Case Studies

been there, deployed that

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THE CUSTOMER

One of the Nation’s Largest Steel Manufacturers & Recyclers needed uninterrupted, rugged wireless networking across a hazardous 5-acre scrap yard, with piles of metal scrap – reaching heights of 30 feet – throughout.

THE CHALLENGE

With just two points of wired infrastructure available on-site to serve the network, no poles could be added and no additional cabling could be run. No APs could be mounted within the scrap yard itself, and piles of metal, cranes and rail cars at varying heights and positions were causing significant interference issues from any singular point.

THE SOLUTION

A wireless mesh network (WMN) circling the perimeter of the yard with root connections at the two wired points of presence. We mounted five access points at heights ranging from 20 to 60 feet in the air, each with a line of sight to at least two other access points. That way, if any line of sight was lost to one AP, it could route traffic through the remaining APs to find the wired network.

Quote from the field...

“The dangerous hazards present in the environment required close cooperation with the customer’s on-site teams, and we had to employ some unusual techniques to ensure a safe installation. For example, whenever the smelter started up it caused significant seismic activity and generated considerable heat. Since that made it unsafe on the ground, our techs had to work out of 70-foot boom lifts while installing the necessary access points.”

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THE CUSTOMER

A food processor and distributor with multiple locations nationwide needed a complete wireless solution that could stand up to the harsh temperatures of their large cold storage spaces.

THE CHALLENGE

In harsh-temperature environments regular wireless installations won’t cut it.  Under extreme cold, standard cabling and access points can’t function properly.  Frozen food itself poses significant signal-blocking issues, and special precautions are necessary to ensure that everyone on-site is able to work safely, without any adverse effects due to overexposure.

THE SOLUTION

After careful, highly-coordinated planning in cooperation with the in-house teams, we delivered the desired coverage everywhere operators needed it using specialized equipment designed specifically for brutal temperatures.  That included directional antennas that allow for location-specific scanning and minimal product interference, which requires less equipment—thereby maximizing useable food storage space.  Watertight NEMA enclosures, heated and rugged access points, and insulated cabling were also utilized.  Careful planning and design was applied to climate control equipment operations in order to ensure that all operators and the wireless equipment itself would be able to function properly at safe temperatures.

Quote from the field...

“It’s fascinating to follow which new and improved, specialized equipment is available for these harsh-temperature applications each time we work on one.  We keep our teams constantly up-to-date on the latest innovations available, and look forward to adapting our installation process to the unique features of each new deployment we take on.”

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THE CUSTOMER

A regional heavy-equipment distributor with more than 50 locations throughout the Southeast and Midwest needed a service partner who could deliver a major, multi-phase WNS rollout at more than 40 stores over 3 months, as well as continued maintenance and change-order support.

THE CHALLENGE

The customer needed centralized wireless management and simplified inventory tracking across all of their expanding locations.  They were also targeting aggressive timelines in order to realize crucial cost savings, and looking for a partner who could keep up.  After the initial deployments however, they also wanted to make sure their in-house team would get the necessary training to be able to handle occasional, additional implementations without having to become wireless experts themselves.

THE SOLUTION

Going into this project we knew we were up against strict deadlines, so our proven-effective project management methodology was essential to keeping everything on track for both the technical and deployment teams.  Multiple teams working in tandem across regions, tight deployment schedules, and responsive scheduling were all crucial to our success.  Working together we were able to maximize efficiency by designing and installing wireless networks for each distribution center while simultaneously deploying handhelds to get the new warehouse management system up and running as quickly as possible.  A centralized wireless controller was installed to bring wireless network administration under one management interface, with a centralized controller for management across the customer’s WAN.  During the implementation process, our relationships with equipment rental companies ensured on-time delivery and responsiveness of the necessary lifts.  Since then the customer has enjoyed over 4 years of system uptime as well as painless additional deployments to new, acquired, and relocated stores.  We enjoy a successful, ongoing partnership that has simplified the customer’s IT operations significantly.

Quote from the customer...

“Exceptional, professional, outstanding and thorough job done on the project at all of our locations. This connected all our buildings making the workflow much smoother than we were experiencing.”

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THE CUSTOMER

An international logistics company needed a wireless network designed for 100% coverage and roaming capability throughout a multistory pick tower filled with over 1.5 million square feet of inventory.

THE CHALLENGE

The customer needed reliable wireless coverage throughout all areas of the pick tower, despite the fact that it’s made out of metal, which always poses a challenge in terms of wireless signal integrity.  Dense inventory stores in the rack also posed a significant challenge to signal flow.  In order for their ERP to work correctly, a large number of tablets, terminals, and other mobile devices needed to be effectively supported, even if the network would have to overcome its own environment in order to do so.

THE SOLUTION

By using AirMagnet tools to simulate wireless propagation and obstacles, we were able to design a multi-floor network that delivered seamless coverage, easily handled high transaction volume, and would self-heal in the event of an AP having an issue.

The resulting design enabled us to deliver high-density and well-defined coverage areas, which successfully facilitate device movement, keep up with the extremely high activity volume, and effectively mitigate the effects of the equipment and fluctuating inventory being installed inside of metal racking.

Quote from the customer...

“TDS did a great job designing and implementing a wireless solution.  During the process they explained what they were doing, made sure our IDF’s were built to support the wireless and IP camera requirements.  Their service team and projects department made the deployment easy, even when we had a lot going on.”

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THE CUSTOMER

A clothing retailer needed to upgrade their outdated, low-resolution CCTV security camera system to a new, high-resolution IP-camera network.  They also wanted an LCD screen with the live feed from the new cameras visible to their customers as they walked in, so they’d know they were being recorded.

THE CHALLENGE

The customer’s existing LAN network wasn’t capable of supporting the new hardware they wanted to upgrade to, but their current cameras weren’t delivering sufficient clarity either.  Unless customers were standing in the most well-lit portions of the store, management couldn’t actually see enough in the CCTV footage to identify what people were doing.  Shrinkage had become a serious issue, and so their system needed an upgrade right away.

THE SOLUTION

Our team conducted a complete site survey and determined that a new switch was needed at the MDF (main distribution frame).  Updated NVRs (network video recorders), viewing screens, and additional cameras were also necessary.  To minimize disruption of the store’s daily operations, we worked after-hours to remove all of the existing, equipment and replace it with new hardware that delivers much clearer footage.  Using the new system, theft prevention and team managers were able to effectively monitor every corner of the store from a designated viewing area, or their smartphones—resulting in an overall reduction in shrinkage of 5% within just one month after our installation!

Quote from the team...

“It’s surprising that so many companies are still using analog CCTV camera’s, given how little you can actually make out in the extremely low-resolution footage they provide.  The IP-based cameras that have become the new industry standard provide far superior picture quality—and therefore much greater security—at a very reasonable cost.  They last for years, reduce shrinkage, and provide documentation of any incidents that might occur which can prove to be invaluable in protecting your team and your business.  Overall, the ROI for these systems is excellent and with our team handling the upgrade for you, making the switch is easy.”

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THE CUSTOMER

A third-party logistics company with multiple warehouses nationwide needed help with upgrading from their old CCTV system to a new, IP-based network of security cameras.

THE CHALLENGE

The customer’s existing LAN network wasn’t able to support the new IP cameras, and the low resolution of their outdated CCTV cameras wasn’t providing them with a clear enough view of the activity going on at the back of their warehouse—leaving them with a significant blind spot, and an unacceptable hole in their security protocols.

THE SOLUTION

After performing a detailed survey to determine the necessary LAN requirements, our technician swapped out the switches at the existing IDF (intermediate distribution frame) and ran 50 micron OM3fiber to a new IDF we installed at the back of their warehouse.  Next, we installed and cabled the new IP cameras where the existing CCTV cameras had been located, added a few new locations to cover blind spots, adopted them all to the NVR (network video recorders), and set up the customer viewing screen to show all of the cameras’ feeds.

Quote from the team...

“Even just one small blind spot in your operation can cause serious issues with labor and security.  IP-based security cameras are an affordable solution that deliver crystal-clear footage you can actually rely on to maintain security and track product through the warehouse.  Our team has extensive experience delivering seamless upgrades to these new systems, and they usually end up paying for themselves in no time.”

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THE CUSTOMER

A large school district’s student body had finally outgrown their first wireless network, and it was time for a step up. The TDS team was happy to help make the transition as easy and effective as possible for all of the students and staff who utilize school’s network.

THE CHALLENGE

The district had 600 Aruba access points to begin with, and they needed to add additional controllers so they could successfully adopt new access points as well. In order to minimize the impact on the students and staff as much as possible, they needed a service partner who could execute the upgrade within a one-week time-frame–and with minimal end-user device interaction, plus seamless connectivity from the old system to the new one. To get all of that done effectively, on time, and within budget–they turned to TDS.

THE SOLUTION

We worked with the district’s off-site IT department during a holiday break, in order to minimize the disruption to the schools’ usual functioning. Evolving technologies and changes to vendors’ hardware and coding can have a major impact on a WNS environment, and it takes a service partner with a wealth of experience working with a variety of brands to be able to effectively identify and overcome those challenges.  It takes a team like TDS.
After careful research and consideration–particularly of the district’s frequent use of Google Chromecasts–we were able to determine just the right configuration and settings to replicate their existing functionality in the new hardware and software environment. Their upgraded network was up and running perfectly within the tight timeframe, and all with minimal interruption to the students and faculty of the district.

Quote from the customer...

“The TDS team went above and beyond. We really appreciated that the technicians made sure all of our students’ Chromebooks were not only adopted properly, but that all of their installed software was still working as well.”

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THE CUSTOMER

A major grocery supplier in the U.S. with more than 200 corporate-owned retail stores, 12 distribution centers, and thousands of independent locations.

THE CHALLENGE

The grocery supplier experienced many technology challenges at their distribution centers as they expanded.  The company had grown through the years and many new employees had joined the team.  The access points in use were legacy versions.  Coverage was not great with dead zones and signals being dropped.

THE SOLUTION

Our team worked with the customer to address their current needs and future goals.  The distribution center managers wanted consistency and a solution that would grow with them.  We helped not only with upgraded access points and cabling, but also ensured that new labeling printers and hardware were installed to keep up with growing demand.   This new solution improved productivity and increased on- time shipments across all distribution centers.

Quote from the customer...

“The TDS team went above and beyond with not only the completion of  thorough site surveys of each facility and ensuring proper hardware was ordered, but stayed with us at each site until cut over to make sure the upgrades were a complete success.”

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THE CUSTOMER

A nationwide fast casual restaurant chain with 500+ company-owned locations.

THE CHALLENGE

The restaurant chain needed a trusted partner to assist them with removal of front-of-house and back-of-house technology hardware as store locations closed due to under-performance.  They’d had challenges finding the proper partner to have dependable technicians and packaging arrive on time and in a confidential manner.

THE SOLUTION

De-installs at under-performing locations are an unfortunate but necessary part of business that ensures the overall health and success of an organization.  The de-install of technology hardware—including the POS, BOH server, and controllers—needed to be completed in a confidential manner with the technician and packaging arriving onsite on the designated day and time.  Our technicians were able to source all packaging locally and bring to the site in their vehicles.  The technicians packaged hardware and labeled properly, making sure each piece of hardware was shipped to the correct warehouse and/or recycling facility.  The technicians remained on-site for proper sign-off and security.

Quote from the customer...

“TDS was extremely flexible and thought outside the box in many of these locations.  Their suggestions on product packaging greatly reduced our costs, which is much appreciated.  They are truly a valued partner.”

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THE CUSTOMER

A unique gift retailer with approximately 100 company-owned stores within the U.S.

THE CHALLENGE

The retailer operates with a very small IT staff and budget.  They had outdated hardware in their back office as well as needed assistance with a budget-friendly POS install in their front-of-house.  They needed a knowledgeable partner to complete the installs with minimal assistance from the corporate IT help desk. 

THE SOLUTION

Our team evaluated the needs of the customer and completed the installation of a PC-based POS system.  We not only installed the hardware, we ran the appropriate cabling, installed new access points, and cleaned up the outdated hardware and cabling in the back office.  The new solution allowed the retailer to better service their customers, with greatly reduced dependence on the IT help desk staff.

Quote from the customer...

“TDS and their knowledgeable technicians allowed us to clean up our IT closet, which saved us time and allowed our staff to be more productive with our clients.”

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