Jan. 14, 2021
By Sanjay Radhakrishnan, Vice President, Global Tech, Walmart
As part of our digital transformation, we’re using Internet of Things (IoT) at a scale unmatched across retail to improve food quality, lower energy consumption and keep costs low for our customers. Currently, Walmart manages more than 7 million unique IoT data points across our U.S. stores. Every day, this network of connected devices sends almost 1.5 billion messages regarding temperature, operating functions and energy use. To help manage this massive volume, the IoT team within Walmart Global Tech has built proprietary software that uses advanced algorithms to detect anomalous events in real time and take action to fix issues quickly.
IoT has been a topic in the tech industry for a few years. Many consumers have heard of it when they are thinking about how different pieces of technology within their home “talk” to another. If you’ve ever told one of your devices (let’s say your phone) to turn on another device in your home (let’s say your TV), then you’ve leveraged IoT in your home. Walmart has done the same thing in our own “home” – all of our 4,600+ U.S. stores – to better serve our customers and lower costs.
A Focus on Food Quality for our Customers
Food quality is an important part of Walmart’s customer experience. Our customers depend on our stores to maintain food at the proper temperature, like keeping ice cream frozen and milk cold. Global Tech is helping our Real Estate team to ensure proper food quality through monitoring our refrigeration units with IoT systems. Our IoT application not only monitors the temperature of the individual unit to ensure proper food safety standards, but also looks at how the equipment is performing and takes proactive steps towards maintenance repairs to reduce the cost and down time caused by equipment failure.