Case Study: Shelves Stocked & Queues Down
This well known high street retailer wanted to improve stock distribution and checkout service. Their HQ based in South West London had a legacy mix of frame relay and private circuits linking into eight regional distribution centres.
Overnight 400 shops would dial up to update stock information to stores and finance etc. This meant that the information did not reach the depots before many of the distribution lorries set off. Weak stock distribution caused frustration for both customers and checkout staff. During peak periods, the ISDN Credit Card system struggled to cope with simultaneous card requests. which created queues at the check out tills.
Each branch had ISDN2 lines for Card transactions and two analogue lines for security and fax. They also had paper based back up for Credit Card transactions should the ISDN2 lines fail.
The Simplisity approach:
We implemented an IPVPN using MPLS technology. HQ had a 10M over 100M MPLS connection plus 4M Internet access. The network based firewall gave them company wide security with centralised internet access. Depots were connected by 2M and 4M dedicated circuits.
Each shop installed DSL to accelerate till transactions and 3G data cards for back-up. The paper based Credit Card payment is now redundant.
Overall this provided a platform to introduce a “just-in-time” (JIT) stock control system. Every transaction was centrally recorded as it happened and the depots receiving "real time" stock information could optimise truck capacity more economically.
Stock availability increased by 3% and increased turnover by 8%. There is now no need to expand the dispatch fleet due to their increased efficiency. What's more, we are now integrating a vehicle tracking system to maximise their distribution system and operational control even further.
If you need help to see how telecommunications can sharpen your business, please contact us for an impartial chat. Phone us on 01923 200000.