Festival Foods + SmartSense

Before deploying SmartSense, associates at each of Festival Foods' 32 stores were recording critical measurements for every refrigerated case twice a day on paper logs. All that activity added up to 9 hours of work per week, per store. The paper logs provided no visibility into the state of store refrigeration or the quality of the valuable food assets inside each case. Partnering with SmartSense was an immediate win for Festival Foods. The savings on labor and improvements in quality increased the profitability of their stores.  

[Joe Laufenberg] My name is Joe Laufenberg. I'm the Senior Director of Asset Protection at Festival Foods. I've been with the company for 18 years. With asset protection at Festival Foods, we serve the business in protecting our people, our profit, and our brand. In ways that we serve our people is making sure that we're providing a safe experience for them when they come to our stores along with our associates. Then in areas of protecting our profits, things that we look for is ways that we can enhance the profitability of our company and really look to find ways to lighten the load for our stores, make things easier for them in their day-to-day tasks so that they can put more focus on serving our guests within the stores. Protecting our brand here at Festival, what we really focus on is really when our guests come here, they know they can trust us, they know when they come to purchase food here at Festival Foods, that it's going to be the safest, highest quality food that they can provide to their families.

[Hsing-Yi Hsieh] My name is Hsing-Yi Hsieh and I’m the Director of Food Protection and Regulatory Affairs. I lead a team that is in charge of the development and execution of all our food safety programs as well as our regulatory compliance. Our associates were taking two temperatures a day of our refrigerated cases and making paper logs of sanitizer concentration, cooking temperature, cooling. Those tasks took about nine hours a week per store, and not only that, results were not visible easily to our corporate office.

[Joe Laufenberg] So for us, SmartSense was an immediate win because what we saw is the decrease in labor and just the added value and quality of our products was immediately noticeable and contributed to the overall profitability of our stores. SmartSense has been a great business partner for us that has really locked arms with us over these last couple years and helped us solve operational problems even if they fall outside of food safety. That's what I think is great about SmartSense, is they're willing to look outside of maybe their core responsibility or their core focus as a business to say, “Hey we're partners together, we want to help you win.” SmartSense has given us additional visibility of the data that we didn't have before. And now that we have it and now that we have this platform that can be used in many different ways that we didn't even expect when we first got into it, we are able to look at things through a different lens. In many ways, we're able to get out ahead of things that we weren't able to get out ahead of before because we're able to sense how equipment's running in the stores, how our stores are doing with doing temperature checks, and just the overall quality in execution within our departments.

[Hsing-Yi Hsieh] Looking back, what we're seeing is that when we didn't have the system, we would just wait for the refrigeration to fail, and then everything that is in that case was lost. I would say that refrigeration losses run from two to ten thousand dollars, depending on what case was failing. Before SmartSense, my team was blind, pretty much. We had no visibility as to what the stores were doing except when they visited the stores during their food safety assessments and were able to look at the paper logs and how it was going during emergency situations like a failure or a power outage. We also were blind in the sense of we were just asking questions to the stores and taking whatever answer they gave us to take actions. Having the ability to have this enterprise visibility has really increased the collaboration between the operations team and the food safety team and has really integrated food safety practices at our store level, meaning that because we have this information we can not only report to our operations team and our fresh foods team, but also we can just pick up the phone and call our associates at the store level and say, “Hey we're seeing this, how can we help you?”

[Joe Laufenberg] When we can, one, make things easier for our associates through getting away from the manual tasks that they have to do day to day, but then it brings this data in so now we have this global viewpoint of how our stores are doing with executing the day-to-day tasks. It's helped us with asset protection, gives us a better viewpoint on how we can serve our stores and make things easier for our associates, and at the same time enhancing the quality of our food and that overall experience for our guests. For us, that's been a huge win.

[Hsing-Yi Hsieh] What I would tell a colleague in the food safety world who's looking for an electronic solution is that I would tell them to look for a system that is, in a company who is ready to innovate and grow as the food safety dynamics change in the world. SmartSense has been a great addition to our family. I really consider SmartSense as part of the company now, and they care about the success of our program, and by doing so we have this open communication that has led to great improvements to the program, great improvements to their program, and we really look for many many years of partnership going forward.

80K+ sites continuously monitored

SmartSense by Digi manages more than 80K+ sites for leading brands in healthcare, retail, food service, education, and transportation and logistics.

For us, SmartSense was an immediate win. The added value and quality of our products was immediately noticeable and contributed to our overall profitability. Now we have a global viewpoint of how our stores are doing executing day-to-day tasks. 

Joe Laufenburg, Senior Director of Asset Protection

Festival Foods

We have been continually impressed with SmartSense’s innovative and intelligent solutions, which have allowed us to strengthen our unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest levels of food safety for the communities we serve. Specifically, capturing detailed data insights and prescriptive analytics via SmartSense’s advanced technologies will enhance our team members’ ability to monitor product freshness in real time.

Victor Vercammen, Vice President of Safety, Regulatory & Government Affairs

Giant Eagle