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Technology in Action Conference — Keynote Speaker and Breakout Session Announced

Our Technology in Action Conference is now only days away, and anticipation is building toward our three-day commercial retail optimization event. Like last year, the many interactive panel discussions and breakout sessions will provide a perfect format for attendees to interact with the industry’s most experienced end users, expert practitioners and equipment manufacturers. As we come together to discuss the most pressing topics in retail refrigeration today, we’re confident everyone in attendance will leave with new perspectives to better optimize their facilities and more effectively navigate the changing regulatory and refrigerant landscapes.

Keynote Speaker: Mr. Jim Donald

To kick off this this year’s event, Jim Donald, former CEO of Starbucks and Pathmark Supermarkets and current CEO of Extended Stay America Hotels, will deliver the conference’s keynote address. Donald’s distinguished career in retail includes being named one the “Top 25 CEOs in the World” by The Best Practice Institute and one of Business Travel News’ “25 Most Influential Business Travel Executives of 2013.” Donald’s reputation for turning around financially ailing companies prompted Extended Stay Hotels to seek him out after the company emerged from bankruptcy proceedings in 2010. Under Donald’s leadership, the company recently launched a successful $565 million IPO. In his keynote address, Donald will share his experiences as a leader focused on innovation, quality, service, strong relationships within the community, and risk-taking with the freedom to fail.

Breakout Sessions — Covering a Variety of Topics

With multiple breakout sessions to choose from, attendees are sure to find topics that address their specific concerns and provide opportunities to learn from the experiences of their peers. Are you getting the most from variable capacity air conditioning systems? One breakout session will introduce variable capacity HVAC equipment and explore key technologies that enable variable capacity control and part-load efficiency improvements. Do you think of refrigerants as an expense, not an asset? Treating refrigerants as an asset adds new value to your organization. This breakout session discusses approaches to protecting the asset and monetizing it. Other breakout session topics include:

  • Improving store operations through enhanced facility processes
  • CO2 system design considerations (two-part session)
  • Geothermal HVAC and refrigeration systems
  • Improving store operations through enhanced facility processes
  • The good, bad and ugly of transforming existing properties into new grocery stores

If you’ve made plans to attend the conference April 14–16, we will see you soon! If you can’t make it this year, be sure to follow our live updates from the event on Twitter by following the hashtag #EmersonTAC.

Reggie O’Donoghue
Product Management, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

TAC Panels Make Sense of Refrigerants, Operational Visibility and Energy-Reduction Technologies

With our Technology in Action Conference only one week away, we’re eagerly anticipating a series of informative sessions that will allow attendees to interact with the industry’s leading retail refrigeration experts. Building on the success of last year’s format, we’ve once again designed the conference to encourage participation and foster lively debates about the most pressing topics in refrigeration today.

For this year’s theme, we’re adopting the Making Sense webinar platform, selecting topics that are closely related to refrigerants, operation visibility and energy-reduction technologies. And, we’ve once again invited a wide spectrum of experienced end users, expert practitioners and equipment manufacturers to facilitate these discussions and impart their knowledge.

Here’s a brief overview of our interactive sessions:

Discussion One: Optimizing Facility Operational Costs. Explore the landscape of available strategies, tools, services and equipment to help achieve operational cost effectiveness today. Panelists will discuss how these tools can help retailers achieve their facility’s cost reduction goals. Discussion points include:

  • Factors to consider when optimizing a facility
  • Optimizing project development and prioritization
  • Challenges to achieving facility optimization
  • Optimization strategies, tools, equipment and services

Discussion Two: The Case for Case Control. By shifting centralized control of refrigeration operation to individual cases, retailers can significantly reduce energy costs. Learn why case control has not been more widely adopted in the U.S., and explore the implications of case control installation and operation.

  • Installation cost savings and contractor considerations
  • Potential for energy savings
  • Maintenance and commissioning
  • Refrigerant usage

Discussion Three: The Impact of New Air Conditioning Efficiency Standards. Changes to regulations in 2015–2016 will increase the minimum efficiency levels of air conditioning equipment. Learn more about these regulations, review the available technologies, and discuss the implications for both air conditioning equipment and facility design.

  • Changes to the ASHRAE 90.1 standard (and the timing)
  • Importance of full-load and part-load efficiencies
  • Understanding the impacts of voluntary standards (ENERGY STAR™, Consortium for Energy Efficiencies, and others)
  • Equipment design implications (circuit design, variable capacity compressors, expansion valves, etc.)

Discussion Four: Refrigerants — An Asset or Liability? Changes in regulations that mandate refrigerant use are impacting refrigeration architecture in new and existing stores. Learn which refrigerants to use for retrofits and new system designs, in addition to these important discussion points:

  • Best practices in refrigerant management for existing stores
  • A new way of thinking about refrigerants (no longer just an expense item)
  • Establishing a plan to reduce global warming emissions (including R-22 and R404A retrofits)
  • Regulatory and political forces that will impact existing store refrigerant decisions

This event takes place April 14–16 in Point Clear, Ala. Visit www.emersontac.org to learn more. While at the event, we will be tweeting live discussion updates using the hashtag #EmersonTAC. We hope you will be able to join the conversations!

Mitch Knapke
Refrigeration Market Manager, Supermarkets
Emerson Climate Technologies

Technology in Action: Data Supply Chain

This is the second in a series of posts on key presentations from Emerson’s 2013 Technology in Action Conference.

How do you manage your data supply chain? In a session at the 2013 Technology in Action Conference (TAC), Marketing Analyst Scott Crider and Director of ProAct Engagements Jeff Zazzara introduce the concept of a data supply chain and show how it should be managed like any other business asset.

Data Supply ChainTo create a data supply chain you work backwards, starting with your drivers and the value you want to create, and then determining what data are needed, what technology can unlock that data and how the team will interact with it.

Their session also looked at how the data supply chain can help with decision-making and how what may be perceived as costly investments in maintenance can actually save money with great efficiency, improved food safety and greater consumer comfort.

Scott and Jeff also used an example from World War II (covered in a separate post) to talk about the importance of data in key moments in history. And how we can use those lessons today to build strategic data signals to improve analysis.

See Jeff and Scott talk about their session in this video and view their full presentation on the TAC website.

What steps are you taking to manage your data supply chain?

Reggie O’Donoghue
Director of Marketing, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

Technology in Action: Big Data in Operations

This is the first in a series of posts on key presentations from Emerson’s 2013 Technology in Action Conference.

Recently, at our annual Technology in Action Conference (TAC), we convened a panel of leading supermarket, variety and convenience store facility managers to address trends, opportunities and challenges of using operational, or big data, to improve retail facility management.

Pictured (left to right): Mark Dunson, Emerson Climate Technologies Retail Solutions; Jack Uldrich, The School of Unlearning; Ben Francis, Dollar General; Wayne Rosa, Delhaize America Shared Services; Terry David, QuikTrip; and Steve Geffin, Emerson Network Power.

Pictured (left to right): Mark Dunson, Emerson Climate Technologies Retail Solutions; Jack Uldrich, The School of Unlearning; Ben Francis, Dollar General; Wayne Rosa, Delhaize America Shared Services; Terry David, QuikTrip; and Steve Geffin, Emerson Network Power.

The panel, moderated by our President of Retail Solutions, Mark Dunson, discussed the importance of big data in operations, the challenges to transforming data into actionable information and the ways retailers are using this information to make decisions for their businesses.

There is no lack of data in retail operations; in fact, there is actually too much data.  This became clear through the panel discussion and the questions from TAC attendees during and after the session.  The volumes of data and the potential for money-saving business insights, ensures that big data is a topic we will be discussing in future conferences.

Emerson will continue to work with retailers to help capture and gain information from operations data. For example, one Emerson customer improved their preventative HVAC maintenance scheduling by using the E2 management system to target stores and units most likely to fail during peak summer months.

Check out our video summary of the panel, featuring Mark Dunson and Emerson’s Jeff Zazzara and Scott Crider, along with retail customer Eric Johnson of Brookshire Brothers who shares the knowledge he gained as a fifth year TAC attendee.

What challenges and opportunities is your business seeing with using big data?

Reggie O’Donoghue
Director of Marketing, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

It’s a Wrap: Technology in Action Conference Was a Rousing Success

It’s been only a few weeks since Emerson Climate Technologies hosted our Technology in Action Conference, but the buzz surrounding the event is still palpable. After talking with participants, distinguished panelists and facilitators, the general sentiment is unanimous: this year’s conference was a huge success. The interactive format of the panel discussions served as a foundation for lively conversations and active debates, as intended. The confluence of supermarket industry thought leaders and emerging technology pioneers helped to keep the discussions going throughout the event, many of which will likely resonate for quite some time. For those who participated and attended, I want to sincerely thank you for your contributions in making the 2013 Technology in Action Conference our best event yet.

For those who couldn’t attend, here’s a quick wrap-up of the conversations that we engaged in this year. The panel discussions were definitely a highlight, and it’s worth reiterating their intent and takeaways.

The Challenges of Big Data in Facility Management — Attendees learned how the panelists handle ever-increasing amounts of operational data, what key performance indicators they monitor, and what insights they’ve gained to improve their facilities. We all benefited from the experiences of the distinguished panelists, including representatives of QuikTrip Corporation, Dollar General and Delhaize America Shared Services Group. This knowledgeable combination of retailers and data analytics professionals addressed trends, opportunities and challenges for businesses, as ever-present data collection leads to increasingly larger data sets.

Synthetic and Natural Refrigerant Options for Supermarkets — Participants debated the merits of the latest refrigerant options to learn how supermarkets can better improve their bottom line in this ever-changing regulatory environment. Representatives of DuPont, Honeywell, Star Refrigeration and the University of Maryland comprised an expert panel that discussed current global refrigerant trends and regulatory updates impacting supermarkets. The resulting discussion centered on the following topics: the emerging lower GWP refrigerant options to replace R404A; the R&D status for HFO replacement blends and CO2 solutions; and the benefits of having a refrigeration management plan in place as you transition away from R22.

Panel Discussion at TAC 2013

Panel Discussion at TAC 2013

Advanced Supermarket Refrigeration Systems — Panelists from Hillphoenix, Hussmann, Heatcraft, Zero Zone and VaCom Technologies invited attendees to join the debate on how refrigeration systems help supermarkets achieve their merchandising, operations and sustainability goals. Discussion points included: best practices for optimizing new and existing refrigeration systems; how refrigeration system options are being driven by increasingly complex and diverse retailer objectives; and the importance of system commissioning and training for installers and maintenance personnel.

As a moderator for the Advanced Supermarket Refrigeration Systems panel discussion, I was particularly encouraged by the tenor of debates and breadth of substance that was addressed. I think this is directly attributable to the open floor format, which allowed attendees to provide valuable input that may have otherwise been missing. I’m encouraged that this year’s format was a success, and I’m looking forward to the possibilities for TAC 2014!

Don Newlon
VP, Marketing and GM Integrated Products
Emerson Climate Technologies

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