The umdasch Liquid Dispenser –
Refilling as a sustainable success format for the PoS
umdasch strips off – with a specially developed refilling system that combines environmental protection and digital software solutions. The liquid dispenser is serious about saving CO2 and reducing plastic waste and is also IoT-capable (Internet of Things). Now a calculation has proven that within a very short space of time it also undercuts conventional disposable off-the-shelf bottles with regard to its carbon footprint.
Technically sophisticated and good for the environment
After the GreenShelf, a shelf with the best carbon footprint, umdasch now presents a sustainable alternative to the products in their original packaging on the store shelves. The Liquid Dispenser, a station for selling packaging-free cleaning and laundry products as well as body care products, helps to save packaging material. Not only the umdasch engineering teams were involved in the development process, but also IT technicians and software developers from umdasch Digital Retail. After all, the enormous amounts of data were to be evaluated and used to make the Liquid Dispenser fit for the Internet of Things. The latest generation of the Liquid Dispenser is now established on the market as a sustainable shopfitting system – among others, the drugstore chain dm is now using the refilling system in 126 branches in Austria. By the end of the year, 88 additional shops will be equipped with the Liquid Dispenser, so that soon every third dm shop in Austria will have a refilling station. "It was our ambition to roll out a station that not only meets current needs but also future needs in the long term. With the nationwide roll-out, even more customers now have the opportunity to refill their cleaning products in an environmentally friendly way," says Christian Freischlager, Head of Marketing and Purchasing at dm drogerie markt.
A thoroughly green machine
A calculation of the carbon footprint commissioned by umdasch from the sustainability experts at c7-consult recently came to a sensational result regarding dm: After just 120 filling procedures of washing-up liquid or detergent in refillable containers at the PoS, the Liquid Dispenser is more climate-friendly than the purchase of conventional disposable containers with the same content. This calculation takes into account the entire product life cycle, including transport, operation with electricity from hydropower, maintenance and disposal. Gerold Knapitsch, Managing Director Food Retail, explains: "With the refilling station as a way of showing a responsible approach to resources, we at umdasch want to set an example in terms of sustainability." The Product Carbon Footprint provides information about the total greenhouse gas emissions which a product causes during its entire life cycle and is calculated in kilograms of CO2 equivalents. If we are looking at a period of use of five years and we assume 500 filling processes per month, the refilling will save 2,260 kg CO2 equivalents compared to using disposable bottles. “That,” Engineering Director Michaela Drage calculates, “corresponds to the climate-relevant effect of a car with average consumption after 12,000 kilometres – and hence more than an average Austrian citizen drives during an entire year.
This calculation takes into account the entire product life cycle, including transport, operation with electricity from hydropower, maintenance and disposal.
Customers always have the liquidity they require
However, the carbon footprint is not the only positive characteristic of the system. When it comes to operating the refilling station, it is extremely simple: you just scan the code on the product packaging you have brought along with you and start the filling process – and the Liquid Dispenser does everything else. A receipt is printed automatically and is stuck onto the bottle ready for payment and the container is closed – that is all. An integrated screen guides customers step by step through the filling process. In order to make effective use of the filling time, a cross-selling video can be played on the screen – this way targeted messages can be supplied without scattering loss. The second major advantage is the uncomplicated maintenance by the staff. Only two brief steps are needed for the daily service procedure: simply cleaning the filling taps and the removable drip tray. Refilling the system with the products is carried out by utilising two bag-in-boxes each containing 10.5 litres. The well thought-out technique makes it possible to use all containers completely before the machine is completely empty by means of an integrated switchover valve. When a product is about to run out, the staff will receive an automated e-mail as a reminder. So there is no risk of a shortage at any time.
And things run smoothly for the retailer too
With the optional umdasch eXperience Platform (uXP), retailers can link the Liquid Dispenser into a central management tool – and thus expand the service station by further features, including electronic shelf labelling (ESL), digital signage and the inventory control system. uXP is a central element for the strategic management of marketing campaigns and promotions. With the valuable data provided by the IoT machine from all branches, retailers can thus react automatically, intuitively and rapidly, especially in connection with the uXP.
Let’s get started
Incidentally, the Liquid Dispenser also scores optically – the casing and surfaces can be individually designed and thus adapted perfectly to the corporate image of the retailer or producer. Like all sophisticated technology, the system requires regular inspection and software updates. As the central partner, umdasch takes care of the complete project handling of the installation and rollout of the Liquid Dispenser, including the appropriate service level. So for the retailer it is above all easy to service, and it enables producers to make a statement at the PoS. And the consumers? At the touch of a button they can decide with every refill whether they want to contribute to ensuring that less plastic waste is produced in future.