Internet of Things makes stock checking a breeze for OTR

With an ever increasing focus on how cloud-based technology can improve efficiency in retail, one fast moving tech company has recently assisted South Australian fuel retailer On The Run with their stock management procedures.

Business information technology company Empired was instrumental in implementing new systems for Peregrine Corporation, which operates On The Run convenience stores as well as the Giftbox and Smokemart chain of retail outlets.

The systems were deployed to automatically monitor the temperature of On the Run’s food storage systems, rather than have staff perform time-consuming manual checks every four hours, as was the standard practice prior to implementation.

Empired national business manager (Data Insights and Integration) Ben Johnson said the burden of performing stock checks can be substantial and costly, particularly for retailers of perishable goods.

“In order to comply with Australian Food Safety Standards, retailers must ensure that food is stored correctly and at the right temperature,” he said.

“If something goes wrong and isn’t detected in time, the retailer may have to destroy a lot of stock that they are no longer permitted to sell.

“By automating this process and installing sensors, Peregrine was able to identify issues immediately, greatly reducing the risk of equipment failure and stock wastage.

“The results of checks are now more accurate as the sensors are implemented in consistent areas, rather than the service person checking temperatures in different areas of refrigerators.”

Conventionally, manual monitoring of cold stock checking is carried out by staff intermittently, however with Internet of Things (IoT) technology, RFID sensors constantly monitor stock, enabling retailers to reduce the risk of losing stock by quickly identifying a problem with temperature before stock is ruined.

“By having much greater control over inventory, supply chain management, and loss prevention, retailers can focus their efforts on improving customer service,” Mr Johnson said.

“Customers will receive better service, and retailers will be able to offer better deals on purchases. It’s a win-win situation.”

IoT-enabled technology comes in many different forms, including smart shelving which detects when stock is low and automatically reports on this, or sensors that monitor the quality of perishable items and can send alerts when items need to be discounted or removed from the shelves.

IoT-enabled stock control also greatly improves the accuracy of stock checking. It can predict and send reminders to increase inventory to meet a spike in demand for certain products at certain times, so the store doesn’t run out of stock and miss out on sales opportunities.

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