Man with tablet works in distribution center warehouse

Case study: Retailer Builds Distribution Center Equipped for the Future

20 Dec 2018 by Steve Solomon

Facts at a glance

Client industry:

Retail

Size of company:

2,100 employees

Challenge:

The client needed to equip a new distribution center with modern technology and to optimize existing technology in order to prevent supply delays, improve shipping speeds and boost customer service.

Solutions:

  • IT infrastructure for 600,000-square-foot distribution center
  • Refresh of 2,200 point-of-sale systems
  • Network health check for retail stores
  • Server upgrade with FlexPod technology

Results

  • Reduced technology costs
  • Optimized IT procurement
  • Simplified logistics & improved delivery times
  • Upgraded & optimized data center
  • Better customer service

Solution areas:

Insight’s Supply Chain Optimization solutions simplify the process of procuring, maintaining and replacing the technology clients invest in to run their business.

Insight’s Connected Workforce solutions are a suite of end-user compute offerings designed to simplify IT management while improving connectivity and collaboration.

Insight’s Cloud + Data Center Transformation solutions help clients improve data center availability, performance and efficiency.

A Texas-based retailer of storage products and custom closets found itself in an enviable situation. Due to strong growth, the company’s distribution center could no longer accommodate its needs. Additionally, the retailer had decided to expand into the population-rich East Coast.

The company found that shipping products throughout the U.S. from one centralized distribution center wasted valuable time, money and resources. Third-party logistics slowed shipping times, significantly limiting the retailer’s response to ever-changing needs.

The company found that shipping products throughout the U.S. from one centralized distribution center wasted valuable time, money and resources.

To address this, the retailer had plans to build a 600,000-square-foot distribution center in Maryland. It would be the company’s biggest expansion project since 1978 and its first non-retail location outside Texas.

None of the company’s previous vendors had the capability or breadth of services to deal with such an ambitious undertaking. Having worked with Insight on a successful supply chain solution implemented at the store level, the retailer reached out to us for help with the new distribution center.

First steps

Not wanting a simple order taker, the client knew Insight would be an active participant, providing strong engineering experience and guidance for the entire process. Before the first day of construction, we held weekly meetings with the client to plan out a strategy.

Understanding the importance of this crucial expansion, we assigned two seasoned professionals to supervise every aspect of the project and work closely with the client’s IT team.

The client knew Insight would be an active participant, providing strong engineering experience and guidance for the entire process.

The new building represented the first stage of a major technology transformation. Other aspects included advising the client on how to rein in costs, incorporate more modern technology and fully support future digital innovation.

Delivering a positive outcome

The client designed the new distribution center to improve business continuity, limit delays and prepare the company for future growth. The ability to provide faster shipping time to East Coast customers will position the company to gain a competitive edge.

Supply Chain Optimization

By optimizing the business’s supply chain organization, our team helped reduce the time it took the client to run its business and enabled transformation for anticipated growth. This effort involved major improvements in invoicing and purchasing, as well as a refresh of more than 2,200 Point-of-Sale (POS) systems.

Connected Workforce

Insight’s managed services offerings helped the client build a mobile-first, next-generation workplace by driving productivity, simplifying management and consolidating spending. This major project included cabling at the new distribution center and a network health check for all retail stores.

Cloud + Data Center Transformation

We optimized and modernized the client’s business with a major upgrade in servers, storage and security using FlexPod technology from Cisco and NetApp. New hardware and cloud solutions simplified logistics, lowered shipping costs and improved delivery times.

Moving forward

Although the new distribution center is still in the construction phase, the client is enthused about future potential efficiencies.

“We didn’t earn this business based on cost but on trust and competency,” says Ryan Williamson, an Insight account executive. “Insight clearly proved its ability to execute on multiple fronts, and we are already in the planning stages to refresh and modernize over 90 stores in 2019, incorporating exciting new advances in modern device management.”

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