Please enable JavaScript.  This webapp requires JavaScript to work at its best.

Case Study

Making food storage smarter and safer with IoT monitoring

Innovative environmental monitoring service saves time, cuts costs and reduces risk for catering and hospitality customers.

Bell Integration helps a global catering supplier implement a scalable and sophisticated IoT appliance monitoring service that enables customers to reduce waste and maintain compliance with food and health regulations.

Background

Connecting to a better future

Founded in 1983, this UK provider of commercial kitchen equipment, catering supplies and other hospitality products ships to 76 countries and employs 1,800 personnel worldwide.

Offering a ‘one stop shop’ experience to chefs, hotels, restaurants, bars, schools, colleges and more, the firm is committed to developing new products and solutions that help customers resolve day-to-day operational challenges and improve the sustainability of their operations.

With this in mind, the firm wanted to launch an innovative new technology service that would enable customers to leverage real-time environmental monitoring and alerts to unlock a range of benefits.

Alongside reducing losses resulting from equipment failures and improving energy efficiency, the automated monitoring service would make it easier and faster for customers to demonstrate compliance with stringent food storage regulation. It would also enable customers to opt for preventative maintenance visits – delivered by its engineering division – to keep their catering equipment in top condition and prevent unexpected failures.

To turn its connected monitoring vision into reality, the firm turned to Bell Integration to help it develop and deliver a comprehensive end-to-end remote asset monitoring service to the catering and hospitality industries.

“To enhance its offering, the company wanted to launch an innovative technology service that enables customers to leverage real-time environmental monitoring and alerts to unlock a range of benefits.” says the Managing Director of the engineering division.

The requirement

Round the clock environmental monitoring

Storing food at the correct temperature is mission critical for catering firms that need to protect the quality and integrity of the food products they serve.

To keep food safe to consume, hospitality and catering firms are required to check and record the temperature of their fridges and freezers on a daily basis in compliance with stringent food safety standards. Something that involves significant time and manual labour.

To address these challenges, the organisation wanted to make it fast and easy for customers to take advantage of an affordable 24/7 wireless temperature and humidity monitoring service that would enable them to:

  • Record temperature/humidity accurately and regularly
  • Automate compliance reporting
  • Ensure refrigeration appliances are always compliant
  • Get instant alerts the moment health and safety thresholds are exceeded
  • Reduce the risk of food spoilage and waste
  • Avoid appliance failure or non-conformance

Our goal was to make self-monitoring an appealing and simple service option that would take customers less than 15 minutes to set up. Once they install their pre-configured wireless sensors, we take care of everything else,” explains the Managing Director of the engineering division.

Powered by Bell Integration, the new smart and connected monitoring service would enable customers to eliminate paper-based and error-prone manual processes and constantly monitor the status and temperature of their refrigeration equipment. Regardless of whether they work on site or not.

In addition to tracking changes in temperature and humidity that have an impact on food quality, customers would be able to evaluate their condition monitoring data to determine if a machine needs servicing and make data informed decisions on energy usage.

The solution

A fully managed Iot-as-a-Service solution

Tasked with helping the organisation roll-out a dedicated refrigeration equipment monitoring service that gives customers industry-leading 24/7 real-time asset monitoring options they can purchase with a single click from its website, Bell Integration created a fully managed IoT solution that supports every aspect of the service operation and lifecycle.

Taking care of everything from developing the initial application through to undertaking the sourcing and shipment of pre-configured gateways and sensor devices direct to customers, Bell handles the service initiation itself and all ongoing device management and support.

“Typically, our customers are up and running in less than 10 minutes, thanks to Bell’s smart thinking on how to streamline the implementation process. Customers simply scan a QR code contained in their welcome email or the shipment box containing their equipment, and a set-up wizard does everything else,” confirms the Managing Director.

The plug and play solution gives customers the option of customising their alert settings, alongside a traffic light system that keeps them up-dated on the health status of their equipment. In addition to receiving alerts on things like temperature thresholds, customers also receive instant notifications should a sensor or gateway go offline.

Bell Integration also provides a dedicated service desk to ensure that customers get a rapid response to any technical questions or issues.

 

The outcomes

A fully scalable and fully managed solution

Working with Bell Integration has enabled the firm to launch an innovative new service that enables customers to solve a number of business challenges.

Eliminating the need to manually carry out and file temperature records on a daily and weekly basis, the new monitoring service delivers rapid ROI and improves reporting efficiencies. In addition to saving time and money and freeing up staff to focus on other operational tasks, the service makes it easier to maintain compliance with food safety regulations.

“Today, our customers can quickly assess their connected equipment environment and make adjustments that will help enhance food quality, while minimising waste. When it comes to reducing the risk of costly spoilage resulting from equipment failure or breakdown, we offer preventative maintenance options that give customers added peace of mind and ensure equipment is working optimally,” says the Managing Director.

Utilising a fully managed IoT service from Bell Integration also makes it easy to scale up service delivery inline with growing demand.

“Thanks to Bell Integration we’ve been able to launch a market
ready solution that involved minimal development effort or risk on our part. Bell provides a complete and fully validated solution that we are able to brand. Even better they take care of deployment, device management, and ongoing customer support on our behalf,” continues the Managing Director.

Why Bell Integration?

Working with Bell enabled this commercial catering company to capture a new market opportunity, generating additional revenue streams for its maintenance services.

“Today’s restauranteurs and catering firms are looking to make their operations more connected, efficient and fail-safe and IoT technologies do more than just deliver the real-time safety monitoring that is key for maintaining food quality and safety. It also makes it possible to use data-led dashboards to identify potential appliance faults that could result in units consuming more energy than necessary,” says the Managing Director.

Demand for the solution has been significant, and customers now using the service include small independent restaurants and wine bars as well as major hotel chains and supermarkets. A number of pilots are also underway at the NHS and a number of universities. The IoT platform makes it easier to manage multiple locations remotely, providing tiered access to high-level reporting for the CEO to real-time alerts for the onsite kitchen staff.

“Sustainability and maintaining compliance with health and safety regulations represent a top priority for the customers we work with.”

“By working with Bell Integration, scaling up the service to cope with large implementations and a growing customer base won’t prove an issue,” he continues.

Looking ahead, the company has plans to extend its IoT monitoring service to other areas of the business with specific tailored options for monitoring ovens, dishwashers, water consumption and more.

“Working with Bell Integration will enable us to develop specific monitoring solutions in a highly cost-effective way. That includes creating a wider connected kitchen solution that will enable companies to digitalise their processes, reduce costs, and fulfil their compliance obligations efficiently.”