Auto dealerships, like most high profile retail businesses today, are fighting an uncertain economy and pulling out all the stops to service existing customers and attract potential buyers. In many cases an extreme makeover is the only viable solution to create a truly attractive and efficient selling environment.
Camelback Toyota (Phoenix, AZ) is one such dealership. The company recently built a new facility and leaned heavily on technology to help it achieve a competitive advantage. The result – from the indoor showroom to the outdoor lot – is a modern facility that is contemporary, attractive and efficient.
New and exciting features range from a high-end solar roof and iPads to Starbucks coffee and massage chairs. But the most visible and measurable change atCamelback is the network of more than 100 metal halide lighting fixtures featuring a state-of-the-art control solution that not only shines a spotlight on the 9.6-acre facility, but gives the ownership unprecedented control over its lighting.
Brent Tally, Director of Construction for the Van Tuyl Group – the largest privately held automotive group in the U.S. – was given the challenge to effectively manage the lighting fixtures that showcase the dealership.
“Outdoor lighting is a critical design and cost element for the dealership,” Tally explained, “so we consulted with our local Acuity Brands representative, R.C. Lurie Co., to address our need for a lighting system that delivers both quality light and efficient performance.”
R.C. Lurie recommended the Remote Operations Asset Management (ROAM) system by Acuity Brands Controls to achieve enhanced efficiency, dramatic energy savings and enhanced lot security.
Smart, Simple and Powerful
ROAM provides Camelback Toyota outdoor luminaire monitoring and control through smart photocontrols (nodes) that diagnose fixture malfunctions and wirelessly communicate information to a central collection point or gateway. Data is transmitted to a Network Operations Center (NOC) via cellular uplink or Ethernet, with system owners/operators able to access luminaire information through a secure web portal from the Internet.
Michael Spector, Facilities/Inventory Director for Camelback Toyota, says there is no need to continuously check on the lighting fixtures or pay an auditing service person to confirm they are operational or require maintenance. “The ROAM system allows us to control lighting fixtures through a secure web portal rather than relying on inflexible control panels located in boxes installed throughout the parking lot,” explained Spector.
From the web-based portal, Spector and his team have complete flexibility for scheduling, controlling and reporting. Andy Dickert, Deployment Manager for Acuity Brands Controls explains, “By design, the Camelback Toyota system is divided into two simple lighting groups, one that consists of twenty four, 400-watt lights in the front of the property and a second that comprises seventy-seven, 750-watt fixtures throughout the rest of the lot. This scheme gives Camelback the ability to manage lighting in relationship to its needs and desires.”
Tally explains, “Many Arizona residents, especially during the summer, wait until sunset for outdoor activities to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. The ROAM system enables Camelback Toyota to schedule the appropriate lighting when and where it is needed in order to showcase its inventory and to ensure safety.”
ROAM enables Camelback Toyota to attract customer attention while reducing its carbon emissions in a secure, well-lit environment,” Spector said. “The system is efficient and easy to use. We wanted a secure, Internet-based system that we could easily access for control or information from any of our U.S. locations. ROAM gives us the flexibility to set routine schedules, but also to remotely override the system when necessary. If a storm rolls in, for example, we can turn the fixtures on early from a computer.”
Reduced Energy Use, Carbon Emissions & Maintenance Costs
Camelback Toyota relies on ROAM to reduce energy consumption; 25-50 percent of its outdoor lighting fixtures, for example, are turned off after midnight. “We estimateCamelback Toyota is saving approximately $350 per month on electricity, based on a $0.15 KWH energy use and an estimated six hours when the lights are turned off from midnight to 6 a.m.,” said Dickert.
The dealership also uses ROAM to alternate the lamps that burn, which boosts lamp and ballast life at least 25 percent. “And with the ROAM system, there is no need to continuously check on lighting fixtures or pay an auditing service person to confirm they are operational or require maintenance,” said Spector. “In fact, since we moved to the new location, we reduced the need to replace burnt out bulbs by 90 percent. This lowers our overall carbon emissions because we don’t have to use trucks to replace the bulbs as frequently as we did prior to installing the ROAM system.”
ROAM not only meets all of the dealership’s needs with a sustainable, state-of-the-art solution, it also delivers a genuine payback to the customers, the community and to the bottom-line. In its current configuration, the system will pay for itself in just three years.
And while Spector recommends the ROAM system to others because of its efficiency and ease of use, Tally is going a step further. “We have decided this is the system we want to build our future with,” said Tally. “We are doing our next ROAM system installs in Scottsdale, Arizona at Pinnacle Nissan, Gwinnett Place Ford in Atlanta and David Maus near Orlando, Florida. We made the right decision with ROAM and will use the system in all our facilities moving forward.”