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The Wireless Warehouse

Warehouse

About Good Eggs

Good Eggs makes it easy for people to shop for fresh groceries produced by local farmers and vendors. Once customers purchase their groceries, Good Eggs handles the logistics and delivers it straight to their door.

Challenges

  • Poor wireless performance
  • Dropped connections for handheld scanners
  • High AP utilization
  • Poor roaming between warehouse areas
  • Low throughput

Solution

  • New design for coverage and capacity
  • Utilized external antennas
  • Leveraged Meraki infrastructure

Results

  • Eliminated 100% daily service desk calls
  • Increased wireless performance by 100+%
  • Increased warehouse picking productivity
  • Improved network reliability
  • Reduced interference by 103%

Packet6 helped us get our wireless network optimized for our fulfillment center operations. With their expertise and professionalism, they helped to increase our daily order fulfillment by 24%, lowered our overall pick time by 20%, and reduce our help desk calls 100%.

Victor Evans, Manager of IT

Good Eggs, an online grocery delivery service, needed wireless expertise to assess their warehouse for interference and troubleshoot roaming issues with their wireless scanners. Packet6 reviewed Good Eggs’ Meraki wireless configuration. During peak usage, the office space, which supports the warehouse, was unable to get good throughput speeds. At peak hours there were approximately 200-300 devices on the wireless network. Ensuring warehouse and office operations could perform their responsibilities was mission critical. Warehouse pickers needed to scan inventory without any network drops or slowness. The office staff required high throughput to maintain for software development.

Poor wireless roaming in warehouse impacted performance of scanners. Warehouse workers carried wireless scanners and could roam anywhere in the warehouse at any given time to pick inventory. When workers move from rack inventory to the freezers, they noticed more than 15 seconds of delay on the scanners. Workers had to wait for the scanner to pick up signal before proceeding to pick inventory. Poor roaming delayed pick times and lowered the efficiency of the warehouse thus delayed shipping products to consumers.

In addition to poor roaming conditions, some scanners and laptops on the warehouse floor would drop from wireless. This disrupted the workflow of warehouse employees during their pick times. The work stoppage increased phone calls to the service desk daily. A technician would spend hours troubleshooting various scanners and laptops in conjunction with modifying wireless settings to make the connection reliable.

The unreliability of the wireless network proved to be inefficient for a growing company. Scanning inventory and picking product off the shelves was critical to their success in shipping the products quickly to their consumers. As more consumers shopped on Good Eggs’ website, more products flew off the shelves. An unreliable wireless network was becoming a crutch to growth.

Good Eggs’ growth in consumer demand led to an increase in wireless devices in the warehouse as staffing requirements grew. The increase in devices led to Good Eggs outgrowing their current wireless capacity needs.

The coverage and capacity issues were further escalated due to improper mounting and antenna selection. An overhaul wireless design was needed to meet the current and future workload.

Meraki Wireless Access Point

Instead of working on business initiatives, IT was spending their efforts on break/fix issues. Troubleshooting wireless problems took time away from allowing IT to be a cornerstone to the company’s growth.

Good Eggs’ engaged Packet6 to build upon the existing Meraki infrastructure. By determining the warehouse requirements, both business and technical, Packet6 was able to design a reliable, high performing wireless network.

Because of the challenging environment a warehouse presents, a design for coverage and capacity was generated with the use of external antennas to deliver a quality wireless signal to the devices.

Furthermore, the design was configured and optimized for the warehouse environment. With many sources of interference, a multitude of reflection, and signal absorption from inventory; Packet6 performed expert wireless design and tuning. The configuration was optimized to minimize the amount of interference in the warehouse. Many of the access points were not tuned correctly and were transmitting at the highest power. Additionally, specific settings such as data rates, load balancing, and band steering were modified to improve connectivity.

To mitigate the environmental challenges affecting wireless connectivity, Packet6 chose ideal access point locations with the proper mounting hardware. This ensured signal was being propagated correctly and received by the devices. Correct placement and mounting hardware allowed the received signal to be at a higher quality. High ceilings can be a challenge in a warehouse and devices are down near the floor, about 30+ feet away from the access point.

Keeping up with consumer demand requires an infrastructure to maintain its resiliency through high availability and redundancy. Packet6 implemented a high available solution to protect the business from single points of failure. Good Eggs’ can now take advantage of redundant firewalls, ISP connectivity, and access point coverage. Additionally, Packet6 enabled Good Eggs to utilize load balancing between their redundant ISPs.

Packet6 allowed Good Eggs to keep their existing installation, Meraki, in place without a costly rip and replace. The additional access points with the proper antenna selection and placement added capacity and roaming capabilities. As a result, there was increased efficiency and productivity with warehouse workers.

The wireless design and implementation, created by Packet6, eliminated daily calls made to the service desk and allowed IT to shift their efforts towards growing the business.

Good Eggs’ found renewed trust in their wireless network through Packet6’s design and configuration. With the improved reliability and performance of the wireless network, this allows Good Eggs to remain competitive in the e-commerce grocery delivery business.

Ready to improve your wireless?

Are you looking for an improvement in your wireless network? Contact Packet6 today at info@packet6.com or 669-244-9434.