Retailer Deploys Global Wi-Fi Solution

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Summary

Customer

Global fashion distributor

Challenge

Upgrade of Wi-Fi Internet access at 1,000 retail locations

Solution

  • Supply Chain Solutions
  • Global deployment capabilities
  • Flexible financial solutions

Results

  • Avoided having to hire consultants to import and export products
  • Reduced overall risk and costs
  • Received products that met technical specifications for multiple international locations

Customer Challenge

Being able to adjust to growing market demands has allowed one of the world’s largest fashion distributors to expand internationally at a fast pace. With more than 5,000 stores in 78 countries, it is also one of the largest fashion retailers. In response to a retail industry trend, the company planned to offer its customers free Wi-Fi Internet access at more than 1,000 of its retail locations in 43 countries. 

The two-month project required a standardized Wi-Fi solution with seamless, hassle-free implementation that would not interfere with the company’s regular business. The company contracted with an IT integrator that provides large enterprises and government-integrated IT solutions to install the more than 5,300 Wi-Fi access points at the retail locations. 

Adept at the technical and installation requirements, the integrator did not have the necessary expertise to manage the lead times and complicated importation of products into the various countries. Without local expertise or personnel, the integrator didn’t have confidence in its supply chain in various countries. 

To complement its core offering, the integrator needed a reliable supplier with a global presence that could supply the product as well as handle material management challenges, from delivery to business protocol, including knowledge of local customs and taxes. The integrator turned to Anixter for assistance with the complex global delivery logistics. After Anixter presented several delivery scenarios, the integrator was confident that Anixter had the capabilities required to achieve the project’s objectives. 

Anixter Solution 

Anixter’s sales and operations staff evaluated the business requirements and recommended its Supply Chain Solutions and global deployment capabilities to solve the challenge of getting the material in country by the required deadline. Because of the short deployment schedule, the integrator needed to know that the material would be at the installation site on time. After developing a deployment schedule with the integrator, Anixter alerted its in-country operations teams to the project and created a plan of action so that the proper products arrived to the job sites on time.

With a global presence in more than 50 countries, Anixter’s in-country sales specialists are familiar with the trends, standards, customs and needs of local markets. Anixter was able to leverage this expertise to deliver the wireless access points and related products arrived to the country and job site without hassle and were delivered to the project site per the agreed upon deployment schedule. 

In a large-scale multicountry deployment, having access to the right products when they are needed is invaluable. For the integrator, it needed a solution to confirm that it could have easy access to products to avoid any disruptions. Because the integrator couldn’t possibly purchase and store all of the products it needed for the deployment, Anixter was able to extend enough credit to the integrator to cover the products for the duration of the deployment. By offering flexible credit arrangements, the integrator was able to take advantage of Anixter’s financial position to provide its customer with the products it needed on time.

Project Results 

Anixter’s supply chain expertise helped the company source the right products and overcome a complex global schedule. This reduced the company’s risk and overall costs. The strong partnerships Anixter forged with the manufacturer confirmed that the products met the required technical specifications. After the successful deployment to the 1,000 stores, Anixter is now working with the retailer and integrator to outfit the remaining 4,000.