Surveillance in grocery stores

Imagine that the freezer in a modern grocery store suddenly stops working, or that some essential equipment breaks down without anyone noticing. The consequences can be fatal; this is a nightmare for any stor manager. Refrigerators, freezers and heat systems are all important aspects of food safety.

This is why it is reassuring to know that wireless monitoring equipment exists to keep an eye on hot and cold grocery compartments. All you need is to keep carrying your mobile phone with you and you will be able to stay in control at all time. An SMS message tells you if anything needs your attention. This solution also makes insurance companies happy, but even more important; it saves you time and money, and protects the customers and helps to provide them with safe and delicious food.


EMS (Environmental Monitoring System) is wireless technology applied to monitoring refrigerators, freezers and heating compartments.
”We call this an environmental monitoring system”, said Martin Ryde, head of sales for EMS products in Scandinavia for Visma Retail AS. ”EMS allows one to keep an eye on temperatures, CO2 concentrations and power consumption for machines and devices or for any refrigerator, freezer or heating compartment.”

”More than 90 percent of our customers wants to receive error and alarm notifications in the form of an SMS”, Martin Ryde continues.

EMS is a Windows/web-based system. It was developed in Norway and is used by many businesses. In addition to the grocery store trade, EMS is also used by hospitals, manufacturers and transport companies that need to monitor many different kinds of equipment. This product is now finding customers in other countries in Europe.


In Martin’s opinion, SMS notification is the perfect way to monitor cold and warm environmental devices. All the relevant information about a breakdown, changes to temperature, gases and other problems are automatically sent as an SMS alert with specific details about the problem and environmental parameters.

A store owner is better prepared to react and fix a problem. Automatic reports can be generated every day so machines and devices can be monitored and maintained. The program prepares reports with measurements and statistics. The program can also be integrated with other kinds of systems.

A leader in Norway

Visma Retail is currently Norway’s foremost supplier of computer-assisted solutions for specialized trades and grocery stores and is the main supplier for more than 60 percent of the grocery store trade in Norway. The business concept behind EMS is to develop, sell and install wireless monitoring systems for the foodstuff industry and laboratory environments. The system helps companies improve the effectiveness of their internal control systems and notifies managers about any errors.

The system can be configured to accept a specified number of reminders. Every reminder contains new information about the alarm. Has the temperature stabilized? Has the gas leak been sealed? Is power back on? Has the refrigerator that stopped running been replaced by a service technician?

This allows consumers a degree of security, knowing the food we purchase is being stored according to regulations.

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