James Hall (SPAR) save money and reduce staff effort with a testo Saveris 2 temperature monitoring system

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In both the food and pharmaceutical sectors, monitoring temperatures is a necessity. This is to ensure quality of the goods being delivered, and to meet strict legislations. The consequences of a temperature violation can be very far reaching and potentially devastating for all involved.

James Hall & Co. Ltd. is a Lancashire-based family business which was founded in Southport in 1863. Currently one of the county’s largest employers with more than 800 staff, the company is SPAR UK wholesaler for the North of England, serving over 600 stores

Re-investment has always been a priority to James Hall & Co. and as a result the business has grown very successfully. In February 2011, the company moved to a purpose-built distribution centre on the outskirts of Preston. The unique design of this new depot ensures a truly multi-functional site capable of handling and distributing all types of goods and the manufacturing of fresh food.

The challenge

James Hall use data loggers both for continuous monitoring and temperature mapping of their distribution centre. This helps them to ensure their food and goods are stored in the correct climactic conditions at all times. Temperature Mapping is performed to determine if a room or storage area can maintain temperature within defined limits. Examples of this include fridges, freezers, cold-rooms and warehouses. Sensors are then distributed throughout the area in to analyse the temperature distribution.

The previous system James Hall used was also from Testo; the testo 174 mini data loggers. Whilst they didn’t experience any issues with their previous system, it was the automated temperature monitoring element which initiated the company’s decision to change. Trevor explained “Part of the offer we supply is GSL medicines and the move to an automated system was made largely to comply with GDP requirements. Our previous data loggers (testo 174 units), whilst reliable, did require a manual check.”

As long-standing Testo customers, they decided to again put their trust in equipment from a company which they trusted. “We have used Testo for many years and we knew they are reliable. The wireless capabilities of the testo Saveris 2 units, together with the alarm function made it an easy choice, as did the ability to access the data from any device with internet access.”


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The solution

Testo Saveris 2 is an automated temperature monitoring system that stores all measurement data in one central place. Multiple measuring points can be incorporated into the system, meaning all fridges, freezers and storage locations are monitored simultaneously, with measurement data being transported directly to the cloud, where results can then be accessed remotely, via PC, tablet or smartphone. This removes the need to collect data manually and there is no longer a potential for readings to go missing.

In James Hall’s case, they keep 12 testo Saveris 2 T1 WiFi data loggers on site, which are used for mapping the temperature throughout the building. In addition to this, they also have 5 testo Saveris 2 T1 loggers for daily, continuous monitoring. This helps them ensure all goods are stored at the correct temperatures, and any deviations are identified immediately

For their temperature mapping application, Trevor explained that the reporting element of testo Saveris 2 was also a major advantage “The ability to collate the data from numerous loggers into one spread sheet or report is a great advantage when it comes to carrying out a temperature mapping exercise.” 

Trevor went on to explain the cost saving element the company has benefitted from since investing in a testo Saveris 2 system. When asked to consider the cost saving element of testo Saveris 2, Trevor said “It has certainly saved money, both on routine checks and projects such as temperature mapping. Before we introduced the Saveris 2 units we were looking at contracting out the temperature mapping, which would have been a considerable expense, as the temperature mapping exercise must be repeated several times to allow for seasonal variation.” 

Trevor went on to explain how the fact the system is cloudbased, also helped keep costs low and deliver system flexibility. “The fact that the testo Saveris 2 units are cloudbased and did not require a base station like the older wireless systems is a real bonus it makes the system more cost-effective, and more flexible as we have WiFi throughout the building.”

Trevor also explained how moving to continuous monitoring has also been a major benefit for the company and described this as a “great plus”. In addition to monitoring temperature at their main site, James Hall also use testo Saveris 2 in one of their subsidiary companies, who also handle GSL Medicines. By using a cloud-based system such as testo Saveris 2, they are able to connect all loggers to a single account. This means the responsible persons are able to have visibility of both sites simultaneously, whilst deputising. 

When asked to describe their experience with testo Saveris 2 in a sentence, Trevor said: “Well-built, very reliable, and does exactly what it says it will.”