Top-quality food company deploys Meraki WiFi in harsh, industrial environment
Reliable network connectivity for handheld scanners and computers
Cloud management enables multi-site WiFi without on-site IT
Halperns’ Purveyors of Steak and Seafood, an Atlanta-based company with 100 employees, distributes top-quality meat and seafood to an expanding market in the Southeast and beyond.
A reliable wireless network is crucial to the business, enabling daily inventory checks across a massive area, said Brandon Ensley, Halperns’ Manager of Technology. “We use scan guns, and those have to stay connected to perform check-in, check-out updates,” he said.
However, the non-commercial grade access points (APs) that Halperns’ was using could not cope with the harsh environment and high-density utilization in certain locations within the building. APs would routinely fail, requiring Ensley to reset the APs and re-authenticate devices. Seeking a reliable solution at a reasonable cost, Halperns’ contacted Smartwave Technologies, a value added reseller specializing in wireless.
“Our environment is harsh on equipment, as you can imagine, since it’s meat and seafood,” Ensley said. “Our freezer is 40,000 square feet, and at -10 degrees. Smartwave really looked at our environment and helped us choose access points that weren’t going to fail within the given conditions.”
Halperns’ wanted a system that functioned seamlessly, so that users could access information from any device, anywhere in the building. In addition, Halperns’ hoped to eliminate some wired network infrastructure, as the hardware located in the fish rooms would corrode every few months.
When Smartwave performed a demo of Meraki’s wireless LAN, Halperns’ was wowed by the cloud management. Meraki’s solution also came out to be less expensive than quotes from Cisco and Barcode ID, which made the decision even easier.
In just three days, Smartwave completed a site survey of the facility and deployed nine Meraki MR11 APs, creating a seamless, high-speed 802.11n network. Soon Halperns’ employees were enjoying consistent wireless access, whether browsing the network from their laptops or updating inventories in the freezer with their scan guns.
Our freezer is 40,000 square feet, and at – 10 degrees… We haven’t had any problems or access point failures. Everything has been working as it should.
Manager of Technology
Ensley said that Meraki’s network solution has eliminated all the complaints he used to hear. “We haven’t had any problems or access point failures. Everything has been working as it should,” he said.
But the cloud management is still what Ensley likes best about Meraki. “That’s something my group has really enjoyed compared to what we had before Meraki was installed,” he said. “We just didn’t have any good insight into what was going on, but now we do. It’s got everything built into it, including rogue devices and the statistical usage reports that we’re getting every month.”
Next quarter, Halperns’ plans to expand its Meraki network to its other facilities in Florida and Georgia. With IT staff only at the Atlanta facility, the cloud-based management will become even more valuable, as it will enable the Atlanta staff to configure and maintain the remote sites over the web.
Ensley said he would absolutely recommend Meraki. “The best compliment is not to have a complaint,” he said.
Our freezer is 40,000 square feet, and at – 10 degrees… We haven’t had any problems or access point failures. Everything has been working as it should