Our Beginnings in Produce Distribution

November 30, 2021
Our Beginnings in Produce Distribution

ConnectedFresh leverages IoT LoRaWAN™ sensors in the food & beverage industry

Who is ConnectedFresh?

ConnectedFresh is a trusted startup that deploys IoT sensor solutions. We help our customers improve their operations visibility and reduce their repetitive manual efforts. Our company’s vision is to free up humans to care for and serve their communities by leveraging IoT automation solutions that run seamlessly in the background.

We have built large-scale IoT solutions for years

We’ve come a long way building ConnectedFresh in just three short years, but this is not our first rodeo in IoT or real time data and visualization.

I met our other founding members while building Deloitte Consulting’s industrial IoT practice together. While at Deloitte, we created IoT and Factory 4.0 solutions for Fortune 100 global enterprises. As we worked together, it became obvious we shared a collective passion for this emerging technology and its boundless use cases. It wasn’t long before we turned our passion into a side hustle and ConnectedFresh became a reality.

Produce Distribution & IoT LoRaWAN™ Sensors

After committing to building a business together, we began looking for industries ripe for change. We thought about all of our personal connections and one of our team members uncovered an exciting opportunity within his family produce distribution business.

Like most businesses in the food and beverage industry, temperature logging was often a completely manual and time intensive process repeated every few hours, requiring someone to walk around with a clipboard and pen, writing down temperature values from the wall gauges. We realized that the family business and the food industry at large was missing out on an incredible amount of insightful and actionable data to reduce challenges in real time by not digitizing their temperature logs for further analysis.

Our small and mighty team got to work in the produce business to address the critical, but repetitive and unreliable task of temperature logging. We implementing dozens of low-cost IoT-enabled LoRaWAN™ temperature sensors throughout the facility. Our digital transformation automated their temperature logging, completely eliminating the previous time-consuming manual operation.

But where would they collect and view all of this new data? We built a best-in-class and real-time cloud-based data dashboard with notification capabilities. Now the family produce business was able to uncover previously unreachable trends and insights from their automated temperature logs. If something went wrong, they would be notified immediately and could take proactive action.

The new digitized setup allowed managers and executives a level of transparency into operations within their facility that they’d never experienced. This new level of trust and digital transparency also empowered them to check on things remotely, creating peace of mind that operations were running smoothly.

After a few months of hard work, our budding new team left a lasting impact on the business through the beauty of an IoT LoRaWAN™ sensor solution. We helped reduce food waste, improved food safety, and ensured compliance for their partners, distributors and the health department.

ConnectedFresh Wins International Award

In 2019, we helped the family produce business shift from a purely reactive business model to a predictable, preventative and proactive one. Later that year, ConnectedFresh won First Prize at the international 2019 Momenta LoRaWAN Startup Challenge award in Berlin, Germany.

ConnectedFresh wins the grand prize for LoRaWAN solutions

The judging panel recognized not only ConnectedFresh’s deep IoT expertise from our years at Deloitte Consulting, but also the untapped potential within the food industry to scale our innovative LoRaWAN™ sensor solutions. The judges knew we would deliver meaningful financial impacts for our customers’ business operations and bottom lines.

Struggle and Success

In true start-up fashion, ConnectedFresh is built upon innovation and continuous improvement. Since our inception, we’ve designed our processes to be agile and to incorporate user feedback every step of the way. But it hasn’t always been easy. We have faced and overcome many challenges that make our current solution strong, trusted and reliable.

In our early days we relied heavily on wifi and cellular devices and ran into numerous problems:

  • Requiring a continuous handshake with the gateway and continuously streaming data was unreliable long-term.
  • Extremely short battery life due to the continuous data stream.
  • Dependence on external service providers.

After some experimentation, we found LoRaWAN™ sensors and gateways to be the strongest solutions available. LoRaWAN™ sensors:

  • Send tiny packages of data at timed intervals, rather than requiring a continuous handshake like wifi and cellular sensors.
  • Can last years on one battery charge, compared to our early wifi and cellular devices that required new batteries every few weeks!
  • LoRaWAN sensors also encrypt all collected and transferred data, making them a safe and reliable solution.

ConnectedFresh is a Fully Managed Service

We also realized early on that our customers often needed help selecting their sensor devices, configuring them and setting them up. Today we provide not only expert IoT LoRaWAN™ sensor advice, but manage the entire process for our customers, end-to-end. Once the ideal sensors are selected for the use case, we’ll have a few conversations to talk through your needs and configure your devices for you.

Sensors and gateways arrive pre-configured and ready to go. Simply turn on the devices and they’ll immediately start collecting and transmitting data on their own.

As ConnectedFresh has continued to expand, we’ve stayed close to our roots and have chosen to strategically specialize in the Restaurants, Hospitality, Grocery and Food & Beverage industries. Today, we help growing businesses of all sizes implement IoT LoRaWAN™ solutions so they can focus on serving the best experience to their customers as they scale. Because in the end, we believe technology should be used to enhance our human connection.

Interested in learning more?

Click here to visit the ConnectedFresh website and learn how our LoRaWAN™ solutions work.

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