A successful energy management strategy must consider all factors influencing energy consumption. This includes devices using energy, natural resources required to operate, such as water, load and efficiency of HVAC systems and much more. While each of these areas of consideration may have its own unique energy management strategy, optimum results demand a holistic approach. Holistic strategies encourage multi-site retailers to be more energy-efficient and reduce operating costs enterprise-wide. But, how?
A holistic energy management strategy must cover everything in retail, including all equipment, lighting, HVAC systems and point-of-sale systems, within a single, cohesive platform, like ENTOUCH.ONE.
Integration Begets Efficiency
The first key to boosting energy efficiency among multi-site retailers lies in integration. Systems must be connected via the Internet of Things (IoT), enabling cross-informational analysis that can isolate causes of energy waste or lost opportunities. In fact, a 10 percent decrease in energy consumption through integrated systems in retailers can result in a 1.55 percent increase in profit margins and raise the sales per square foot by $25.
Holistic Strategies Boost Best Practices in the Retail Industry
Best practices amid retailers help to drive scalability and reduce overhead, and among all best practices, having actionable information available is essential to meeting the demands of business. According to Chain Store Age Magazine, 57 percent of retailers have taken notice of this trend, investing heavily in real-time data capture, analysis and application. To meet this investment, energy management systems (EMS) are filling the void, giving retailers the ability to cut overhead costs, ranging from smart lighting to automated security and maintenance programs, driving down the costs of goods or services for customers.
Holistic Solutions Combine Supply-Side Strategy With Delivery of Products or Services
It’s easy to get lost in the benefits of a holistic energy management strategy in retail, but it can serve another purpose. A holistic strategy also involves the supply-side of retail. Relationships with vendors can be improved when a facility can control its environment and costs more effectively.
For example, HVAC systems and refrigeration units can be optimized to prevent perishable items from spoiling. Meanwhile, reducing costs associated with energy consumption opens new revenue streams for increasing production in the factory and among partnering business vendors. The increase in sales per square foot alone might be enough to secure contracts with new vendors, increasing inventory and selection simultaneously, boosting growth and success of a business.
Metrics Enable Proactive, Not Reactive Energy Management Strategy
All the data in the world is useless in its raw form. Only when it is transformed through analytics programs and into accessible, actionable insights, can it be leveraged to power a holistic energy management strategy.
The U.S. Department of Energy advises retailers, as well as other businesses, to follow a continuing pathway of advancement toward energy efficiency. This includes making a commitment to expand energy efficiency, assessing the state of your organization’s energy-efficiency goals, creating, implementing and evaluating an actionable plan. Lastly, recognizing achievements and re-assessment make the plan self-propagating.
In other words, you need plain, easy-to-read statistics or metrics that can tell you what is being spent where in your retail establishment. This is where automation and centralized energy management controls can help you assess your plans and adjust them without added pressure on your business.