noun_Email_707352 noun_917542_cc Map point Play Untitled Retweet Group 3 Fill 1

Creating the supermarket of the future

Can technology transform supermarkets in a way that benefits both the planet and the bottom line?

29 February 2024

Retailer REWE Austria operates more than 2,000 grocery stores across the country. When REWE wanted to create the first energy-efficient "supermarket of the future," the company looked to Tietoevry for help in using the power of data to make it happen.

To see how technology could transform supermarkets in a way that would benefit both the
planet and the bottom line, REWE Austria decided to turn one store in Lower Austria into what they called "The Supermarket of the Future". The goal of this innovative project was to make the store and its operations more sustainable, while also reducing costs.

Collecting data from different sources

"This meant that Tietoevry had to find a way to get data from all the relevant appliances in the store, which until that point had not been linked together but had operated in so-called data silos. Gathering this data was crucial for enabling well-informed decisions regarding energy efficiency measures. It was also critical in making the maintenance of the store more efficient," explains Lukas Keller, Head of Business Development at Tietoevry in Austria.

"For example, whereas maintenance of the automatic doors would earlier be done on a set schedule – about every three months – it can now be tailored to the actual needs of the store," he says. "Instead of having the maintenance be carried out every three months, it can now be done every time the doors have opened and closed a predefined number of times."

The challenge was to create a process that automatically calls in an external maintenance company when necessary, without the local team having to take action.

"It was not easy to be honest, as all the different appliances in the store had their own systems. Pulling the information together and presenting it in one common view was not as straightforward as you might think," explains Keller. "One of the challenges was that some of the appliances had data, whereas others – such as the ovens – did not. In these cases we had to install sensors to get what we needed."

Cloud-based collaboration

To help create this supermarket of the future, Tietoevry in Austria – together with Microsoft and
Beckhoff Automation – developed an Internet of Things-based solution that collects data from all relevant appliances. This data is stored on an Azure-based platform managed by Microsoft and
is presented in an intuitive dashboard for the store manager.

"It was important for REWE that the dashboard should be as straightforward as possible, freeing up time for the manager to focus on running the store. So we ended up making it based on a traffic-light system," explains Keller. "The manager’s dashboard covers the most relevant appliances in the store. If everything is ok, then it's green, if something needs to be done locally – and the store manager can do it him or herself – then the dashboard is orange. If it's red then maintenance partners get an automatic alert letting them know that service is needed."

Significant cost reduction

According to REWE, the new system can reduce the store's total energy and maintenance costs by up to 25%. In 2023 this cutting-edge project was awarded the prestigious eAward in the category for "sustainability and smart data" in Austria.

"We were obviously very happy to receive the award. Our team worked tirelessly to deliver a state-of-the-art solution for our customer. This award motivates us to keep on working to use data and technology in a way that is not only good for business, but also helps move towards a more sustainable society," says Managing Director of Tietoevry Austria, Robert Kaup.

For Keller and the rest of his team, the work with REWE has brought a lot of learnings that they are eager to take into future sustainability projects. "This has been a great learning experience for us, and a great example of what we mean by purposeful technology. Going forward, we hope to get the chance to help even more customers use the power of technology to become more sustainable," says Keller.

Would you like to hear more?

Lukas Keller

Head of Business Development

Share on Facebook Tweet Share on LinkedIn