Frazil to Collaborate with 7Sense to Develop Low Cost NB-IoT Modules


The new NB-IoT circuit board will enable continuous monitoring of all of the in-store slushie dispensed frozen beverage machines of Frazil

Nordic Semiconductor, a fabless semiconductor company, announced that Freezing Point, parent company to slushie consumer brand Frazil, is collaborating with Norwegian engineering developer, 7Sense, for developing a low-cost, retrofittable cellular Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) circuit board.

The new circuit board will enable continuous monitoring of all of the in-store slushie dispensed frozen beverage machines of Frazil in order to maintain optimum in-store performance and operational margins.

In addition, the monitoring will help Frazil in generating huge data for its retail customers. Through which, if an in-store slushie machine is not being optimally maintained and operated, it invariably shows that the remaining store as well as the mindset of its local in-store staff and management are falling behind in other operational excellence standards also.

Operational excellence

Kyle Freebairn, CEO of Frazil, said, “One of the fascinating insights we’ve discovered in launching this solution with retail chains across the U.S. is that large chains are using our real-time slushie/Frazil reporting dashboard as a window into their broader store operations. World-class retailers recognise that operational excellence and the in-store experience is one of the key pillars required to win in today’s retail environment.”

Freebairn further said, “Our gamble was that a quality product would drive category growth. And what we found is that consumers hadn’t fallen out of favour with fresh, ice-cold, delicious slushies, they’d fallen out of favor with a poor customer experience that didn’t focus on delighting the consumer. That’s what we focused on fixing and that’s why our sales are now growing at a rate 10x greater than the industry-average. And now with the cellular IoT enhancement, our customers won’t even have to phone us for most issues; if they have a problem, we’ll know before they do.”

Cut down downtime

“What’s more our initial trials have demonstrated that the costs of moving to a cellular IoT solution are more than offset by the increase in revenue and profits that comes from significantly cutting down on downtime by being far more proactive at spotting and quickly solving potential issues,” he added.

Max Tangen, CEO, 7Sense, said, “We’ve been developing cellular IoT-type applications using traditional cellular modules for some time. But when the Nordic nRF9160 SiP module came along we would see it had a host of clear and unique benefits over anything else that’s been, or is, available. In fact, I would say the Nordic nRF9160 SiP was one of the key reasons we won the Frazil development contract.”

“To ensure we could get a cellular signal through to all Frazil machines in all stores in which they are employed, we found LTE-M gave us much higher consistency than GSM, with far fewer dead spots,” Tangen added.

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