For anyone who runs a supermarket operation of any scale, energy costs tend to eat up a significant portion of the budget. The power required to run the refrigeration, lighting and other infrastructures in a store can be considerable, and managers are forced to dedicate a lot of focus – and money – to refrigeration project management.
There is good news on this front, however. While figuring out the energy budget can be expensive and time consuming for managers, it also represents an area of great opportunity. By making shrewd decisions in the way they handle certain spending categories, supermarkets can streamline their operations and ultimately increase their profits by as much as 20 percent.
Looking for long-term ROI growth
In order to ensure a positive impact on profits over the long haul, it’s important that managers think about ROI first and foremost. According to Maintenance Technology, this can take a little bit of time to fall into place – but Houghton LeRoy, director of consulting enterprise applications for ARC Advisory Group, says that a good maintenance strategy should begin to gain momentum within about six months. Within a year or two, real ROI results should become apparent.
“If you’ve focused on your critical issues and conduct the right performance measurements, there’s no reason why a ROI isn’t possible,” LeRoy told the news source.
The key is to make project management decisions that limit initial investment but can still potentially offer tangible early results. Supermarkets should seek to achieve “wins” that are easy to demonstrate in the short term, and from there, it’s a matter of slow and steady progress.
Making cost-effective investments
Savvy supermarket operators should be looking for every possible opportunity to make investments that will pay off down the road. Energy Star has recommended a few examples:
- Conducting periodic energy audits can help you identify areas where your refrigeration infrastructure has become inefficient. With this information, you can act quickly to bring your systems back to peak performance.
- Every aspect of your refrigeration service – including display cases, walk-in areas, coolers and freezers – should be outfitted with the latest and most energy-efficient technologies.
- More efficient lighting techniques can also play a role, enabling any supermarket to reduce wasted energy while still maintaining a well-lit storefront.
All of the above tactics can make a considerable difference. Together, these factors all indicate that smarter energy spending can have a profound impact on supermarket profitability.