Australian supermarket Coles has deployed a world-first, using remote monitoring and sensors to track the location and measure the movement of its 4,500 delivery trucks moving poultry across the country.
Last year, Coles announced some major strategies to help improve their digital transformation, including improving the supply chains that ensure they keep enough of an inventory. One example is the Protein Cold Chain, which reduces the number of bins lost due to equipment being damaged or not having enough availability within their pools of supplies. These kinds of initiatives are meant to increase their stock turnover and decrease the amount of food that goes bad.
Coles partnered with Loscam to help them take their supply chain to the next level. Coles deployed smart and flexible bins that were manufactured by Loscam, which are equipped with Internet-connected devices.
Loscam’s devices communicate to Thinxtra’s national public network, transmitting latency-free location data so that supermarkets can monitor the devices in real time.
This also provides Coles with a way to track the efficiency of its transport routes and equipment pooling, helping them make adjustments based on usage patterns to optimise their business.
“The smart food bins ensure that we can track the poultry from the moment they are loaded by our suppliers at farms, right through to the time they reach our distribution centre, reinforcing our food safety standards, while saving time and minimising waste,” says Larry Kavanagh, the general manager of national meat processing.
“This is a crucial step to retain our customer-focused, quality-driven service that’s reflected in our supermarkets.”
This solution gives data for each individual smart food bin, rather than just the trucks transporting them, as previously done. Coles can then view the location of each individual food bin in transit and receive alerts when something goes awry, and any time there is an impact, including when bins are mishandled.
This tracking helps to reduce the risk of unnecessary damages and provides accountability for missing inventory.
Beyond the ability to monitor temperature, the ability to monitor assets helps with food quality assurance – which then allows Coles to eliminate waste. This goes a long way in helping Coles meet its environmental, social, and governance objectives.
This Internet of Things technology reduces the cost of waste, saving 25% and tripling the amount of empty bins returned. A win for the environment and our dinners!