As we usher in 2024, we’re highlighting just a few of our in-house experts who shape our technology, strategies, and approach in this special Inside IMS blog!
The impact of a volatile world economy has had an effect on businesses across every sector. In this ever-evolving landscape, innovative software solutions and forward-thinking technology has become key in maintaining efficient operations, enhancing customer experiences, and driving down costs for all organisations.
One industry that has always been on the forefront of adopting innovative technology is the food retail sector. From self-checkouts to sophisticated cooling and blockchain technology, retailers have ensured that they have led the charge on implementing new solutions to provide the best shopping experience and the highest quality of food to their customers. However, with global circumstances continually shifting, new challenges are constantly arising, from price hikes leading to changing customer demand and footfall, to evolving regulations applying pressure on what is already a tight-margined industry.
Cutting-edge technology solutions that enhance efficiency, boost adaptability, and concurrently reduce costs – all while optimising operations – will play a pivotal role in addressing these ever-evolving challenges. Nevertheless, to be truly effective in the industry, any solution must navigate the intricate demands of the food retail sector, addressing challenges such as global cold chain pressures, rigorous food safety requirements, and the need to sustain consumer satisfaction.
So, how can food retailers seamlessly integrate emerging technologies in a cost-effective yet value-release-focused manner? The key lies in leveraging subject matter experts who can effectively bridge the gap between available technology and its specific applications in retail across the supply chain and the shop floor.
At IMS, we have a team of highly knowledgeable and experienced professionals who specialise in energy, technology, and engineering, among other fields. Working diligently behind the scenes, their on-the-ground experience in the industry brings fresh perspectives and a deep understanding of market needs, and they play a crucial role in shaping our solutions. Meet some of our dream team below:
Jason Murphy – Supermarket Superhero
Our Managing Director, Global Retail, Jason Murphy, is an expert in change management. With an exceptional track record in orchestrating digital transformation within food retail estates, Jason specialises in revolutionising operations to reduce waste, enhance food safety, and minimise energy costs. With over a decade of hands-on experience in retail operations, he possesses an unparalleled understanding of store intricacies and maintenance procedures, enabling him to connect with customers and drive significant innovations.
As a visionary, Jason is always looking to the future. He is relentless in his commitment to ensuring continuous improvement for our customers and is always examining the evolving retail landscape. He recently analysed the implications of COP27 and COP28, specifically how the outcomes of these events will shape the future for food retailers. Read his latest blog discussing the implications of COP28 on the future of sustainability here.
Lee Harpham — The Man Behind the Machines
Our Global Refrigeration and Energy Solutions Manager, Lee Harpham, has a distinguished track record in the retail refrigeration sector, boasting an impressive career having previously held pivotal roles as a Refrigeration Manager and an Energy Manager at a large UK retailer. Accumulating over thirty years of invaluable experience, Lee is truly the man behind the machines at IMS.
With his expertise spanning energy, operations, and facilities management, he has a keen focus on ensuring substantial energy savings and carbon reduction across large, complex retail estates and excels in identifying opportunities to enhance efficiency.
In the realm of refrigeration innovation, Lee emerges as the seasoned architect shaping the future of energy-efficient solutions. You can find out more about his role, in his recent blog, exploring how the engineering sector is moving into a digital, green era where a new wave of skills will be required here.
Edward Porter — Our IoT Captain
Edward has worked at IMS for over twenty years and is now the Director of IoT Solutions. His focus is on defining the IMS product roadmap to position IMS as market leaders, guaranteeing enduring value for customers in the present and future with our solutions.
With a rich history collaborating with the world's retail giants and having worked closely with our longest standing customer for over a decade, Edward possesses a unique insight into the intricate needs of retailers and his passion lies in discerning how our technology can be best applied to achieve tangible business outcomes. Edward can steer our customers through any storm, tailoring each solution to address unique and specific challenges through a holistic and empathetic approach.
He has also been at the forefront of our two government-backed projects, DSR and Digital Sandwich, and is a true innovation pioneer. Find out more about the Digital Sandwich Project, and specifically, Edward’s role as the consortium leader, where he used advanced technologies to track ingredients in food, from primary production to retail here.
Glyn Dodd — The Net Zero Hero
Glyn, our Director of Channel Development, has a background rooted in Energy, technology, and retail. His mission is to orchestrate the fulfilment of IMS Evolve objectives, specialising in energy reduction and optimisation strategies for food retailers and beyond.
Glyn is on a relentless quest to help customers achieve, and surpass, their sustainability goals through the strategic application of our cutting-edge technology. His expertise lies in sculpting solutions that not only consistently deliver desirable outcomes but also foster enduring and invaluable relationships with customers and partners. In the intricate dance of technology and sustainability, Glyn stands at the forefront, ensuring that IMS continues to be a pioneering force driving positive change in the industry.
His recent work with industry analysts led to IMS Evolve being included in the Gartner Market Guide for Commercial and Industrial Energy Management and Optimisation Systems (EMOS) report. Find out more about IMS Evolve’s role as a vendor for enterprises in Energy Management and Optimisation here.
James Sinton — A Technology Visionary
James, our Technology Platform Manager, is a cornerstone of IMS having been with the business for over 19 years. In this pivotal role, James is dedicated to delivering scalable and reliable infrastructure solutions with robust security and safeguarding measures to our customers; some of the largest retailers in the world.
With over two decades of expertise in working with cutting-edge IoT solutions at speed and scale, James shares his knowledge and expertise with customers and technology partners, enabling collaborative projects that scale solutions and new technologies. A true visionary, James has experience in everything from cloud strategy to energy management and is always looking to what will be the next ‘big thing’ in the retail space. Find out more about James’s role and his thoughts on the future of edge controls here.
Translating Expertise into Solutions
Well, what a line up! In a dynamic industry like food retail, innovation is the key to staying ahead. The combined expertise, experience, and scope of knowledge of our IMS dream team is what enables our solutions to not only understand and address the complex requirements of the sector, but also tailor and target our solutions to specific industry needs.
As a proven partner of some of the world's most notable supermarket brands, IMS embeds this in-house knowledge into our technology and solutions to offer value that extends beyond just cost reduction and instead offers comprehensive solutions that streamlines operations, drives sustainability, and boosts the overall success of the business. In a world where adaptability is key, subject matter expertise is the bridge between technology and true industry success.