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Posts tagged ‘Facility Management’

Food Safety Throughout the Cold Chain “From Farm to Fork”

 

This is the fourth post in a five-part series on food safety throughout the month of September.

Cold chain management solutions provide oversight and increased visibility to help businesses be more efficient and keep food safe. They can also drive a broader impact and incite industry change, helping to address high stakes global issues:

  • $990 billion in annual global food waste1
  • $32 billion annual energy spend in global markets2
  • $18.2 billion annual facility maintenance cost3

Think of the cold chain as the journey food takes as it moves from its original state throughout the process to end up in a consumer’s home. You may have heard the term “from farm to fork,” which applies here as we talk about maintaining freshness and food safety. The goal is to maintain consistent temperature control throughout the process, which means that freshness is monitored and verified from point to point along the chain.

The cold chain is a complex system with multiple parties responsible and many steps from start to finish – and it gets even more complicated with regulations like the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Retailers are investing more in fresh foods in order to keep up with increasing competition, drive sales growth and protect their brands. Supermarkets are focusing on fresh foods around the perimeter of their stores. Small format retailers, like convenience stores, are introducing new foodservice offerings. Food quality and safety in stores can be maintained through IoT enabled insights with remote monitoring and management services.

Before the food makes it to the retailer, it is shipped through various transportation means. Connected devices used in refrigerated cargo containers and trucks allow real-time product and temperature monitoring during transport of fresh foods.

Currently, a significant amount of data is being collected throughout the cold chain process – in harvest, processing, transportation, distribution and at the retailer – but that data may be sitting separately at each point and is not following the food to the next step; the data is captured but not shared.

This process has traditionally been fragmented, but connected solutions are enabling holistic insights and end-to-end food quality. By moving the data collected at each point into a cloud-based system, it can continue to be captured, stored and analyzed throughout the cold chain process, providing improved insights for more effective operations and informed food quality reporting.

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 Because of complex questions about data ownership and historic management of this data within specific applications, the insights and benefits to be gained from this data remain largely unrealized. However, it’s not difficult to envision a near-term future where retailers and others are able to take advantage of a fully connected cold chain solution. That could include utilizing data to validate food safety and potentially creating competitive advantages by authenticating their fresh foods story.

 Emerson has been a longtime leader in cold chain management, serving the global container shipping and food retail industries. Recently expanding our capabilities with investments in cargo solutions through the acquisitions of Locus Traxx and Paksense, Emerson is now able to better provide consistent information and enhanced safe control of food and other temperature-sensitive goods throughout the entire supply chain.

Look for the next post in this series, which will dive deeper into food safety through transportation solutions.

 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.

 Mark Dunson
Group Vice President, Electronics & Solutions
Emerson


 (1) Source: Food and Agricultural Waste Organization of the United Nations: http://www.fao.org/statistics/en/
(2-3) Estimates based on various sources of public data


To read all posts in our series on food safety for retailers, click on the links below:

  1. Food Safety Remains a Top Priority for Retail Businesses
  2. Prevent Food Safety Issues with Remote Monitoring Services
  3. How Does the Food Safety Modernization Act Impact Food Retailers?
  4. Food Safety Throughout the Cold Chain “From Farm to Fork”
  5. Seven Transportation Monitoring Best Practices to Ensure Food Safety

 

Prevent Food Safety Issues with Remote Monitoring Services

This is the second post in a five-part series on food safety throughout the month of September.

Consumers want to buy fresh, high quality foods from grocery and convenience stores. They expect to find crisp lettuce, hard ice cream and ice-cold beverages. Consistently delivering in this area drives customer trust and loyalty in retail brands.

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If customers encounter food quality issues or are unsure of the safety of the foods offered in a retail store, it would negatively impact consumer perceptions and the retailer’s bottom line. It’s important for retailers to maintain their refrigeration systems to avoid costly equipment failure that could compromise food quality and affect the shopping experience.

Preventing food loss and protecting customers from foodborne illnesses are critical concerns for retail store operators. Comprehensive, cost effective perishable goods and equipment monitoring methods can help address these concerns.

ProAct is an enterprise connectivity, software and service management program customized for supermarkets, convenience stores, retail, commercial buildings, foodservice and transportation, allowing users to:

  • Optimize facilities and operation
  • Maintain conditions, assets and facilities
  • Sustain refrigerant and energy management
  • Care for fresh foods, consumers and brand

Remote monitoring services 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. Some services offer simple systems for food monitoring but have limited insight into other facility systems, lacking the big picture for retailers to fully know the impact of a potential issue. With equipment diagnostics through ProAct Services, retailers will understand a specific equipment problem, be able to make a quick decision on necessary actions, ensure that the issue is actually fixed – not just masked – and gain valuable insights into how to prevent it in the future.

To ensure fresh, top quality food that meets consumer expectations, retailers need to accurately and efficiently report product and case temperatures. Relying on manual temperature recording is labor intensive, time consuming and potentially risky. and time consuming. Food quality reporting through remote monitoring services can automate this process to reduce human error and increase efficiency, while improving food safety and customer satisfaction.

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

Effective monitoring and maintenance of retail refrigeration systems enable end users to offer fresh foods to customers that are demanding healthy and convenient options. Retail facilities are getting more complex as additional equipment is integrated, and monitoring services offer valuable insights to optimize store operations. Merchandising is also a critical component to customer satisfaction and topline revenue. Equipment diagnostics will not only ensure that these fresh foods are safe, but also can provide insights to enhance the product presentation with goals of increasing sales and building a reputation for quality foods.

Look for the next post in this series, which will address how the Food Safety Modernization Act impacts food retailers

 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.

 Jim Mitchell
Product Manager
Emerson Climate Technologies


To read all posts in our series on food safety for retailers, click on the links below:

  1. Food Safety Remains a Top Priority for Retail Businesses
  2. Prevent Food Safety Issues with Remote Monitoring Services
  3. How Does the Food Safety Modernization Act Impact Food Retailers?
  4. Food Safety Throughout the Cold Chain “From Farm to Fork”
  5. Seven Transportation Monitoring Best Practices to Ensure Food Safety

 

Food Safety Remains a Top Priority for Retail Businesses

This is the first post in a five-part series on food safety throughout the month of September.

 Fresh, nutritious food options are available today in more locations than ever before. Food retailers are adapting their facilities to meet this consumer demand for fresh foods. Supermarkets are offering prepared food options and convenience stores are adding foodservice elements. Small format stores are increasing their refrigerated sections and traditional grocers are adding onsite food preparation stations as store concepts converge to keep up with this trend.

FoodSafety

As retailers navigate these changes and integrate refrigerated goods into their facilities, it’s critical that foods stay fresh to ensure product quality, brand consistency and customer satisfaction.

Maintaining freshness can be a profitability challenge for retailers, and it’s an important food safety issue as well.

Why is food safety so critical? From foodborne illnesses to product recalls and lawsuits, it’s easy to see how food safety issues can negatively impact retail businesses by looking at news headlines over the past 10 years. A single issue can close down an entire product category for an extended period of time, affecting the retailer’s profits and reputation.

94% of shoppers trust their grocery store to ensure that the food they purchase is safe. (FMI U.S. Shopper Trends, 2016) In fact, food retailers are perceived as an important ally in helping customers to achieve wellness goals. But, consumers are aware of the many possible hazards in the food system, so retailers have the potential to lose that trust if an issue arises in their stores.

And with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), U.S. regulators are keeping a closer eye on food safety risks and retailers’ impact on the environment.

Retailers can leverage the latest facility technologies to increase visibility and control of the store equipment that maintains product freshness. Integrated facility controls offer connectivity and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities for retailers to access real-time performance data to increase operational and energy efficiency as well as address potential issues, like equipment downtime or refrigerant leaks, that could impact food safety.

Look for the next post in this series to learn how preventive maintenance and remote monitoring can assist retailers in preventing food safety issues.

 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


To read all posts in our series on food safety for retailers, click on the links below:

  1. Food Safety Remains a Top Priority for Retail Businesses
  2. Prevent Food Safety Issues with Remote Monitoring Services
  3. How Does the Food Safety Modernization Act Impact Food Retailers?
  4. Food Safety Throughout the Cold Chain “From Farm to Fork”
  5. Seven Transportation Monitoring Best Practices to Ensure Food Safety

 

Meet the New Boss

Site Supervisor delivers small-format consistency and predictability

Today’s convenience store chains and small-format retailers find themselves in a rapidly changing landscape. As consumer preference for freshly prepared food offerings continues to spill over into their space, small-format retailers are adapting their business models to become more like foodservice providers.

Meet-New-Boss

Read more

Advances in Supermarket HVAC Equipment

I was recently featured in an article on supermarket HVAC for the June issue of Progressive Grocer. Below are some key takeaways.

 According to Energy Star, food retailers spend more than $4 per square foot annually on energy, with a large portion for HVACR systems. This Progressive Grocer article addresses how supermarket HVAC equipment is becoming more sophisticated and efficient, with the ultimate goal of reducing those figures.

FBPost-ProgressiveGrocer

We’ve seen that recent advances in grocery refrigeration have also led to advances in supermarket HVAC systems. For example, doors on refrigerated cases and air management systems are solutions that improve the shopper’s experience and comfort level, as well as help the HVAC system operate at the ideal temperature.

Another item that affects supermarket HVAC is dehumidification. Removing moisture from the air allows retail HVAC and refrigeration systems to work better, while also improving shopper comfort. For example, grocers in humid climates often deal with refrigeration systems that perspire, which can lead to the pooling of water on floors and cause safety risks for customers who may slip or fall. Reducing humidity can alleviate that problem.

And, a third advancement is the integration of all retail facility systems. Unlike a commercial building where HVAC systems are separate and distinct from lighting, the HVAC, refrigeration and lighting systems in a grocery store can be integrated through a facility management system for improved control and visibility across all equipment. If a retailer is only monitoring the temperatures in food cases, they are missing out on the potential efficiency and gains from also monitoring their HVAC systems.

To read more about how supermarket HVAC equipment is becoming more sophisticated and efficient, read the full article on pages 188-189 of the June 2016 issue of Progressive Grocer.

 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.

Paul Hepperla
Director, New Solutions Development & Enterprise Product Management
Emerson Climate Technologies

 

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