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Kasumi’s efforts to optimize store operations and facility management by introducing Energy & Facility Management as a Service (EFaaS) looking towards the future

Background : Distributors and retailers running multiple stores seek digitalization

As digitalization advances, e-commerce transactions are rapidly increasing, consumers’ purchasing behaviors are changing and supply chains are becoming increasingly complex. Distributors and retailers running multiple physical stores are facing a major turning point. For example, community-based supermarkets not only focus on an extensive range of groceries and household products based on their long-cultivated experience and knowledge but introduce in-shop eating spaces, spaces for children and other new services in an effort to attract more customers. Meanwhile, in terms of store operation and management, they need to fundamentally reconsider their business strategies based on innovation, such as cost reductions and operational streamlining. For the purpose of shifting limited human, property and financial resources to core businesses, it is necessary to apply digitalization and business process outsourcing (BPO) to non-core operations, such as energy operation and facility management, to achieve further improve efficiency.

Issue: Streamlining of facility and asset management

Based in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Kasumi Co., Ltd. is a central firm under United Super Markets Holdings Inc., which is one of the largest supermarket operators in the greater Tokyo area. It runs approximately 190 community-based supermarkets. In its efforts to remodel its stores into facilities at the heart of their respective local communities, Kasumi recognized the challenge of maximizing the effectiveness of large-scale investments in addressing aging store equipment and facilities, such as air conditioning, refrigeration and lighting and in environmental energy conservation measures and attaining high efficiency in facility and asset management and sought a direction for solutions. In response, Hitachi proposed Energy & Facility Management as a Service (EFaaS) using Lumada-based digital technologies. It provides comprehensive support for efficient energy operation, facility management and asset management.  This service includes finance support with no initial cost incurred for facility replacement. It is a value-oriented solution that integrates IT, OT, products, finance and services.

Solution: Energy & Facility Management as a Service (EFaaS)

Hitachi proposes Energy & Facility Management as a Service (EFaaS), which is an all-inclusive outsourcing service for energy operation and facility management concerning store equipment and properties. Hitachi provides one-stop support for energy operation and facility management for stores. That allows customers to shift their resources to their core business and to streamline operations. With respect to energy and facility operation management, EFaaS optimizes the system and finance. That leads to cost cutting and initial investment reduction. It thus helps customers to solve their problems. The energy management service offered to Kasumi collects power consumption data on power receiving, air conditioning and refrigeration systems at multiple stores every 30 minutes using networks to visualize energy consumption and to accumulate the data on the cloud. Personnel concerned can share and retrieve necessary information from the data accumulated on the platform wherever they are. In addition, it compares and analyzes energy consumption data concerning multiple stores, identifies trends in the status of facility operations, visualizes operational issues to be redressed and detects signs of facility failure to achieve optimal control and operation of facilities and to help achieve optimal energy operation in the whole store. The Namiki Store in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, was the first Kasumi store with EFaaS implementation. The service began with management of its air conditioning facilities and successfully cut energy consumption by 13.2%*1. The facility management service uses digital technologies to perform central management of real estate contract documents, drawings data, and the ledgers of air conditioning and other facilities on the cloud to increase efficiency of management operations and to pave the way for an optimal facility replacement plan. By providing one-stop support from facility introduction and replacement planning to investment and operation, it helps improve operational efficiency, including operation maintenance, statutory inspections and parts replacement.

Future outlook: Extending service coverage to refrigeration and lighting facilities and central management of store information

Kasumi highly rates EFaaS for its aid with facility replacements without holding assets at stores where it was difficult to make any large-scale investment. It the future, Hitachi will work to enhance data collection using the facility management service platform aimed at ongoing efforts to streamline operations and improve management quality and the energy management platform for integrated management of multiple locations. Hitachi will also upgrade EFaaS to extend its coverage from air conditioning facilities to refrigeration, lighting and other facilities for expanding the merits of scale and for attaining further efficiency enhancement. As more and more stores introduce it, more data will be accumulated. Hitachi will seek to shift from time-based maintenance to condition-based maintenance as well as the optimization of energy balance at stores in a bid to contribute to efficient store operation. Hitachi will continue to increase the value it offers by making active use of data and to carry out efforts towards resolving various business challenges in a constant aim to increase customers’ social, environmental and economic values.

*1 Hitachi has confirmed that the service produced a result that was almost equivalent to the predicted
     electricity consumption reduction of 13.2% on a monthly basis.

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