Case Studies

Midland Co-op

Major IT investment throughout the stores

Midland Co-op

About Midlands Co-op

Midlands Co-op is the second largest independent retail Society in the UK and is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing some 7,600 staff and with gross sales in excess of £749 Million. They have over 400 trading outlets, ranging from superstores to convenience stores, supermarkets, department stores, travel shops, funeral homes, garages, post offices and petrol stations.

Requirements

Midlands Co-op required a fully automated ePos system with integrated shelf-edge labelling, live stocktake and re-ordering solution throughout their 172 stores. All this needed to be managed from their central IT offices in Lichfield.

They also needed each store to be able to carry out minor repairs/servicing of the chosen devices.

The solution

After an extensive period of trials with a variety of products and solutions, The Barcode Warehouse was chosen to implement a full Motorola system, which included their new RFS7000 wireless switches. These switches control the Midland Co-op’s complete wide area network (WAN) of 344 Access Points throughout their 172 stores.

The access points in each store communicate in real-time to Motorola MC70 handheld computers around the premises, enabling the operators to perform stock-takes, re-ordering. The devices were also able to communicate to existing Bluetooth portable printers, enabling immediate shelf-edge labelling of any of the consumer products, including time-sensitive special offers and short-life mark-downs etc. Specific products used for the solutions were:

  • 4 x RFS7000 Wireless Switches
  • 344 x AP300 Access Points
  • 401 x MC70 handheld computers.

The Barcode Warehouse also addressed a concern raised by Midlands Co-op, that each store needed to be able to easily maintain or carry out simple repairs on the MC70 mobile computers. This was achieved by supplying an MC70 ‘first-aid kit’ to each store. This kit comprised of a variety of spare parts, including screws, battery covers, spare styluss', along with full instructions.

This innovative element of the solution enables each store to have a degree of self-sufficiency.

All hardware is covered by a 5 year support contract, including next day on-site device replacement, and a buffer stock of ‘hot-swap’ devices, ensuring the downtime of any individual store is kept to an absolute minimum.

Benefits

Since the implementation, Midlands Co-op are seeing a reduction in stocktake and re-ordering errors.

All stores can now be monitored and administered remotely from a central location. With a comprehensive support package, they are also benefiting from a totally stress-free solution from The Barcode Warehouse.