Predictive analytics: A convenient future for Peregrine

ADELAIDE, 5 Sept, 2016 – By tapping the power of the Internet of Things and business intelligence, South Australia’s leading convenience retailer, Peregrine Corporation, plans to enhance their customers’ experience and mitigate everyday business risks.

With more than 260 stores across Australia, Peregrine owns and operates the On The Run (OTR) and Smokemart & Giftbox stores. Their new solution uses IoT and data analytics for a dual benefit: instead of having Peregrine’s site team manually log the temperature of appliances, as well as their operating specification, roughly every four hours, the sensors handle it automatically, saving time and reducing the risk of error.

Data and IoT technology also helps reduce Peregrine’s enterprise risk, which is predicated on its complete compliance with Australian Food Safety Standards. Local rules and regulations dictate that any errors in the control of food storing appliances result in stock being destroyed to ensure the health of customers, so ensuring appliances remain operational within specified tolerances is essential for Peregrine’s operations.

This ground breaking pilot, which is currently available at Peregrine’s OTR Hillbank store, was developed in collaboration with Microsoft and Empired. It works by leveraging IoT sensors to automatically log the temperature of product storage systems, freeing staff for more value-added tasks, reducing the chance of equipment failures, and delivering greater operational transparency. Sensor-collected data is then aggregated into the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite analyzed for key staff with easy-to-understand visuals via Power BI.

By analysing the sensor-collected data using Microsoft Power BI the team is able to assess the health status and where they require resources. Again, this results in a more efficient allocation of resources and pre-empts systems failures– a benefit that will only be amplified when the proof of concept rolls out to additional stores. For Peregrine, this pilot is one component of a wider innovation vision, spearheaded by its CIO, Brendon Hore. According to Hore, “The South Australian convenience sector is extremely competitive and it’s our belief that our commitments to investment in technology improve the efficiency in our site operations and ultimately, improve the customer experience.”

“When we started the project, we had two clear goals in mind. We wanted to make operational site processes simpler for our team. We pride ourselves on being a place where our great people get to do great things. Already, our staff are able to spend their time being analytical, rather than being data entry operators.

“The second goal of the project was to ensure that compliance to food safety standards was optimised with the most efficient use of resources. Again, it’s early days but the reduction in manual labour is already resulting in decreased human error.”

Sundeep Rehill, Practice Lead, Business Intelligence, Empired led the deployment of the initial solution. He said: “The Azure IoT Suite is fundamental to the solution. With 30 sensors in the initial pilot, and moving forward where there may be hundreds or thousands of sensors, having a cloud-based central repository to manage the data is essential.”

Following its initial store rollout, Peregrine is already saving many hours of labour and reducing organisational risk. Peregrine are evaluating expanding the solution to an additional 5-6 stores and ultimately to replicate the deployment across its entire network of over 130 convenience stores, achieving the major economies of scale that the Internet of Things, data analytics and cloud promises.

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