Retailer City Beach reported its smoothest retail season, thanks to support from telecommunications provider Macquarie Telecom.
City Beach extended its technology environment to include SD-WAN in its 66 retail stores and residential warehouses, which, combined with NBN connectivity, telephony and Wi-Fi, provided the stability and scalability needed to meet the needs of today’s customers and employees.
Rhian Greenway, City Beach’s chief information officer, pointed out that eight years ago it became clear that the set of bespoke systems that had held the company in good stead since the 1980s was not equipped to meet the changing demands of clients and team members.
“It was clear that our technology stack lacked the stability and scalability needed to meet customer expectations for reliability and efficiency, as well as the needs of our staff. We had to push back anything that might interrupt the core business of inventory allocation and sales reporting, which resulted in a pretty narrow technology focus,” he said.
This prompted City Beach to upgrade its systems with a phased approach. It commissioned Macquarie Telecom to provide a virtual data center, Wi-Fi spanning its warehouses powered by Juniper Networks, telephony platform and SD-WAN deployment, completed in five months.
Greenway said the Macquarie deployment was cost-effective and provided City Beach with a stable and flexible technology foundation that allowed it to thrive in the modern environment.
“With modern systems, we’ve been able to scale our focus beyond bug fixes, and now we have a full enterprise resource planning team that takes care of the development, design, reporting, and analysis. The latter has allowed us to be more agile in testing new initiatives and following technological trends. »
Greenway recalled that the stability provided by SD-WAN allowed for a much more stable peak period on the retail network. This was significant as Australia saw an unprecedented surge in online sales.
“With the previous technology stack, we experienced a series of outages, and the transition to Macquarie revealed many Wi-Fi black spots in our warehouses. stability of SD-WAN, we had much smoother exchanges across our entire retail network.”
“Just as we left certain clothing styles in the past, it is also imperative that organizations get rid of outdated technology to properly serve customers and ensure staff have the tools and speed to do their job. work correctly. This is another example of two Australian companies coming together to deliver on this vision and ensure better experiences for everyone,” commented Macquarie Telecom Group Director Luke Clifton.
“We look forward to seeing how City Beach uses its reliable network access, customer experience visibility, and digital engagement and analytics platform to improve its processes in the future,” said Bruce Bennie, vice president. – Chairman and CEO of Juniper Networks, ANZ.
Over the next six months, City Beach will introduce Microsoft Teams for its staff and Click and Collect services for its customers.
The organization is also planning pilot projects for voice picking solutions, in which warehouse staff wear headsets to scan customer orders and receive instant feedback on the location of products in aisles and pits. which streamlines the delivery process. This technology also includes location tracking, preventing errors in the picking and packing process.
City Beach is an Australian youth fashion retailer that capitalized on emerging market trends in the 1980s by opening a store in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall.
Over the decades it has become an Australian institution, with a presence of 66 stores across the country.
This first appeared in the CommsWire subscription newsletter on June 14, 2022.