By Paul Carlson
Improve operations and save thousands per store with enterprise-level insights.
This blog is the last of a three-part series exploring building management systems and energy-efficiency strategies. This post focuses on how convenient store operators can use building management systems to gain deeper insights across their enterprises.
In my last post, I discussed how a central building management system could help convenient stores reduce energy use and costs storewide by re-evaluating how equipment works together as a whole. Such a holistic approach can lead to significant savings for a store.
But what about an enterprise?
Building management systems collect a wide range of data that operators can use to make enterprise-wide improvements. Having access to this data at the enterprise level means increased visibility into store operations and the ability to act on insights across an entire fleet of stores.
It also means cost savings. By using building management systems, convenience store operators have saved up to $10,000 or more annually per store in energy, maintenance and other operational expenses.
Here’s how it works: Building management systems collect and store data, which facility managers can use along with analytic tools, detailed reports and task management programs to identify:
- Under-performing locations
- Locations with equipment that deviates from corporate settings
- Stores with unusually high energy consumption
- Locations with recurring maintenance expenses
Having access to enterprise-level insights enables convenience store operators to make more informed decisions — backed by clear data — about their operations.
Take maintenance, for example. Without store-level visibility, issue resolution typically happens as follows: the store contacts the facility management team, who then dispatches maintenance personnel to fix the issue. Depending on the severity of the issue, maintenance could make several trips to the store before sufficiently fixing the problem.
But, what if the facility management team knew the exact extent of the issue before sending in the maintenance crew? A building management system with enterprise management capabilities enables operators to remotely assess in-store problems to determine:
- If the condition requires facility management to dispatch a maintenance team or if it could be remotely resolved
- Whether the issue requires emergency attention or whether it can wait until the next day or even the next routine maintenance dispatch
- What information the dispatch technician needs to resolve the issue, such as operating history, alarm status and required equipment
Enterprise-level information from a building management system allows convenience store operators to delay unnecessary dispatches, bundle maintenance calls into one ticket, and streamline their asset management process.
Operators can also drive down energy costs by remotely comparing current equipment setpoints to their original setpoints. Since this information is stored in the building management system, ensuring equipment is set to the most energy-efficient settings is easy and requires no guesswork.
Convenience store chains that are taking advantage of enterprise management tools are reducing their maintenance costs, making more informed repair/replace decisions, improving the ROI of optimization initiatives, and gaining new insights into their facility operations.
While these are just a few examples, there are several other ways convenience store operators can gain efficiencies with enterprise-level insights.
Paul Carlson, Emerson’s vice president/general manager — foodservice, is an accomplished executive with engineering, operations and leadership experience in positions at Earth Energy Systems, Trane, Coca-Cola, Cornelius, Control Products and Emerson. Over his 30-year career in the alternative energy, food & beverage and electronics industries, Paul has worked with both public and privately held organizations in many functional capacities, including product development and engineering, sales, operations and general management.