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Cold storage: OneEvent Technologies makes a case for its important role in retail pharmacy

OneEvent Technologies president and CEO Kurt Wedig shares the benefits of his company’s technology in helping to prevent expensive breakdowns, reduce energy costs and improve productivity.

Refrigeration and freezing may not get as much attention in a retail pharmacy, but keeping medicine, beverages and food cool and safe to consume is a huge deal. One company on the front lines of refrigerator and freezer monitoring is OneEvent Technologies in Mount Horeb, Wis. The company believes managing the temperature of drugs, vaccines and biologics is a critical component of our healthcare system. We recently caught up with Kurt Wedig, president and CEO, to see how the company is leading the charge and to see what’s on the horizon.

kurt weding headshot
Kurt Wedig, president and CEO of OneEvent Technologies, a subsidiary of National Presto Industries

Drug Store News: Can you tell us one of the important ways you work with retailers in supporting their front end and pharmacy needs?
Kurt Wedig: The OneEvent refrigeration monitoring system helps pharmacies safeguard food, vaccines and medication. Our clients tell us we save them money, help ensure the safety and value of their inventory, reduce stress and provide peace of mind. 

Too often, temperatures are monitored by staff with a pen and paper, which is inefficient and cannot detect temperature issues that occur when readings are not taken properly or after hours. 

By digitally monitoring the temperature of refrigeration a wealth of actionable information is available. For example, OneEvent communicates if a unit is running too cold, too warm or in need of service. Measuring and managing this data provides insightful information, which can help prevent expensive breakdowns in advance and reduce energy costs.

DSN: You offer refrigeration services that are a little different from the competition. Can you explain?
KW: One of the primary causes of improper refrigeration is the breakdown of the refrigeration unit itself. OneEvent’s predictive analytic platform, Thermo Heartbeat, provides vital information about a refrigeration unit’s health and advance notice of a breakdown. With advanced Internet of Things (IoT) technology, refrigeration temperatures are analyzed. Alerts are sent when temperatures exceed upper or lower limits, empowering our clients to take preventive action before inventory is damaged. 

We’re all doing more with less, especially now with the staff shortages many are facing. When we’re short-staffed, the last thing we need is an emergency. Diverting staff to manage a refrigeration breakdown creates additional stress and is incredibly inefficient. In addition, many repair companies are having significant scheduling issues and are not as responsive, and after hours and rush service are more expensive.

The benefits of the Thermo Heartbeat include the prevention of potentially disastrous excursions, improved productivity, and reduction or elimination of expensive off-hours or urgent repair.

DSN: How does remote monitoring work and what are the benefits for stores?  
KW: Data is collected from a variety of small, battery-powered wireless sensors that send data to the OneEvent Gateway, which communicates to the Internet via cellular network or Wi-Fi. Data is then transferred to the cloud for storage, retrieval and analysis.

OneEvent remote refrigeration monitoring provides real time oversight of temperature inside chilled storage with real time alerts sent to cell phones when temperatures rise or fall beyond preset thresholds. Detailed data is securely stored in the cloud for compliant, reliable and cost-effective reporting. Door monitoring is also valuable and allows our clients to know when inventory is accessed and assures that doors are closed properly. 

DSN: What other tech do you see on the horizon?
KW: The most significant advancements will come from enhanced analytics and reporting. This will have far-reaching benefits to both the end user as well as service companies. OneEvent data scientists are currently working on new analytics that will not just predict if a unit will fail to maintain temperature, but also identify the specific cause of an issue, including loss of coolant, fan failure, compressor issues, etc.

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