure you have the training that focuses on the right skillsets and staff appropriately based on the different service models to improve customer experience and create stronger brand loyalty.
  • Customer Experience – Train customers for new protocols and offer a streamlined experience to minimize disruptions and serve more customers, faster.

Be sure to join us for our next post, which will take a look at the second megatrend: Focus on Convenience.

The Importance of Sustainability in Food Retailing

deanlandeche Dean Landeche | Vice President of Marketing, Retail Solutions

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

I recently contributed to an article featured in Progressive Grocer magazine that discussed how food retailers are emphasizing sustainability. Highlights from the article are below.

progressive-grocer-sustainability_facebook_1200x630Sustainability is increasingly on the priority list for food retailers. Consumers are often considering a retailer’s reputation, as well as its impact on the environment as important factors when selecting where to shop. In addition to looking at more traditional ways to reduce energy, such as the installation of LED lighting, retailers are looking to their suppliers for solutions to address energy efficiency needs and ensure food safety.

Emerson’s ProAct Services provides retailers with remote monitoring services to collect data from sensors that monitor conditions like product and case temperatures. The insights derived from the information gathered around equipment performance and facility operations can contribute to the retailer’s sustainability efforts.

The ProAct Services portfolio includes multiple modules to help retailers operate effectively and identify areas for operational improvement. With Alarm Management, Emerson monitors various factors and provides alerts when a potential system issue is detected, which can help save energy and prevent food loss. Web-based reports are generated automatically so that retailers receive valuable insights to help them make informed operational decisions. Energy Monitoring and Targeting uses meter-level data to model energy performance across an enterprise of stores. Setpoint Management helps retailers to sustain energy savings in the long term while ensuring that operational issues are actually fixed rather than masked. And Emerson’s Demand Response Service enables retailers to earn financial incentives, conserve energy, minimize power interruptions, increase energy reliability and protect the environment by reducing power usage at times when demand on the electric power grid is high.

Read the full Progressive Grocer article online here.

For more than 20 years, Emerson 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.

Facility Controls Help Food Retailers Remain Competitive

ronchapek_2 Ron Chapek | Senior Product Manager, Retail Solutions

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

I recently wrote an article featured in HVACR Business Magazine that discussed how HVACR contractors could be a valuable partner to their clients. Highlights from the article are below.


The food retail industry is constantly evolving. Retailers are faced with shifting consumer demands, intense competition, razor-thin profit margins and changes to store formats.  Many retailers are seeking flexible infrastructures to meet these needs without sacrificing sales or increasing costs.

Integrated facility controls and remote monitoring services provide the best visibility into system performance across an enterprise of stores. In addition, remote monitoring allows precise tracking of store conditions and issues alerts when equipment is not operating properly.

With a centralized facility management platform and actionable insights through monitoring services, HVACR contractors can assist retailers with attaining operational improvements through proper equipment maintenance, efficient service and actionable insights.

Here are some of the benefits you can offer to your retail partners:

Quicker more efficient installations
For contractors, implementing installations correctly the first time is the best way to secure and maintain a relationship with food retail clients. Integrating all store equipment into the existing management systems through the latest connected technology is a great solution for retailers.

Remotely update equipment
HVACR contractors have the ability to access facility systems to remotely manage settings, software and firmware updates through IoT, rather than manually onsite. Connected facility management systems can be updated remotely ensuring consistency and accuracy across an enterprise of stores.

Decrease unnecessary service calls
HVACR personnel can log into the software to view the status of various connected equipment and work to solve problems in real-time. In some cases, they can fix the issue remotely, reducing trips to the store.

Effective dispatch of experienced technicians
In the event of a service issue that requires an HVACR contractor visit, clients can be sure that knowledgeable, experienced technicians will fix their equipment issues. Because of alarms, the technicians will know the proper equipment to bring to resolve the issue and can work on multiple system issues at one time.

Food retailers with multiple sites are usually stretched pretty thin. Working with qualified HVACR partners to implement the latest integrated facility management systems will help retailers make better informed decisions for operational improvement.

Read the full HVACR Business article online here.

For more than 20 years, Emerson 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.

Key Benefits of Refigerant Leak Detection Program

I recently wrote an article featured in Food Safety Magazine that discussed the broad impacts of refrigerant leaks on food retailers and the benefits to having an effective leak detection program. Highlights from the article are below.


Minimizing refrigerant leaks is important to food retailers not only from a financial perspective, but also to protect the environment and meet government regulations. Investing in a leak detection program can help retailers to minimize and even eliminate leaks, thereby improving store operations and the overall customer experience.

Impacts of Refrigerant Leaks

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill research, the average U.S. supermarket leaks an estimated 25 percent of its refrigerant supply per year. In a 100-store chain, this could result in $600,000 annually in refrigerant leaks, not to mention additional costs due to labor, loss of business and food quality issues.

Leak Detection Methods

Remote leak detection programs continuously monitor system refrigerant levels and notify stakeholders when there is a deviation from normal operating conditions. This system analyzes key indicators that help provide actionable insights. “Sniffing” detection methods can only monitor parts of the refrigeration systems that are located in closed areas.

Best Practices for Effective Leak Detection

Retailers should aim to implement a zero-tolerance policy for refrigerant leaks. When establishing a leak detection program, three key areas are critical to incorporate:

  • Detection Methods: There are different technologies to choose from, but depending upon the retailer’s requirements, automatic leak detection equipment can provide early detection of leaks and help to identify the location.
  • Reliable Notifications: When a leak occurs, it’s critical that the appropriate people are alerted. Alarm notifications can be remote, local or a combination of the two.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Recording and analyzing the data at the time the leak occurs can help to determine the best course of action.

Read the full Food Safety Magazine article online here.

And to learn more about the latest options in refrigerant leak detection, read this blog post from my colleague Mike Saunders.

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.

James Mitchell
Product Manager, ProAct Enterprise Software and Services
Retail Solutions
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

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