Modern retailers are under tremendous pressure from digital disruption, the rise of the omni-channel sales model, and tech-savvy, millennials seeking a cyber retail experience that railroads the traditional brick-and-mortar store front. There are big winners and big losers during this era of business transformation in retail, and the single most important differentiator is innovation.
Retailers must begin to question how effectively they’re leveraging technology to manage operations, marketing and the overall customer experience. Each area of the business impacts the next, cutting operational costs allows for an increased marketing budget which creates an enhanced customer experience. So if taking initiative at the executive level means starting with technology for operational efficiencies where do you begin? The answer: energy and facility management technology.
Here are three easy steps to kick-start an energy and facility management program for increased margins:
1. Select the Right Partner for Success
First, find the right technology partner, a vendor who can provide the controls and optimization required to elevate your business model. Simply put, an Energy Management System (EMS) is a tool used to monitor, control and optimize your facilities’ energy performance. With an EMS platform, retailers are able to:
- Gain control over any device that uses energy
- Pinpoint maintenance issues and automate vendor management
- Extend equipment life and decrease operational costs
EMS technology has evolved greatly over time, with new age functionality for monitoring lighting, HVAC, water temperature and more, all in real-time. When selecting an EMS provider, it’s important to find a solution that can adapt and scale with your business, is quick and easy to install, and provides the controls and metrics that align to your corporate objectives.
2. Transform Data into Actionable Insights
The old saying goes - “If you can’t measure it, don’t do it” - infinite wisdom for retailers everywhere. With EMS, data becomes metrics and metrics become insights to create benchmarks and evaluate your energy usage and maintenance performance at a granular level, in real-time, down to each site location or across your entire portfolio. This provides visibility into your business critical to increasing operational efficiencies and creating costs savings that will contribute to an enhanced customer experience with measurable KPIs.
3. Stay The Course
Just like dieting, you can’t expect to see results overnight. Engaging in an energy management strategy takes time and the true value is derived through operational savings that will impact your bottom line. On average a retailer with 500 locations will save $10 million over 5 years-time with the right EMS technology installed. These are returns worth your investment.
Using these ideas will help you stay competitive in today’s modern retail environment. By selecting the right EMS, measuring and monitoring your facility’s energy usage, and staying the course, your retail facility will be able thrive. Most importantly, you’ll be able to sleep better at night knowing you’re prepared for the next generation of retail.