Skogen's Festival Foods is implementing an internet of things-based solution for task management and temperature monitoring across all of its locations. The De Pere, Wis.-based independent is rolling out the technology to amp up food quality and safety, as well as increase employee efficiency and reduce inventory loss with the SmartSense by Digi technology.
The retailer will utilize the internet of things platform in all 32 of its stores after a 30-day pilot that includes real-time monitoring of products in all refrigeration units, food temperature monitoring of deli sections and automated task management. The subscription-based service wirelessly monitors task management activities as well as the temperature of perishable goods in real time.
“SmartSense is a proactive approach to equipment maintenance and food safety that gives us the operational oversight we need to improve our bottom line and serve our guests better than ever,” said Hsing-Yi Hsieh, director of food protection and regulatory affairs for the family- and employee-owned regional retailer. “Now, every store has real-time access to temperature and food safety data at the product level, and we’re able to get ahead of any potential issues well before they become a reality.”
In addition to increasing food safety, the SmartSense technology's automated record-keeping function also saves employee hours and reduces lost inventory. As such, Festival Foods officials said the retailer expects a 300% annual return on its annual investment in year two of deployment.
Kevin Riley, president of IoT Solutions for Digi International, noted that most conversations about food safety focus on foodborne illness and contamination, but Festival Foods recognizes "there are also tremendous business benefits behind food safety solutions. In addition to helping guarantee compliance, they had an opportunity to reduce product loss and divert valuable man hours from tedious manual record-keeping to tasks that more directly impact customer experience." Riley added that Festival Foods has "already seen those results in their pilot and now that will spread across the Festival footprint.”