Anixter Upgrades School's Surveillance


Find out how a metropolitan school district was able to lower its overall operating costs and meet monthly benchmarks for performance.

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Upgrade of video surveillance system

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  • Technical expertise
  • Government contract negotiation
  • Supply Chain Solutions

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  • Reduced supplier base lowered inventory management costs
  • Reduced distribution costs
  • Met monthly benchmarks for performance

Customer Challenge

One of the largest school systems in America received federal funding to implement a systemwide upgrade of its security system, especially at high-risk schools. With more than 1,500 schools and thousands of students, the school system encompasses millions of square feet of space spread out over a large geographic area. Many of the schools had already installed data cabling and the updated video surveillance system was designed to take advantage of these enhancements.

The school district contacted a technology consulting firm that it previously worked with on its data cabling installation for help on its new video surveillance system. The firm worked on the technical specifications for the upgrade, which included an IP-based solution that networked the cameras throughout the facility, but needed assistance in selecting and sourcing the right products to meet its technical design. With more than 20 integrators working for the consulting firm and thousands of products needed, the firm looked for a partner that could help recommend the right products, successfully manage materials, reduce overall costs and improve the speed of deployment.

Anixter Solution

Anixter worked with the school district and consulting firm on specifying the products for the system deployment. During the initial design phase, product specifications frequently changed. By aligning with manufacturers, Anixter was able to demonstrate and recommend products that fit the integrator’s technical specifications for the rollout. This included sourcing different products and managing lead times to make sure enough product was available when the integrators needed it. By working with select manufacturers and presenting multiple solutions, Anixter was able to manage more than 10 different manufacturers to supply the cameras, headend gear and data cabling.

Anixter held two major contracts with the state government: one for infrastructure products and one for security. This allowed the school district to buy directly from Anixter’s dealers without having to go through a lengthy bid process. It also helped the school district to solidify the technical specifications and work with the integrator to select the manufacturer solutions that met the requirements. With long-term experience in dealing with these types of contracts, Anixter is able to help many organizations do more business with government entities.

Anixter implemented a phased deployment of products. As the integrators moved from school to school, Anixter shipped the product as needed, which helped to make sure only the right products for a particular facility arrived on site. By keeping products in a nearby distribution center, Anixter was able to manage lead times with manufacturers and ship products to the integrators when an order came in. Also, as part of Anixter’s standard operating procedures, a quality group checked all the products at the distribution facility before they were delivered to the job site to minimize failures and returns. Subsequently, the products were labeled with their appropriate destination and double checked so that the deliveries matched the purchase orders.

Project Results

Through Anixter’s technical expertise, manufacturer partnerships and supply chain capabilities, the technology consulting firm reduced its supplier base, lowered its cost of managing inventory levels and saved on distribution costs. With just-in-time deliveries to the job site, overall operating costs were lowered and the project was able to meet monthly benchmarks for performance. Overall, Anixter provided 60 million feet of cable and 6,000 cameras and combined these with a solution that was ready to install to help increase the speed of deployment. By successfully managing lead times and ensuring product was stored in a nearby distribution center, there were no delays in deploying the upgraded security system. With millions of dollars coming through the state contract, Anixter helped to reduce the overall supplier base and lower distribution costs by consolidating manufacturers through a single channel. With Anixter, the technology consulting firm and the school system working together, the project continues to move along smoothly.

Learn more about Anixter's K-12 education solutions here.