Monthly Archives

October 2016

Small Box Energy Helps Kick Off Denny’s Annual Franchisee Conference

By | Community, Tradeshows | No Comments

David - DFASmall Box Energy helped kicked off the annual Denny’s Franchisee Association (DFA) Conference in Orlando Florida yesterday. Shown here is DFA’s Chairman of the Board, Craig Barber, talking with David Andow, president of Small Box Energy, at the annual Sponsor’s Dinner. Small Box Energy has been a supplier to Denny’s franchisees for several years, and we are proud to sponsor the DFA annual conference. We understand the restaurant industry is faced with many challenges, especially now with wage increases, higher health insurance costs and more regulations, high employee turn-over and ever increasing food costs. It is very important to Small Box Energy that we keep engaged with our customers so we understand their needs, priorities, and challenges. This engagement helps us understand how we can evolve and maximize our platform to meet their key priorities and reduce overall operating costs to help them offset the other costs they are facing.

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Small Box and Avnet Announce Partnership for Installation Services

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Small Box Energy today announced their partnership and formal services agreement for NorthAvnet Installation
America with Avnet, Inc. through its Technology Solutions group (Avnet TS), a leading global technology distributor. Avnet TS is now the primary installation services provider for chameleon solutionchameleon™, the Internet of Things (IoT) energy management platform that is powered by Intel® (INTC) technology and used by restaurants, convenience stores, and retailers. Under the agreement, Avnet TS will provide inventory, hardware installation, cloud-based commissioning services for the system, as well as support services. Small Box Energy’s chameleon is currently installed with more than 65 brands throughout North America, with several pending contracts from national corporations.

Read the full release here.

 

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Automation Eases Employee Workload

By | Efficiency, Energy Management, Food Safety, IoT | No Comments

We understand the industry is experiencing an upward trend in turnover rates, which makes employers’ jobs harder. Continual training for consistency and ensuring processes are followed correctly can be much more challenging if there is high turn-over rate among your crews.

That’s why Small Box focuses on providing automation and efficiency solutions to help make your employees’ jobs easier, while offering risk mitigation and consistency across your entire portfolio:

Real-time Alarms via Text or Email:

  • Refrigeration equipment above/below specific range
  • Operational inefficiency warnings and alarms when set-points are not being reached for equipment (early equipment diagnostics)
  • Critical food probe alerts if food temperatures have not been taken when they were supposed to be, if you choose to set a schedule

Automatic Documentation & Data Integrity:

  • Data automatically stored in the cloud
  • Historical analysis and temperatures available for short/long-term viewing

Data Analysis:

  • Our Client Success Managers dig deep into equipment operations by monitoring run times, checking alarms, reviewing set-point data and HVAC overrides to ensure efficiency and longevity.

Small Box is here to help your operations run more efficiently and reduce costs. Contact us today.

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Why Should Restaurants and Convenience Stores be Interested in IoT?

By | Early Equipment Diagnostics, Energy Management, Food Safety, IoT, Uncategorized | No Comments

IoT cloud_3IoT touches every person, every day and we barely even think about it – cell phones, laptops, security devices, HVAC controls, and lights. They are all connected:

Today*: 6.4B “things” connected via IoT technologies
Tomorrow: 5.5 million things will be connected
2020: 20.8 Billion things connected

Eventually, virtually everything electrical will be connected – appliances, blinds, locks, garage doors, water heaters, landscaping lights, even irrigation systems.

But the important question is why?  Why has technology permeated so many aspects of our lives?  Well, there are lots of reasons.  First, we might say it’s cool.  Who doesn’t feel just a little bit of power when you can turn your lights on and off from across the country?  Right?   However, the more practical applications of these “things” provide us convenience, save us money or provide some added safety for us.  They make our lives easier, they help us get more for less all while improving the world we live in. The same is true for businesses and especially restaurants.

It is very common to be using IoT for your POS, social media and even operations like inventory or ordering. Nearly every asset in the business has been impacted by the internet and/or IoT to save money or increase efficiency. For Front of the House, IoT applications typically focus on increasing revenue and loyalty; where as the Back of the House applications typically focus on increasing productivity through schedules, inventory, and bookkeeping.

Small Box Energy leverages IoT to provide a solution focused on providing operational efficiency to improve profitability for both restaurants and convenience stores:

  • Improves Food Safety by automatically documenting temperatures for refrigeration equipment and food probes on the cloud, giving users historical and real-time access.
  • Reduces Food Loss by providing real-time alarms to employees when refrigeration equipment is out of the defined temperature range, notifying employees to take immediate action.
  • Reduces Maintenance Costs by providing data to distinguish between equipment failure and operational inefficiencies; as well as data to determine truly urgent repairs over routine maintenance needs. Facility managers are becoming empowered through remote access and diagnostics.
  • Extends Equipment Life and Improves Inefficiencies by providing the data necessary to determine doors being left open, repetitive and unnecessary HVAC overrides, or general excess operation of compressors.
  • Reduces Energy Consumption through automation, scheduling and decreasing unnecessary defrost cycles in equipment to help control what is often perceived as uncontrollable costs.

So why is IoT important for restaurateurs? It will touch every aspect of your operation and it will help you save time, mitigate risk and increase profitability. Learn more about how Small Box Energy can help your operations by emailing sales@smallboxenergy.com.

 

*Source: Gartner.com

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A Focus on Food Safety

By | Food Safety | No Comments

We know restaurants take several precautions to ensure their food is safe from bacteria growth. They have very rigorous training programs, hourly procedures and checkpoints in place to ensure food is safely handled, cooked and stored. But let’s face it, a restaurant kitchen is a like a playground for bacteria; it’s all over, in the air, water and soil and food is their fuel to grow. I was shocked to read bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella Enteritidis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Campylobacter can grow to dangerous levels, sometimes doubling in less than 20 minutes. These are the types of bacteria that cause serious illness.

Food safety is one the key reasons why restaurateurs and convenience stores are turning to Small Box Energy. Our chameleon™ platform monitors walk-ins, freezers and reach-in units 24/7/365. Alarms are sent via text and email to key personnel and managers when a cooler is above set-point, or in the ‘danger zone.’ for more than 1 hour. This alerts employees can take immediate action, reducing the ability for this bacteria to grow. Managers and users always have the real-time and historical data available via chameleon-cloud.com or the mobile application, so they can verify consistent holding temperatures for their coolers.

We also understand another key issue for restaurants is food handling before, during and after cooking. That is why Small Box Energy now offers the Critical Food Probe. This wireless probe is used specifically for probing foods and recording the temperatures on the cloud. This device is currently in beta, but expected to be available by the end of this year.

To learn more about how Small Box Energy can help your restaurant, email us at sales@smallboxenergy.com or fill in the form at http://www.smallboxenergy.com/contact-us/.

For more information on how temperatures affect foods and bacteria growth, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/how-temperatures-affect-food/ct_index

Additionally, for more information on all the work the US Government is doing to ensure food is safe straight from the farm, visit: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/default.htm

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How can 10% effect your electric bill?

By | Case Studies, Energy Management | No Comments

One of the key advantages to the Small Box Energy solution is the data. Our system provides real-time and historical analysis for 140,000 data points for equipment and total energy per location, per day. Our value goes way beyond the numbers with real-time alarms, operational inefficiency, and early equipment diagnostics.

This morning we received a pleasant surprise from one our customers, he’s had the system installed for just over a month. He did a complete analysis of his energy consumption since installation and he emailed us this morning showing a kWh savings of about 10% over last year, with an associated NET savings of $294 off his electric bill. There are so many factors that go into your energy usage and bills, so we typically don’t recommend or use a straight year-over-year kWh analysis, but we are always excited to cost savings like this one!

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