A large Grocer in Southeastern US operating hundreds of locations was determined to reduce shrinkage. One of their objectives was to be aware of refrigeration problems as they occur and to inform their service repairers direct. To achieve this they decided to introduce a new process to manage the warnings and alarming of essential store equipment.
The Head of Energy for the grocer, having already proven that alarm messaging impacted shrinkage, embarked on a project to implement a solution corporate-wide.
Varying control systems are in use throughout the client’s enterprise. Refrigeration controls with a third party control system front-end are operating refrigeration racks, HVAC and Lighting. The current controls supplier proposed to deliver alarms to the grocer by connecting devices to a central alarm system. Alarm operators would then receive, triage and if needed forward critical alarms to store personnel.
The grocer did not want a solution that created costs over an indefinite period. To develop a feasible option it was decided to create a solution without recurring costs.
Axiom Energy Solutions were elected by the grocer to implement a solution and interrogate ways that they could solve the problem. Anthony Tippins, President of Axiom, presented two solutions: Either use the existing proprietary FSD panel or opt for DMTouch, an advanced control system front end, from RDM which can communicate over open protocols, incorporating it into their existing infrastructure. DMTouch emulated the incumbent implementation and facilitated the transmission of system performance telemetry data, critical states, predictive failure and much more.
"It was easy doing business with RDM. They helped us through the entire process, from start to end."
Anthony Tippins, Axiom Energy Solutions
Following careful consideration DMTouch was selected for the application. Ease of installation, data logging and storage, information for the on-site store management group, monitoring capabilities from Phone, Tablet or PC without any software or licenses, a five-year warranty and all-around ease of use made DMTouch the stand out option.
DMTouch, with a full-color touchscreen, was mounted in the manager’s office to provide store personnel with an operating overview of what was happening in store refrigeration racks, HVAC and Lighting systems. Previously, HVACR control equipment mounted in the motor room collected information that was only checked by refrigeration service technicians, after a failure had occurred when it was too late.
After installation, DMTouch was connected to the store LAN network. The Grocer’s IT department enabled communications, the third party control system front-end IP address was simply entered into DMTouch. On connection to the network DMTouch began emulating all points connected to the three networked third party control system front-ends located within the motor room. E-mail contact information was set up into DMTouch to facilitate the transferring of predictive warning and alarms.
"By implementing the advanced RDM technology, our client was able to differentiate between critical and non-critical refrigeration alarms, alert local store management of issues with their refrigeration system, and email critical alarms to the client’s mechanical contractors, assisting them in reducing the potential for product loss."
Anthony Tippins, Axiom Energy Solutions
From within the Grocer’s cloud, each store can now be remotely monitored to alert the Head of Energy via predictive alarms, which can then be acted on proactively. No additional software is required by the grocer to check stores, as only a web-browser and IP connection is needed. This further insight will allow engineers to be prepared before arriving onsite, reducing the possibility of a second site visit.
Overall the solution will reduce downtime, time taken for repairs to be carried out , identify systems not working efficiently, reduce energy and most importantly shrinkage, the primary objective of the project.
Without the need for additional software any elected member of the Grocer’s team can now view operational information for any RDM equipped store. Freely available operating data and insights allow an increased number of team members to monitor site information. Expanding the possibility that refrigeration failures which may lead to food shrinkage are identified before becoming a costly issue.
Operational data and insights, previously only captured in the back motor room, are now presented in full-color to the front of store team. In addition, the five-year storage capacity of DMTouch means that the Grocer will not have a requirement o set up a Data Warehouse to store historical data on a cyclical basis. Instead, data is stored within DMTouch and retrievable at any time.
"Years ago, as a young vendor, one of my customers taught me the “KISS” (Keep It Simple Stupid) method. I soon adopted this method and use it daily in my personal and business life. When faced with a shrink reduction challenge, I again used this proven methodology, looking for a fair cost solution that was simple to implement."
“RDM helped provide that solution at a number of our Stores with third party controls. We liked the fact that DMTouch can sit on top of the third party controllers or when needed, replace those controllers without us being forced to purchase a completely new system for the entire store or group of stores.
"This solution will help us reach our goals while allowing us to realize the full value of our existing assets. It doesn’t get much better than that."
Head Of Energy, The Grocer
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