We at TRS know that a big part of retail operations management is the constant battle to save time for your in-store colleagues while keeping costs down. A few minutes per week saved here and there can add up to significant savings across a chain.
That’s why were more than happy to introduce LiveTemp, a new project that one client said could create £1.9 million in annual time savings for them.
LiveTemp is a smart way to monitor and manage refrigerated storage temperatures across a store or an entire chain. It saves hours of staff time per month, which was previously spent walking from refrigerator unit to refrigerator unit with a temperature probe. Additionally, LiveTemp can be used to optimise refrigerator power use and to give alerts when units get too warm, saving more money on power and wastage.
How it works
Remote temperature sensors placed in each refrigerated unit transmit live temperature data to our central services. Here they can be accessed at any time via colleague handsets or a back-office computer for regular checking. Alerts can also be set to warn colleagues the minute a unit’s temperature strays outside of a pre-set range. The system automatically records temperatures at set intervals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and saves the records for reporting.
Saving on employee time
The UK Food Standards agency requires that all businesses check all their refrigeration units at least once per day. The most common method used to do this is by walking from unit to unit and placing a temperature probe in each one, then writing down the temperature along with any actions taken and placing a staff signature next to the record. Tier one stores will often allot more than 30 minutes for each round checks, depending on size, with at least two rounds performed each day. The largest stores can of course take longer.
For comparison, there is no need for a full refrigerator check with Live Temp and the colleague time can be saved or invested in other tasks. This is because Live Temp automatically checks and records the temperature of all refrigeration units in a store, providing recorded figures that can be viewed instantly or formatted and saved as required.
Saving on wastage
Wastage due to overheating is all too common in stores with a number of refrigerators due to staff error, power failure or simply a customer leaving a door open. However, the scale of the problem can be reduced enormously with LiveTemp, saving the retailer costs in waste stock, safe disposal, and restocking.
Clients using LiveTemp to track their refrigerators can set smart alarms to automatically inform responsible colleagues the minute a unit exceeds a set temperature. This gives colleagues time to resolve the problem or move products before they reach their critical temperature and go to waste. The potential savings from this function of the system alone are very significant.
Saving on power
There are always a few refrigerator units that continually run close to the highest allowable temperature, occasionally tripping over. These are the units where money can be saved on wastage. However, there are other units that run a long way below this temperature, and still others that must be set low because their temperature rises and falls. These are the units where LiveTemp can save money on power.
Refrigeration units are one of the largest energy sinks in a modern supermarket and the cooler the unit, the more power it consumes. Live monitoring means that all refrigerator and freezer units can be set at a higher temperature, closer to their maximum allowable temperature but still inside their safe zone. Because multiple different alerts can be set to warn of rising temperatures more quickly. Measures can then be taken more rapidly to prevent overheating, so the units can still run safely.
LiveTemp stores data and makes this available for detailed analysis. This can allow retailers to see if particular units are causing repeated issues, suggesting either pre-emptive maintenance is required or the unit is nearing the end of life and would need to be replaced, this allows more time to plan for scheduled change rather than reacting after a unit has failed.
Staff time, product wastage and power are three of the biggest day-to-day expenses for a retail store. Because LiveTemp saves on all three of these fronts, it can make a huge difference to a retailer’s bottom line, as well as freeing up staff time for more constructive things. It is perhaps little surprise then that clients are already predicting millions in savings from this burgeoning project.
Keep up with the project on our LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts, or contact us to make an enquiry about utilising LiveTemp.