Imagine you own a small business, maybe a bakery or a retail shop, and you come to work in the morning to find the power is out. You can’t turn on the lights, and security systems as well as HVAC systems are down. Even worse, the point-of-sale (POS) system, which is the operational backbone of your business, won’t work. Once the POS system is offline, you not only can’t conduct sales transactions, but you also lose the ability to process critical data including inventory, reservations, accounting, customer loyalty programs and more. You simply can’t conduct business under these conditions. It’s going to be a very bad day both in terms of revenue, operations and your reputation, unless of course, you had the help of an expert electrician who prepared you for such an event by providing proper backup power or uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units. These UPSs will supply power protection for systems that are critical to the operation of your business.
As this example illustrates, for businesses housed in smaller buildings, electricity is often crucial to daily operation – even if business owners don’t think much about it. Electricians and electrical contractors are in a position to act as trusted advisors, making businesses aware of the threats to business continuity they face from electrical failures, and how UPSs offer protection.
Examples of small buildings that can benefit from UPS protection include restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, food and beverage companies, dry cleaners and laundromats, pharmacies and veterinary offices, to name a few. Whatever the business, there’s no shortage of applications that may require UPS protection.
Applying UPSs for business process continuity
Start a conversation with your customer around the applications and tools they need to keep their business functioning every day. For any sort of retail facility, that will include the POS systems, which are essentially small computers. POS is critical in this environment to capture sales, and track inventory needs; it even aids in workforce management. Of course, bakeries and restaurants need to ensure their ovens, stoves and refrigeration are always functioning. If any of these systems go down, that business owner deals with lost revenue and unhappy customers.
Most any business now also has various applications that involve data, whether it’s inventory control systems, or data management tools to promote efficiency or track consumer behavior. They likely have networking equipment providing connectivity both within the building and to the Internet, perhaps to critical cloud-based applications. Some have monitoring systems covering everything from oven and refrigeration temperature to humidity levels. All of these are essential to the normal functioning of the business and therefore require UPS protection.
Safety and security systems demand power protection
Similarly, safety and security systems are important to any business – in some cases even more so when the power goes out.
Burglar alarms and security cameras, for instance, should still function through an outage to prevent anyone from trying to take advantage of the situation, such as in a retail store or restaurant. Likewise, fire alarms, smoke extraction and emergency lighting systems need to remain alive – that’s especially true in highly populated spaces such as hotels, but really applies in any commercial building. For many of these systems to function properly and communicate any issues, telecom and Wi-Fi services need to be functioning.
All of these systems that provide critical safety and security coverage should be assessed for backup power protection.
Protection for heating and cooling systems
Finally, HVAC systems that provide heating, cooling and ventilation for a business also warrant UPS protection. Should these systems fail to function, it could cause excessive heat or cold that causes discomfort for employees, clients and customers. Uncomfortable employees and customers are a threat to business continuity for any business, but in some cases – a restaurant, bakery or veterinarian office, for example – it may cause particular distress.
Learn more about backup power protection
Businesses can’t afford to be out of commission for even short lengths of time with adverse impact to revenue, overall operations and customer satisfaction, making business continuity a real concern. Electricians can educate customers on how providing UPS protection for various components of their buildings reduces the risk of a business interruption in the face of a power outage.
The Schneider Electric Partner Portal has lots of resources that can help, including comprehensive lists of power protection products that apply to small buildings. Additionally, resources are available to help you build your business, from quoting and planning tools to marketing resources. For example, you’ll find resources to help increase your web presence and aid in direct mail campaigns.
Explore commercial UPS solutions that can help you and your customers achieve peace of mind by preventing downtime. Visit the Partner Relationship Management area of the Schneider Electric website for additional information. Not a partner? Register to become one!
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Blackouts are nothing new to residential areas but there is evidence to suggest they are becoming more frequent and severe, prompting homeowners as well as the electricians who serve them to take steps to implement backup power systems to protect critical devices, appliances and systems.
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