Leading Fabric & Craft Chain Upgrades to Aerohive to Drive Complete Retail Operations
About Beverly’s Fabric & Crafts
Beverly’s Fabric & Crafts (Beverly’s) is a retailer with both online and brick and mortar locations, offering fabric, crafts and home décor throughout its 18 physical store locations in California. Beverly’s provides classes and workshops, catering to patrons who have a love for scrapbooking, quilting, sewing and more.
Founded in 1968, Beverly’s is the second largest privately-owned crafts chain in the nation. For its online properties, the retailer partners with several online stores to offer its quality craft, scrapbooking and knitting products. The company has headquarters operations in Aptos, California and distribution centers located in Watsonville and Stockton.
The company has focused its wireless infrastructure on its brick and mortar operations, and was a heavy user of HP for many years. The retailer began to have frequent Wi-Fi disconnects, losing a lot of time in stores waiting for the re-ordering process software to run smoothly. Beverly’s has proprietary software managing its re-ordering process and recently upgraded and modernized the system to enable the software to run on tablets and hand-held scanners within its stores. The company wanted to not only achieve better connectivity with existing Motorola Symbol hand-held PCs, but also allow new devices to operate reliably and seamlessly across all retail locations.
The primary driver for upgrading its wireless infrastructure was to power the in-store reordering solution, however Beverly’s also looked to add a wireless solution that would pave the way for better customer understanding and insight as the retailer leverages technology to best serve customers and drive marketing programs.
Although the company had a long-standing relationship with HP, Beverly’s chose Aerohive to overhaul its wireless infrastructure because of the reliable technology and additional retail analytics Aerohive offered. Beverly’s worked with Aerohive reseller Dasher Technologies to deploy the solution across all retail locations.
Beverly’s stores are spread from San Diego to Ukiah, a distance of over 600 miles, having HiveManager Online’s cloud-based network management was instrumental to the IT team. Since each store operates on a separate network, Beverly’s did not want to incur additional costs by adding physical wireless controllers at each store. The IT team used Aerohive’s heat mapping features to determine where APs should be installed in each store, enabling on-site managers to deploy a wireless network typically in five minutes’ time. Features in Aerohive’s HiveManager enabled Beverly’s to configure the network for optimal connection based on particular devices, eliminating the problems the company experienced with Motorola handheld devices in the past.
Many stores offer local customization, with regional products or adjusted inventory based on customer preferences. Beverly’s plans to implement a guest Wi-Fi network to leverage retail analytics for customer insight. With this data, Beverly’s will be able to better predict which items sell well or poorly, and which departments could expand based on customer demographics. iPads are placed in stores for customer email signups, and the devices are also used by managers for online meetings.
The stores use Aerohive AP230 access points and each site is now equipped with tablets on carts with bar code printers to not only wirelessly manage the re-ordering process, but to also update product bar codes and price changes. These operations and tasks previously could only be done in the back room, but now can be done directly on the store floor due to the enhanced wireless network.
Beverly’s also has plans in place to use tablets and scanners as employees cut fabric, wirelessly updating inventory, as well as printing tickets for customers to take to the register at check out. Eventually, warehouse operations will also fully migrate to Aerohive, opening the door for the company to use hand-held devices to manage inventory pulling on the warehouse floor.