Coca-Cola Beverages Africa-Kenya (CCBA) has partnered with Safaricom to connect its coolers with sensors. The sensors are supposed to collect vital data that will enable the company to enhance its offering to retailers and outlets of its beverage products in the country.

The connected coolers are wired with sensors which leverage on the Internet of things (IoT) – the inter-networking of “smart” devices that collect and exchange data. The devices enable CCBA to monitor the temperature and how often the fridge doors are opened to give real-time data. The company is also be able to tell how many fridges are operational at any given time, taking note of declining or fluctuating units and schedule them for maintenance.

The information gathered gives insights on consumer purchase patterns, which assists in scheduling maintenance more effectively in line with the cooler performance information. The company is piloting 100 coolers in Nairobi for the next one month with more expected to be connected as they expand the initiative across the country. The coolers are provided free of charge.

Rita Okuthe, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Safaricom PLC, had this to say, “We developed an IoT solution that consists of sensors installed in the coolers that will transmit data and insights that Coca-Cola will use to optimize their operation. For instance, Coca-Cola distributors can now tell where their assets are located, if they are in use or not (on/off), whether they are operating at the optimal temperature and how many times the door of the cooler is opened. Technology infrastructure and tools are essential, but it’s the innovative application of technology that will separate winners from losers in the IoE economy. The Winners will be companies that successfully apply technology to improve the “people” and “process” elements of their business.”