The untapped potential in your retail estate: Getting more from your BMS technology

3 Minute Read
The untapped potential in your retail estate: Getting more from your BMS technology

Retailers in the UK have historically made significant capital investments in hardware and building management systems (BMS) to enhance control mechanisms within their estates, with the aim of optimising asset utilisation and resource allocation. However, despite these investments, they frequently encounter issues with the complexity of accompanying software systems. These intricate software counterparts often prove challenging to navigate and utilise effectively.

Consequently, retailers find themselves grappling with restrictive systems that require manual overrides to address store-level challenges. This manual intervention not only leads to inconsistent control over energy usage and asset management but also results in a lack of visibility into the health and performance of assets.

Essentially, the reliance on hardware that is coupled with software featuring limited user interfaces and control capabilities has, until now, made it nearly impossible to implement asset efficiencies at scale. Given these challenges, it prompts the question: Is there a better way forward? What untapped potential lies within your retail estate, and how can it be unlocked?

Let's delve deeper and explore what potential may be being left untapped in your retail estate.

Man working with a building controller on a business site.

Legacy systems with poor software dashboards

BMS emerged over 50 years ago, and typically businesses implemented BMS technology that would have required on site monitoring and on-site intervention.

As BMS evolved, partial internet of things (IoT) tech with BMS integrations emerged, enabling remote monitoring of data and integration with other tech, such as integrated maintenance management systems (IMMS) to simplify work order management.

For some, this is as far as the journey has come. Retailers’ estates typically use these legacy systems to monitor performance but have no capability to control or drill down into assets to identify inefficiencies and faults and eliminate them.

With legacy systems that have poor software capability and visualisation, it’s made remote asset control impossible.

Software that cannot connect to hardware

To address the challenge of clunky legacy software, retailers have made substantial investments in additional technology, often resorting to stacking multiple systems upon each other to better organize staff and mitigate the issue.

However, despite these efforts, a significant obstacle remains: the lack of seamless communication between these technologies. While software can effectively pull and ingest data from hardware, the ability to push data back and assume full control remains restricted.

As a result of this limitation in remote intervention, store managers often find themselves grappling with static set point controls that offer little flexibility or responsiveness to store environments.

Consequently, store teams are compelled to take matters into their own hands, resorting to manual overrides. This scenario renders the entire value of the BMS redundant. Consequently, energy usage and costs skyrocket, assets operate in overdrive, and inefficiencies regain control, exacerbating operational challenges.

A graph showing telemetry on a screen.

Lack of flexibility and adaptability

Initially retailers will have hefty investment in BMS, and each site is typically optimised at initial commissioning of the system.

Overtime however as schedules and setpoints change via store and engineer interactions, the use of the BMS becomes inconsistent and uncontrolled. With a lack of real-time visibility a control, business estates and sites end up incurring energy wastage, driving costs and carbon impact up and creating wide-reaching inefficiencies.

Retailers need to find ways then to ensure that the BMS does not become a plug and play system, but rather has continuous investment and optimisation post-implementation.

Unlocking untapped potential – how to overcome those challenges?

The solution lies in the next evolution of BMS, utilising single view telemetry, artificial intelligence (AI) and remote intervention control that allows retailers to:

  • Identify alarms and problems across all assets in the estate on one view
  • Understand why faults are occurring by getting a holistic picture of the entire business estate
  • Implement change remotely if required
  • Set rule-based logic for each asset across the estate that enables demand responses on an automated basis

The best part? You can access optimisation at scale without costly hardware replacements.

Main looking at a software dashboard on a desktop screen.

How do I get started?

Getting started with changing a legacy BMS can be a daunting task. If you’re reading this blog and resonate with these challenges, we can help you get started the right way by using LoweConex.

Our software enables users connect to any hardware, software, or asset through internet of things (IoT) technology to monitor, measure and control their estate and assets from any location.

With LoweConex software you can utilise real-time and dynamic control for refrigeration, temperature control, HVAC, BMS, lighting, wet systems and more. Empower rapid changes and asset efficiency at scale, pushing back demands to your assets when required to create a flexible and adaptive estate with effective software that gets more out of your BMS and existing hardware.

Book a chat with our team today to see how it could work for you.

Book a demo

LoweConex is your trusted estate automation partner. Using our award-winning software platform, we empower businesses’ estates through connected automation at scale.

Using our system, users can connect to any hardware, software, or asset, ingest data from those systems, then connect, monitor and control their estate and assets from remote locations through LoweConex.

With centralised control for refrigeration, temperature control, HVAC, building management systems (BMS), lighting, wet systems and more, your business can actualise change rapidly with automated rulesets that ensure your technology responds instantly to physical changes in surrounding climates.

Trusted by some of the biggest names in retail, hospitality and BMS, LoweConex is helping businesses to reduce spend via energy management, automating reporting capabilities, creating maintenance efficiencies, reducing risk through accurate compliance and giving back control with centralised capabilities and dashboards.

See how it could work for you! Book a call with our team today.