Innovation Retail

Asda turning stores into smart buildings

Supermarket chain Asda is working with business energy monitoring company Utilitywise to convert its stores into ‘smart buildings’ – a smart move in itself!

Supermarket stores are highly complex systems – most equipment in such locations involves a degree of mechanical operation (think refrigerator motors, checkout moving belts, automatic doors, fan-assisted bread ovens, air conditioning, …).

Trying to detect problems before they happen is key, as the breakdown of any piece of machinery incurs, lost sales, spoiled products, expensive emergency engineer callouts, and likely staff and consumer frustration.

Smart systems work not only to highlight breakdowns but forecast future problems. Often, smart devices detect increasing amounts of electricity used by a particular unit as the equipment starts working harder compared to its ‘peers’ to maintain temperature or throughput. Such energy increases can be small, but smart systems can detect this change and alert the service team to visit earlier than planned.

If Asda can detect problems before anything begins to go wrong, the operational savings – multiplied by their vast store portfolio – are considerable.

Utilitywise has a track record of monitoring and saving all kinds of business energy, so I think the partnership will be profitable for both companies.

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