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Energy performance management for retail

The challenge

Rising costs and mounting pressures

For retailers, going green means operating more efficiently, especially by controlling energy use. At the same time, you can create a green brand that attracts consumers and fuels growth. In fact, according to a 2008 Boston Business Journal report, 87% of consumers are more likely to buy products from a retailer that is committed to environmentally friendly practices. But store managers are held to strict profit and loss thresholds, with little to no ability to manage energy usage. And as energy costs rise, there is more pressure from corporate, consumer and government forces to reduce a store’s carbon footprint and minimize its impact on the environment.

 


The solution

Sustainably manage costs and fuel growth

To manage and better control the use of energy, the energy performance management solution for retail from IBM takes an instrumented approach, gathering data from sensors in energy-consuming devices—such as HVAC, lighting and point-of-sale (POS) systems—and communicating that data to interconnected in-store resources or to back-end business processes or applications. This information, in turn, enables intelligent decisions and actions that can lower energy use and help reduce maintenance costs and equipment downtime. The immediate goal is to save costs, increase operational efficiency and extend equipment life.

 


The benefits

Predictable energy cost reduction

By identifying, analyzing, measuring and responding to energy use, you can improve your overall efficiency in the retailing of goods and services, control costs, improve margins and create a culture of adaptability. The energy performance management solution is about a predictable energy cost reduction for your store environment. The solution is focused on improved selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) and on energy savings, allowing you to:

  • Measure your energy consumption by determining the efficiency of the energy-consuming asset, and identifying maintenance efficiencies and the mean time to repair.
  • Monitor your systems in real time by visualizing load profiles, detecting performance problems, generating reports and prioritizing responses.
  • Control overall usage and expenditures by reducing peak usage, implementing and automating controls, and providing continuous improvements.

 


The specifics

Elements of a greener enterprise

IBM software can empower people to work more efficiently, and it can enable IT systems and business processes to operate in ways more favorable to the environment. The IBM® Lotus®, IBM WebSphere®, IBM Tivoli® and IBM DB2® brands can be of significant assistance in these areas. Here are some examples:

  • For greener people costs: Employees can generate high levels of carbon in the course of work activities-the daily commute, business travel and the energy required by physical office space. Lotus software offerings provide flexible and powerful collaboration tools that enable employees to work from virtual and home offices, and collaborate through web conferencing. This means reduced travel, and lower utilities and infrastructure costs for daily operations, physical meetings, conferences and events.
  • For greener workloads: IBM software, such as the WebSphere suite, helps model and redesign business processes to significantly reduce energy consumption and cost. IBM also has software offerings that help reduce paper use with electronic forms and images, and that employ automation to enhance energy-efficient operations.
  • For a greener infrastructure: Tivoli software can monitor, manage and report on IT resources to help reduce energy. DB2 9 data management software provided with storage optimization can control data growth and storage costs by enabling tiered storage corresponding to the value of information.