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Rivercity Innovations heats up the cold-chain market with a high-tech solution

Automated monitoring system allows grocers to prevent food waste and optimize labour
A female grocery store worker holding a clipboard in one hand, opening a fridge

Grocers are making big technology investments to improve customer service and gain operational efficiencies. But when it comes to cold-chain monitoring, many still rely on manual processes and outdated technology. When readings are missed, or when coolers or freezers fail, it can add up to big losses. 

An innovative solution from Rivercity Innovations allows grocers to get a much-needed upgrade. The Saskatoon-based company’s IoT automated temperature monitoring solution provides accurate temperature and humidity data for grocers to ensure food safety and quality, and prevent product loss and food waste. 

“Food loss and waste is a huge issue today, and grocery retailers are conscious of both the environmental and bottom-line impacts,” says Sue Timmerman, chief operating officer at Rivercity Innovations. “As the cost of food has increased, grocers can’t afford for it to spoil.” 

At the same time, enlisting store employees to manually check temperatures with pen and paper is costly and time-consuming. As attracting and retaining employees is an ongoing challenge, optimizing labour is critical. “Our solution gives time back to employees, allowing grocers to reallocate time and effort to areas like customer service,” says Timmerman. 

How does Rivercity’s innovative solution work? A sensor is installed on any refrigerator or freezer, and the system wirelessly records and reports the temperature and humidity. Data is then transmitted from a long-range (LoRa) gateway to a cloud dashboard via an internet connection. Grocers can access data for automatic compliance reporting and real-time insights into all their store locations, 24/7. The system provides alerts (via text, phone or email) to ensure food is being stored at the correct temperatures.  

While there’s often an intimidation factor to implementing new technologies, Rivercity’s end-to-end solution is easy to install and use. The wireless sensor features a magnet and can be installed on a fridge or freezer in less than a minute. It also has a 10-year battery life and doesn’t require passwords. Grocers can access paperless reports at the touch of a button, or access pre-set scheduled reporting. In addition, the dashboard is intuitive; and the proprietary software is available in English, French and Spanish. As a true homegrown solution, data is protected on Canadian servers that are hosted by Rivercity, not a third party.

A key feature unique to Rivercity’s monitoring solution is Early Catastrophic Failure Detection (ECFD). The software allows grocers to predict compressor failures and receive alerts – before it’s too late. “Our ECFD monitors the algorithms and changes in temperature, so if it goes out of whack, a grocer can call their HVAC technician right away to solve the problem and prevent total losses,” says Timmerman. 

For more information about Rivercity Innovation’s cold-chain monitoring solution for grocers, visit https://rivercityinnovations.ca/grocery/


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