Feb 14, 2019
AEON Retail Co., Ltd. has implemented a IoT cloud-based system developed by SATO for food safety management to strengthen HACCP compliance*1. The system enables centralized management of data about food production processes and product management across multiple store locations. The retailer aims to implement in around 400 AEON and AEON Style stores across Japan’s Honshu and Shikoku regions.
Japanese retailers are readying for HACCP compliance with a revision to Japan’s Food Sanitation Act in June 2018. AEON has long strived to provide food products at a consistent quality level across all stores to ensure safety and peace of mind, and believes that keeping continuous records will ensure operations are being conducted appropriately. However, since data as previously recorded with hand-written documents, input and management of these records was a laborious process. According to a survey by the Japanese government*2, nearly half of food producers (46.4%) pointed to costs associated with monitoring and record keeping as impediments to implementing HACCP compliance systems (third behind system implementation costs, hardware costs).
With these issues in mind, AEON Retail and SATO built a cloud-based IoT system for HACCP compliance to efficiently and automatically log required data points to allow system administrators to manage data for stores around Japan with equal permissions in a timely manner. Through collaboration with multiple refrigeration manufacturers, the system integrates temperature management data of products both frozen and chilled, which is crucial for record-keeping. The system allows detailed management taking rules of different refrigeration manufacturers into account all through a single admin console. AEON Retail could enjoy a labor savings of around 50 percent*3 thanks to the SATO system.
AEON Retail operates the GMS (general merchandise store) business of AEON Co., Ltd. (AEON) a Fortune Global 500 company (ranked #103 in 2018) and the top retailer in Japan. AEON operates convenience stores, supermarkets and other retail stores in Japan and around the APAC region. It retains a seat on the board of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) which sets out to provide continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide.
Rollout of the system will provide two-fold benefit for AEON Retail as it seeks to improve its customer service level. It provides labor savings and ensures food safety on a global level for 2020, when compliance becomes mandatory under Japanese law and the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held in Tokyo. In the future, AEON Retail aims to take advantage of the system’s scalability to integrate with other systems such as the timesheet management system and production output logs to visualize activity within the workplace, improving workstyles and increasing employee satisfaction.
- *1A revision to Japan’s Food Sanitation Act announced in June 2018 mandates all food handlers (including the retail and food service industries) to follow internationally recommended HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) hygienic management practices. HACCP lays a firm foundation for food hygiene within the food chain by predicting hazards in primary production processes to prevent them through continuous management of records.
- *2A 2017 survey by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries about HACCP implementation
- *3See attached chart for detailed breakdown