IoT and smart buildings
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IoT in Retail: More Than Just Energy Savings!

Is saving energy sufficient for multi-store retails businesses? With hundreds of branches across the demographics, inefficient operations & maintenance, lack of visibility into energy consumption data, manual asset records etc will only add to the already complex operations.

Sakshi Tiwari
Retail businesses spread across the globe

India has the 4th largest retail market in the world at present. The increasing demand for organized retail space has contributed to the creation of 120 million square feet (MSF) of retail space in major Indian cities like Delhi (23.7 MSF) and Mumbai (16.7 MSF), among others according to a report

Managing such widely spread business spaces is a huge challenge. For retail businesses like banking, insurance retails, healthcare (hospitals, clinics, labs), hypermarkets, etc. These challenges include high energy consumption due to inefficient operations & maintenance, lack of visibility into energy consumption data, manual asset records etc.

For example, according to a survey, a typical diagnostic centre with 7000 sft that operates 12 hours a day consumes approximately 2 to 3 lakh INR of average electricity cost in a month.

As 12% share of the retail market accounts for organized retail, these problems will only multiply with hundreds of branches across the demographics. Challenges like energy management, lack of asset information,no centralized visibility will only add to the already complex operations. 

To solve these problems, a variety of regulations are being followed to ensure minimum energy wastage but that alone is not enough as a solution for the retail sector, because the problem does not end here. Now, the retail industry is looking for centralized solutions that help solve these problems and make energy management, asset and maintenance easier for retail space management in multi-branch operations. 

Energy Savings: The Need of the Hour in Retail

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a potent technology that can support retail businesses in achieving maximum operational effectiveness and daily energy savings. IoT technologies may be used by retail buildings to reap long-term benefits like 15% to 20% savings in energy bill costs.

Energy efficiency in the retail sector has become an issue due to various challenges like:

  • Ineffective use of energy in unoccupied area 
  • Inefficient equipment as a result of prolonged maintenance
  • Lack of visibility in the energy data of multi-retail outlets

IoT-based centralized solutions serve all sizes of retail stores and easily integrate with various energy devices like lightings, HVACs, energy meters, UPS, diesel generators among others across multiple store formats. It can control these assets at a low cost. Furthermore, these smart solutions address domain-specific use cases across multiple retail sub-verticals, such as QSR, supermarket chains, clothing retail, and so on.

Asset and Maintenance in Retail: A Value Added Benefit

IoT offers retail businesses automated asset and maintenance services with upto 20% to 25% decrease in unexpected equipment breakdown, across multiple retail outlets. Now, retail businesses can keep a track of all their assets across multiple branches with one centralized solution.

As we discussed earlier in this blog that high energy consumption, unnecessary energy wastage is a concern in the retail sector but there’s much more to be worried about such as 

  • Lack of insight into asset healths & operations
  • Improper temperature and humidity levels
  • The temperature in cold stores, that is beyond the actual operating range etc.

IoT automates assets with smart controls that improve operational effectiveness and features like condition monitoring (alarms) help set automated reminders. For the connected assets, these solutions track and monitor the collected data. 

For example, a vending machine in a food retail may require regular maintenance for say, 3 months, with the help of an IoT centralized solution respective stakeholders can automatically get a reminder of the scheduled maintenance, and a ticket will be generated for the same. 

Furthermore, even the breakdowns of connected assets like HVAC, UPS or a diesel generator  can be avoided with the help of predictive maintenance modules.

Take a step forward…

Energy management, efficiency, and asset monitoring are essential for properly managing multi-branch retail outlets when you have complete access to all the necessary tools and features. The days of keeping energy and asset records on paper are long gone.

The advantages are pretty apparent: energy savings of upto 15% to 20% on electricity bills, a precise record of asset life cycles, better maintenance schedules to prevent downtime, and a centralized solution to manage the data of multiple outlets in one place. 

IQnext, a cloud-based platform for centralized multi-branch management uses a connected, data-driven, and integrated approach to improve sustainability and drive continuous efficiency in commercial spaces or buildings. Do you also want to boost energy efficiency and have a centralized view of your retail spaces? Contact IQnext now!

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