Utility management consultancy Utilitywise has been chosen by supermarket retailer Asda to supply Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.
Asda’s facilities services partner, City Holdings, has tasked Utilitywise with deploying its Dell-based Integrated Technology Management Solution across Asda’s UK stores. The solution will be used to connect in-store systems, such as refrigeration, fire alarms and security, in a single, intelligent network to provide Asda with greater control of its buildings operations.
Creating a smart building
Essentially, this is the creation of a smart building. Utilitywise says that with greater control of building operations come improved cost savings and business performance, while it adds that Asda should also benefit from increased visibility over all of its assets.
For example, the retailer will have access to real-time data which it can monitor so that any building performance or maintenance issues can be spotted and resolved before they become an issue.
In a press release announcing the news, Utilitywise COO Brin Sheridan described the future use of IoT building technologies.
“There is huge potential for our modern, technology-led solutions not only in the retail sector but in any sector encompassing businesses with physical premises and we are confident that we have an extremely competitive offering which will enable us to grow our market share in the Building Technology sector,” he said.
Nick Lansley, director at Lansley Consultancy, told Internet of Business that this is a smart move by Asda.
“Supermarket stores are highly complex systems,” he said. “Most equipment in such locations involves a degree of mechanical operation (refrigerator motors, checkout belts).”
“Trying to detect problems before they happen is key, as the breakdown of any piece of machinery incurs lost sales, spoiled products…and likely staff and consumer frustration.”
“If Asda can detect problems before anything begins to go wrong, the operational savings – multiplied by their vast store portfolio – are considerable.
“Utilitywise has a track record of monitoring and saving all kinds of business energy, so I think the partnership will be profitable for both companies,” Lansley concluded.
Speaking to Internet of Business about the significance of the deal, Cameron Worth, founder of IoT agency SharpEnd, said that “it’s great to see retailers taking the [IoT] space seriously.”
“As an agency that works with brands on deploying IoT solutions…the more retailers understand the power of IoT, not just for asset management but also for delivering value to customers, the easier our job is,” he said.
“A lot of the focus to date has been on leveraging the IoT to deliver operational efficiencies and, whilst we come at things from a different angle, these are all adding up to build a critical mass.”
Taking place on 18th & 19th of October, The Internet of Retail is exploring the digital transformation of retail through the use of connected devices.
From Beacons to RFID, discover the business application of new IoT technologies through real life case studies from studies from like likes of Coca-Cola, John Lewis, Adidas and more.