Ensign delivers a 400 store nation-wide wireless LAN and data capture solution to UK retail giant, JD Sports

Date December 20, 2012 Author Comments Leave your thoughts
Wireless LAN and mobile data capture solution for JD Sports.

Ensign puts new technology at JD’s fingertips.

Since its inception in 1981, the Manchester based JD Sports Group has become one of the UK’s most well-known retailers. With recognisable high-street fascias including JD Sports, Chausport, Size?, Bank and Cecil Gee, the JD Group operate out of around 900 stores across the UK and Europe.

Having made a number of retail acquisitions in recent years the retail giant identified a need to install wireless infrastructures within many of their stores. The company approached Ensign to perform a complete network rollout to approximately 400 stores across the UK and Northern Ireland.

Due to tight timescales and the size of the JD estate, Ensign were required to complete at least two stores per day. Depending on their location, varying from high-street to shopping centre units, the layout of each store presented a different set of challenges, which saw Ensign’s engineers installing wireless access points and routing fibre cabling throughout often irregular shaped and awkward spaces.

Having to work on-the-fly, without floor plans, Ensign surveyed the stores’ front and back-of-house areas to ensure the best overall coverage – this careful planning would allow the wireless network to provide the strongest and most resilient signal to mobile devices in use on the shop floor and stock room areas.

Completing the network, JD required two handheld mobile computers and one wireless printer to be commissioned within each store. The Datalogic Skorpio handheld mobile computer was suggested by Ensign for its ergonomic and reliable design, wireless capabilities (Bluetooth and 802.11b/g) and user-friendly interface. The Zebra QLn320 was also selected to provide a rugged, mobile printing unit which would stand-up to the demands of the busy retail environment.

Due to the compressed timescales of this particular project, and for added security, the Datalogic handheld computers were staged and configured at Ensign’s headquarters in Wareham, assigned to a particular JD store and shipped ¬ this process saved precious time on-site and added another layer of security, with each device being configured to the specific IP address of its destination.

The Outcome

Working hard to overcome the many obstacles posed by this deployment, Ensign were able to meet the deadline and the brief set by the JD Group, paving the way for future projects. Shaun Armstrong, IT project manager at JD Sports, said: “The technology means product information is at the fingertips of our staff. It means they can deal with customer queries on the shop floor rather than go to the stock room.”

To find out more about Ensign wireless LAN solutions, pay us a visit at www.ensign-net.co.uk 

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Author Gregg Meade

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