IoT & Ice Cream: The Future of Inventory Management Solutions

IoT.nxt

December 13, 2017 | minute read

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Last updated: 09 December 2019

Ice cream is temperamental. One negligent moment of leaving a fridge open can spoil a lot of stock, leading to a double down of losses, goods and reputational damage. Yet with display fridges spread across the globe in fuel stations, supermarkets and cafes, it is impossible to control the ecosystem sufficiently. Compounding this are the traditional fridges, which, though apt at cooling, are not sophisticated enough to lend a hand. Worse still, replacing them all with modern equivalents presents a huge and often debilitating cost.

Enter, the Internet of Things (IoT).

Although perhaps envisioned as an unlikely pairing, the advent of well-crafted IoT technologies make it possible to modernise existing display fridges at a fraction of the cost and in very little time. That same improvement opens the doors to intuitive analytics that start delivering even more value beyond simply avoiding freezer burn.

Revolutionising inventory management

The benefits of IoT on inventory supply chains are arguably some of the most exciting physical manifestations of the technology today. At its most basic, IoT allows for the interconnectivity of all types of devices to engineer operational efficiencies. Ultimately, the better the speed, accuracy and scale of the data shared within supply chains, the stronger the networks can become.

In terms of international ice cream retailers and manufacturers, this offers something invaluable to ensuring the quality of stock. Managing ice cream and avoiding fridge theft once seemed like insurmountable problems that only a massive replacement initiative could have addressed. Yet, thanks to IoT.nxt, that no longer need be the case.

No more melted ice cream

IoT.nxt has developed a platform that addresses many of the issues faced by the average international ice cream company of today. Utilising its Raptor gateway devices and Commander cloud platform, IoT.nxt has crafted a solution that brings stoic display fridges into the 21st century. A simple retrofitting operation transforms a fridge into an active data sentry, reporting the nuances of its operations. So, what are the benefits exactly?

Comprehensive asset monitoring

It may not be a surprise that fridges are attractive targets for criminals, because they are well-designed and convenient appliances. But by leveraging IoT technologies, they can be geo-fenced. Sensors can be added if needed, monitoring metrics such as the interior temperature, ambient temperature, door usage and status, power usage, and even location.

Ice cream operators can now enjoy a full view of their entire fridge territory, from a top-down overview right up to the individual fridges. By utilising GSM networks, all the monitoring is in real-time, while the data is collected and presented intuitively through the Commander dashboards. This data is then analysed to extract real insights, enabling companies to build a long-term strategy around fridge behaviours, perhaps even predicting when stock levels will run low.

Getting ahead of the problem

As an even more fundamental advantage, with IoT.nxt’s solution, each fridge can trigger alarms if they encounter problems. This means a fridge door left open can be flagged through the dashboards, as well as via email and SMS messages. Events can even be escalated if corrective action has not been taken. The true advantage here is that the workflow for these events can be set and adjusted by the fridge operator. By utilising a drag-and-drop interface, IoT.nxt’s system makes sense with the smallest amount of introduction. So, those who own the platform can adjust and expand it as they see fit.

Made to withstand the heat

Although IoT.nxt has rapidly expanded into other global markets such as Europe and the US, it was born in South Africa. Doing business in the ‘innovation tip’ of the African continent has come with its fair share of unique opportunities and challenges. Originating from one of the hottest places on earth, international ice cream companies can rest assured knowing that our solution has been tried-and-tested against the continent’s hot summers.

Ultimately, with its comprehensive edge capabilities, our platform is capable of withstanding some of the harshest environments. No matter how remote or rugged the landscape, the IoT.nxt solution can be overlayed onto any ecosystem to harness insights and improve operational efficiencies.

Any ecosystem, in any environment

Adaptable to any industrial environment, the durability of IoT.nxt’s technology stack ensures competitiveness and relevance for years to come. In the past, ice cream operators could only hold their thumbs and hope for the best when it came to managing the quality of their stock. Now, they can enjoy actual insights and exercise true control both in real-time as well as in the future. This is the power of IoT, created by IoT.nxt.

If you’re interested in leveraging your data, speak with our expert team today to find out more about IoT.nxt’s platform.


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