At some point, you stop being a small business. At some point, you have to embrace your organization’s growth and invest in technology that supports your employees to maximize productivity and morale.
For a small — but growing — dental supply company based in the Midwest, that was a key realization, as they wanted to be able to continue to compete with larger companies.
“We have to stop thinking like a small business,” the company’s chief financial officer said. “We need to invest in enterprise-level technology.”
And that’s what he and the company’s IT director and warehouse manager set out to accomplish when they called MicroAge’s Susan Breitkopf.
In addition to needing increased bandwidth — they went from 1GB to 10GB — to accommodate a newly installed phone system, the company’s warehouse employees were having challenges with the wireless network.
“They were having problems picking their orders due to the network dropping them in certain spots,” Susan explains. “Whenever this happened, they’d have to log in again to continue to fulfill the order. This cost the company time and money, and reduced their competitive edge in getting orders out the door quickly. In addition, it was a morale issue with the pickers as part of their compensation is an incentive based on their productivity.”
To better understand the challenge, MicroAge worked with a services partner to conduct an on-site survey and heat map, which allowed them to make recommendations for new switching and Wi-Fi access points.
“It made sense to tackle the wireless upgrade along with the increased bandwidth for the phone system at the same time,” Susan says. “Switching supports all of it. This way, they could have all the upgrade pain at once.”
The Cisco switches and Wi-Fi solution included: a Cisco 2504 wireless router, two Cisco Catalyst 2960X-24PD-L switches with 10G expansion modules, 23 Cisco Aironet 2702i controller-based access points and Cisco cabling.
“They already had Cisco infrastructure,” Susan says. “And while we looked at other options, Cisco actually ended up saving them money in addition to working easily with their existing infrastructure.”
And there was no time to waste. The time from purchase order to deployment was just two weeks.
To ensure zero downtime, MicroAge’s services partner was onsite over a weekend.
“The team went above and beyond to work the weekend to reduce the impact to the business,” Susan says. “They made sure everything was up and running — and thoroughly tested — before employees came in on Monday.”
And the team was extremely pleased.
“From an end-user perspective, no one was the wiser that there was ever any downtime,” she says.
But employees certainly noticed the results of the change.
“What used to take a warehouse picker 20 to 30 minutes to do due to being dropped by the network is now done in 10 minutes,” Susan says. “The Cisco switches and Wi-Fi network allows them to work seamlessly throughout the entire facility with no dead spots, saving them money by increasing productivity. It’s also improved the morale of their warehouse and sales staff.”
The client is happy, Susan says, and there’s a simple lesson to take away: “If you improve IT, it can improve your business.”
Is it time to deploy enterprise-level information technology, like Cisco switches and Wi-Fi, in your organization? Susan Breitkopf can help assess your current technology and provide solutions to help you compete. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-544-8877 x 62174.