BMS for smaller businesses

Issue 6 2023 Security Services & Risk Management, Products & Solutions, Risk Management & Resilience

Mark Freeman.

Larger businesses are undoubtedly leading the charge when managing their energy usage, leading to sustainable and more efficient operations. However, energy and subsequent building management are not only reserved for big conglomerates; smaller businesses have a lot to gain from implementing proper energy management solutions scaled to their specific needs.

The reality is, irrespective of your business size, running your operations as energy efficiently as possible is a must at a time when power provision challenges and costs are escalating at an alarming rate.

Importantly, energy management enables smaller businesses like petrol convenience stores to make the most of their investment in alternative energy resources, particularly when generators form part of the mix – the cost of filling up with diesel or petrol alone can be exorbitant.

While convenience stores do not provide vital, lifesaving services like hospitals, energy-related issues can still accumulate substantial costs. Think about fridges running at maximum capacity or ovens left on overnight. Every bit of wasted energy translates into higher electricity bills that impact the business's bottom line.

As another example, a sector that might not immediately come to mind when it comes to energy efficiency initiatives is microbreweries. These small-scale beer producers have specific processes that demand precise monitoring of temperatures and flow rates. Surprisingly, many of these critical processes are still not digitised.

Introducing digital monitoring solutions can optimise these breweries' operations. By doing so, microbreweries can enhance their energy efficiency and reduce operational costs.

BMS scaled to smaller business

Countries’ economies are the sum of their parts, and small business plays an important role. By implementing a building management system (BMS), companies such as retailers, microbreweries, and restaurants have a lot to gain.

A BMS eliminates manual interventions when opening and closing the store, automating lights, ovens, and other equipment. During load shedding, a BMS can control which equipment is on and off to manage the load profile efficiently.

Remote monitoring is another significant advantage. It allows businesses to stay on top of their energy consumption, especially during unexpected changes in electricity supply. For example, suppose a company is using a battery backup system. In that case, it is important to amend recharging times, particularly when the weather is intermittent or the load shedding schedule becomes more frequent. Automation simplifies this process and allows remote monitoring even when you are not on site.

The good news is that smaller businesses can start with a basic retail solution and then customise it to address pain points. These solutions can include technologies such as sensors and meters that monitor and manage alarm systems, pressure and temperature. The key is to provide businesses with the information they need without overwhelming them with data.

In terms of market uptake, there is still a bit of a misconception that BMSs are too expensive. However, service providers are increasingly providing tailored solutions that meet smaller businesses’ needs without the associated price tag; offering a good return on investment.

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