Trek Bicycles ditches dial up for a national wireless network

Upgrade connects 140 retail outlets

Trek Bicycles Australia has gone from dial-up modems and hardcopy orders to wireless PDA's and IP phones following a technology revamp across its national network of 140 retail outlets.

As part of a relocation which involved combining its warehouse and office headquarters to a single site in Sydney, Trek Bicycles overhauled the management of its logistics, communications and customer service.

The company's business development manager, David Cook, said under the old system, orders were sent from the city office to the suburban Trek warehouse by using a dial-up modem to connect to a remote printer.

Cook said the hardcopy orders were then picked up and fulfilled by warehouse staff.

"Inventory management and invoicing were separate, largely manual processes," he said.

"When we decided to physically separate our Trek wholesale operations from Cyclery retail business, it was a great opportunity to revamp our technology strategy and 'future proof' both companies by choosing an easily expandable, converged voice and data communications solution."

Trek implemented Cisco Advanced Unified Communications to help the company link the two locations.

The solution consists of Cisco 2800 Series Integrated Services routers at each site, a wireless network, including three Aironet 1250 wireless access points at the 1200 square metre warehouse, and 7920 Wireless IP phones and Cisco 7960G Unified IP phones at the sites.

The reseller, IMC Technical Services director, Andrew Gifford, said the organization has been able to extract greater productivity out of their Cisco infrastructure investment by combining LAN, Wireless LAN, WAN and Unified Communications while also increasing employees productivity and efficiency.

Stocktaking at the warehouse is now managed with wireless PDAs, and staff or visitors such as sales representatives can use wireless-enabled laptop computers anywhere on the site for paperless ordering and administration.

CIsco's ANZ director of operations for commercial sales, Sam Gerner, said internal or external callers can reach the warehouse staff carrying wireless telephones anywhere on site, any time, and Cisco Unity Express messaging and greeting services ensure that there are no lost customer contacts.

He said messages can be played back using either the Cisco Unified IP phones, or via e-mail.

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