Grocery Store Shrinkage

In a business insider article from 2014 it was reported that every year, the United States throws away one-third of all the food it produces – 133 billion pounds of food. Grocery stores are responsible for the disposal of 10% of that food for various reasons.

Let’s put this number into perspective with some simple math. Did you know that the average American eats approximately 2,000 pounds of food throughout the course of one year? When you take this statistic and divide it by the yearly 13 billion pounds of wasted food from grocery stores in the United States alone, the wastage accumulates to enough food to feed up to 6.5 million people.

The Problem:

Grocery store shrinkage is the loss of product inventory which falls into two main categories – operation management issues and theft. In this article, we will be discussing the operations management side of grocery store shrinkage, specifically product loss due to poor storage environments that lead to wastage.

Currently, most grocery store refrigeration monitoring is done through a manual process of walking the store floor and taking temperature readings of all unit several times a day. When using a manual process, grocery stores run the risk of temperature readings being compromised due to human error, missed or late readings, fridge doors being left open, and more, leading to the loss of products and goods. In addition to this, many countries have requirements for monitoring and recording food safety conditions to comply with government regulations.

The Solution:

Through the deployment of fridge & freezer monitoring solutions, grocery stores can steadily oversee the internal temperature and humidity levels of all refrigeration units within a store, and receive alerts when undesirable conditions are met. Because of this ability to promptly report changing environmental conditions, grocery stores can take immediate action in the prevention of loss of goods due to spoilage. In addition to sensory data collection (such as temperature, humidity, and more), stores can also monitor the open/closed state of fridge doors. In doing so, they are able to accumulate valuable customer interaction data, as well as enabling notification services reporting when a refrigeration unit’s door has been left open resulting in the sudden drop of internal temperature.

Advantages:
  • Prevent the loss of goods/shrinkage due to poor refrigeration & freezer conditions
  • Increase maintenance response time to malfunctioning refrigeration units to prevent the loss of goods
  • Monitor usage, trends, stock, and environment of refrigeration units based on the door open/closed activity
  • Increase efficiencies on restocking and cleaning
mcThings & Refrigeration Monitoring:

mcThings offers off-the-shelf hardware capable of monitoring/sensing temperature, humidity, pressure, and more. In addition to these onboard sensors, several of our module/device models also house an onboard reed switch to determine the open/closed state of doors, windows, and lids! Through our full-stack IoT platform, all sensory data collected is sent to the cloud for analysis and consumption through the application of your choice. Below are several tutorials on how to easily set up a temperature sensing network and open/closed state of a door using mcThings in conjunction with our cloud partners to visualize the data.

If you’re looking for an affordable and quick to deploy refrigeration monitoring IoT solution, contact us today. Need something similar to the refrigeration IoT solution discussed above with an added layer of complexity? No problem, mcThings offers the flexibility to meet customer needs and requirements by developing affordable custom IoT solutions.

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