Peregrine Corporation, owner of the On The Run (OTR) convenience chain, has begun piloting predictive analytics in store as part of a wider innovation strategy by the South Australian convenience retailer.
Peregrine owns and operates more than 260 stores across Australia including OTR and Smokemart & Giftbox stores.
Its new solution uses the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics for a dual benefit: instead of having Peregrine’s site team manually log the temperature of appliances, as well as its operating specification, roughly every four hours, the sensors handle it automatically, saving time and reducing the risk of error, according to Peregrine.
Using the Internet of Things to reduce risk
The pilot, which is currently being trialed at Peregrine’s OTR Hillbank store, was developed in collaboration with Microsoft and Empired.
It works by leveraging IoT sensors to automatically log the temperature of product storage systems, freeing staff for more value-added tasks, reducing the chance of equipment failures, and delivering greater operational transparency.
Sensor-collected data is then aggregated into the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite analysed for key staff with easy-to-understand visuals via Power BI. By analysing the sensor-collected data using Microsoft Power BI the team is able to assess the health status and where they require resources.
According to Peregrine, data and IoT technology helps reduce its enterprise risk, which is predicated on its complete compliance with Australian Food Safety Standards.
Local rules and regulations dictate that any errors in the control of food storing appliances result in stock being destroyed to ensure the health of customers, so ensuring appliances remain operational within specified tolerances is essential for Peregrine’s operations.
Innovation to improve efficiency and ensure compliance
The pilot is one component of a wider innovation vision, spearheaded by its CIO, Brendon Hore.
“The South Australian convenience sector is extremely competitive and it’s our belief that our commitments to investment in technology improve the efficiency in our site operations and ultimately, improve the customer experience,” said Mr Hore.
“When we started the project, we had two clear goals in mind. We wanted to make operational site processes simpler for our team. We pride ourselves on being a place where our great people get to do great things. Already, our staff are able to spend their time being analytical, rather than being data entry operators.
“The second goal of the project was to ensure that compliance to food safety standards was optimised with the most efficient use of resources. Again, it’s early days but the reduction in manual labour is already resulting in decreased human error.”
Peregrine is evaluating expanding the solution to an additional five or six stores, with plans to eventually replicate the deployment across its entire network of convenience stores.