IoT, smart data, big data, all of these terms you hear more often the more common technology and data continues to intertwine itself with every aspect of our lives. With the recent Facebook data debacle, people are starting to realize that their data is valuable…but why? Small Box Energy works primarily within the restaurant and convenience store industry, and we’ve come to find that the more information you capture within your facility, the more it benefits your business and ultimately, you.

So what is the difference between big data and smart data? Big data deals with the 5 V’s: volume, velocity, veracity, variety, and value. Basically, it is a large pool of data that makes it difficult for data to be interpreted conventionally. Smart data, on the other hand, is data the applies to your problem. It’s what we here at Small Box Energy like to call actionable data. Our software sifts through more than 100,000 data points per location per day to pull out, only, the data that is useful to you and your business. It is easily interpreted, easy to take action with and allows you to draw educated conclusions about a problem using the data as backing.

Now let’s talk about why this smart data is so important and valuable to your business and you!

Smart Data Predicts Future Failure

The restaurant industry is notorious for not replacing their equipment when needed, and only replacing it if it is an absolute necessity that’s why early equipment diagnostics is on every facility managers radar. Maintenance behavior like this tends to cause more problems and money than saving it. Collecting data from your HVAC system like desired setpoints, discharge air temperature, and current status of compressors can give you a huge step up when it comes to fixing a problem before it costs you more money than needed, not to mention those upset customers when your A/C goes out. This stays true with your refrigeration equipment as well. Capturing a walk-in units defrost cycles and temperatures, that can help you establish an exact moment of failure, or trends that show when a piece of equipment is about to go out.

Staff behavior

Capturing data from your HVAC, walk-in units, lighting, and even your small reach in’s, you can identify when overrides of schedules are happening, and also when doors are being propped/left open. This is a massive advantage for facility managers in that it gives visibility to the employee behavior happening when no one is there to see it.

Portfolio Management Locations

Going hand in hand with the staff behavior point, the more data you capture about your location, the better it will help you manage it. You can’t control or manage what you can’t measure. There are so many things happening in a location when you are absent you can’t afford to continue to lose money here and there on lights left on, equipment failure and so on. Capturing data across your portfolio will allow you to save money in all of your locations along with managing facility budgets to sites that may be in more need than others. Comparing the data across your locations will give you more confidence in the decisions you make by having the data to back it up.

Food Safety

HAACP has been around since 1959 and formalized in 1972, so for 46 years we have relied on pen and pencil and the honesty of the employees to accurately take temperatures every 2 hours, or that the beef was cooked to proper temperature before serving, or that the walk-in refrigerator was at an appropriate temperature for the foods being stored within. Now with IoT, it’s easier than ever to obtain all of the above temperatures digitally and save them in the cloud. This allows for alarming when temperatures are not taken for specific foods or when a refrigeration unit goes down. This will enable you to take action before money is lost in the product within the refrigeration unit.

Energy Consumption

Capturing and monitoring energy consumption can save you thousands in a year. Once you capture this information, it gives you the power to isolate, and act. The energy data collected from your critical systems allow you to see where you are spending the most and create an action plan from there. Creating that small piece of visibility can save a restaurant or convenience store up to 30% on energy consumption monthly!

Smart Cities=Smart World

Connecting your facilities to the IoT revolution and capturing data is right for you, but guess what its good for the world too. This data can be used by companies to better our world. We can help pinpoint energy waste, come up with solutions and best practices to help protect the environment and keep the world as it is now for future generations.

Improving Operations

I have listed some ways that each of the above points can help operationally, but if you currently are not capturing your data in your facility, your visibility is at a zero. With HVAC data you can pinpoint equipment failure and irregularities, refrigeration data helps identify temperatures of food along with the quality, and food safety data ensures your customers are getting the best visit every visit. This actionable data allows you to create plans surrounding employee behavior and business objectives yielding savings in time and money.

Correlations with everyday Business and Data

Collecting data points today allows you to predict tomorrow’s actions. You can uncover the perfect temperature to set your facility at and ensure that, even when you are gone, it stays that way. An uptick in business can reflect in a spike in energy consumption and allows you to correlate data with everyday business in your restaurant or convenience store.

Trending Times

Not only is this the perfect time to take control of your data it’s the cheapest. It has never been more affordable for businesses to implement ways to capture their data. Several companies offer a purchase option for the equipment, but even better monthly payment options. The industry realizes the potential in this sector and making it available to everyone is the perfect way to move innovation forward.

Customer Happiness

As stated briefly above you can pinpoint the perfect temperature of your location where your customers seem to be the happiest. We often find that the employees adjust the temperatures based on their comfort level when really, the customers should be driving that. Food quality can also be affected by too many defrosts in your refrigeration units, causing the stored food to have freezer burn.

Your facility is bursting with data that is just waiting to be collected, but if we’ve learned anything from this post it’s that data has to be smart or actionable. In order to take advantage of the data, you have to understand it to know where to apply it. In today’s age it less expensive to find companies that can do this exact thing for you and in the end, make your business more profitable. Small Box Energy is proud to serve over 50 qsr, family dining and convenience store brands nationally and want to help you expand your data horizons.


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