Technicians go on a virtual shop visit
Visiting a Colruyt shop without actually entering the shop? For our technicians, such a virtual shop visit is only a few clicks away!
Hundreds of buildings, thousands of technical installations, kilometres of shelving ... All managed by our technical department. All these bring with them a gigantic mountain of data. How big is a certain shop, where is which model of cooling installation situated, how does all the electrical wiring run, ...
Mathias Steels, responsible for the in-house drawing office: "Today, our technicians, planners, designers and engineers can find all the information per site in one place, from aerial photos to ground plans to electrical plans. By collecting all relevant data and bringing uniformity, we make that data clear and easy to consult."
For all Colruyt shops, we recently added a new tool. Using 360° video images, you can virtually walk through the aisles, social and technical areas, a kind of Google Street View for the shop. We thus reduce the number of trips to the shop. A technician now sometimes has to go on site twice for maintenance or repairs. The first time to check the situation on site, and the second time to actually get to work. By making a virtual 'visit', they can immediately see what the situation is like and thus prepare their work better.
Mathias: "The gains from this project don't stop with the time saved on travel. Fewer cars on the road means fewer traffic jams and fewer emissions. Not insignificant for a retailer that has been committed to sustainability for years!"
We are also increasingly introducing BIM (Building Information Model) in our projects. Mathias: "Eventually, we want to evolve in this way to a database where we can offer a 'digital twin' of our buildings. Ideally, you then get 3D models to which you can ask specific questions. For example, if you want to see where all the fire extinguishers of a particular building are located, the software will show you on a 3D model where all those extinguishers are."
Currently, we can only walk through our Colruyt shops virtually. Mathias: "After a six-month test period, we will look at how we will continue this project. Will we include other shops as well? Now we only make new images when there are major renovations, should we make this more regular? The coming months will be all about learning and discovering how this new tool can help us increase efficiency even more."