You’d be forgiven for thinking your display fridges are just static assets. They cool beverages, consume energy and cost money to maintain and repair.
But thanks to modern advances in data analytics and communications technology, you can now see how your SKOPE fridge fleet is impacting your business on a free app.
Here’s a run-down of the data you can mine, and what it means, so you can improve the performance of your display fridges.
The biggest business-as-usual cost from commercial refrigeration always comes from power, and these costs are only set to go up in regions and countries with complex power distribution markets. Australia is particularly prone to this problem, with retail power prices expected to keep multiplying every few years until regulatory change takes place and greater power security for cities like Adelaide are achieved.
What that means for the convenience store owner is that the true cost of their fridge fleet – the running costs as opposed to the upfront purchasing cost – is only going to continue to rapidly climb.
What can you do about it? Well, quite a lot as it turns out. Fridge power economy is not set in stone by a fridge’s design and quality, it’s also greatly influenced by where it’s placed and how it is used.
A display fridge that struggles to circulate air to cool its beverages will consume more power. And it can be put in this position by a number of factors, including placement near sources of hot air and detritus that can block vents and fans (like a frequently opening automated door), a lack of clearance around the fridge (for example, a wall snugly blocking vents), and a lack of maintenance.
If you look at the power consumption history of your fleet you’ll be able to see a trend of power consumption that aligns with the fridges that are in the most difficult locations and are in the worst condition. Rectify these issues and you could see your display fridge fleet’s contribution to your power costs minimized.
Consistency in fridge temperature is probably the key indicator of a fridge’s health. This is especially important in food storage fridges because food safety laws will require the contents remain under a safe temperature to be suitable for sale.
But let’s put aside compliance for a moment. Wavering fridge temperatures can indicate problems with door seals and gaskets, temperature controllers, or even the compressor itself – typically when the fridges haven’t been cleaned or maintained. They can also point to issues around how the fridge is being used, for example if it is being overloaded with product or the doors are being left open for too long.
So if you look back at temperature history and see peaks and troughs, this could be an indicator of an increasing problem in a fridge. Fortunately, with the foresight provided by this data you can save your business significant cost by getting the problem looked at now before the fridge fails and you lose stock or suffer the financial consequences of downtime.
Our fridge management app alerts owners to fridge temperature fluctuations and receives automated diagnoses of potential problems from the fridge’s controllers.
Door openings impact both power consumption and fridge temperature, but in fact the greatest value in looking at how many times your fridges are opened is to measure product popularity and placement.
Sales figures will give you an overall view of a beverage’s popularity, but it won’t give you a more complete picture of whether you’re placing it in front of the right people at the right time.
For example, you may have an iced coffee drink that’s new to the market currently placed by the point of sale for impulse purchases. But you could receive more sales if you place it by a complementary food product, which could be at the opposite end of the store. By testing door openings in both areas you’ll be able to see really quickly from the data which is the best option to maximize sales.
HACCP compliance requires the reporting of fridge temperature data through the day at regular intervals. This is usually done manually and, unfortunately, sometimes very sporadically.
You could improve your food safety risk position and save time on your compliance duties – meaning you’ll have more time to contribute to your business rather than just protect it – by leveraging data and automation.
For example, our fridge management app lets you significantly simplify the recording process because it can store up to five months of temperature records exported from the fridge’s controller. This allows you to have the information on-hand in your phone whenever you need to use it.
These four uses of data from display fridges can be pretty eye-opening, considering that most people view their fridge fleet as static assets. But this is only the beginning – the rate of innovation in this space is really heating up and in just a few years the way you look at your display fridge will never be the same again.
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