The Challenge

M&S selected Jade Solutions to build the infrastructure network in its new 900,000 sq. ft. automated super-hub distribution centre which will ultimately hold 16 million products and process a million items a day – most destined for next day delivery.  Choosing the right provider was vital to the project’s success as every aspect of the distribution workflow depends upon the high availability, high-capacity data communications backbone.

Today’s market demands efficient supply chain management and speedy shipment delivery. Any delays, incomplete or wrong orders can both erode profit and damage reputation, so to retain their competitive edge, large manufacturing and retail organisations are continually looking at ways to optimise stock levels, streamline the end-to-end movement of goods and enhance the customer experience. In response to these imperatives, M&S has implemented a major supply chain transformation programme and Castle Donington is the first development designed to position the company as a leading international, multi-channel retailer.

Creating a fast, agile, flexible Supply Chain

A focus on utilising new technology to improve customer engagement and communication.

This has involved a complete shift in operational platforms to facilitate the move from counter service to single/dual collection points with the introduction of innovative technology throughout their restaurants.

With a history of successful project delivery for McDonald’s and as a trusted IT delivery partner, Jade Solutions were delighted to be selected for this flagship project. The programme scope includes the installation and commissioning of new technology across hundreds of UK sites, with both technical expertise and programme management of paramount importance.

Jade: Supporting end-to-end automation

With a focus on customer experience, the project includes a stream-lining of all kitchen operations, this includes the installation of two blade servers, that are imaged off site, and then the data is migrated across from existing servers on-site.

The full technology transformation itself is a big challenge and includes the installation of digital menus, POS units, self-order kiosks, upgrades to call order displays and installation of Aircharge mobile charging stations.

The technical input however is only part of the challenge. The extensive restaurant programme had been planned to minimise restaurant closure periods, with jade needing to schedule their work into the main contractor programme.  The priority being to deliver the EOF vision with minimal disruption and loss of revenue to each restaurant.

Laying the superhighway

 

Jade’s wired/wireless voice and data network superhighway comprises over 20 kilometres of blown fibre optic cabling and 230 kilometres of copper wiring that reach into every corner of the site’s vast acreage. Sourced from cabling leaders TE Connectivity (formerly ADC Krone), M&S chose blown optic fibre for its extra bandwidth in order to future proof Castle Donington’s onward development. The fibre cabling runs from the server rooms to some 69 communications cabinets which house switches and other network equipment, and from which copper cabling then fans out to over 3350 local data outlets – each of which ends in a PC and/or piece of control equipment for the AWS and packing stations.

Powerful mobility support: always on-grid

As part of its wireless capability, the Jade infrastructure includes over 200 dual radio Cisco Access points and base stations for DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology) cordless phones.  A powerful mobility solution is one of the most forward-looking features of the Castle Donington network since at peak times there will be up to 1200 people using the services, most using handheld barcode readers, RFID devices, smartphones and so on – all of them dependent on a clear and steady WiFi signal.  Indeed, it is this mobility support – one of Jade’s special areas of expertise – that allows busy staff be continually on the move – in the aisles, at the packing area or by the loading bays…

 

Straight from a success with Airbus

Simply drawing up the initial specifications and plans for a project the size and scale of Castle Donington’s was in itself an achievement. Says Mike Sharrock, Jade’s onsite project manager:  “While the job was undeniably ambitious, we were fortunate in that we had just completed a major network implementation of a similar size for Airbus so we already knew what was going to be involved and what the challenges would be.  In fact, it was our track record on the Airbus project that assured M&S we had what it took to complete the job on time and fit for purpose.”

As projected, the end-to-end implementation process took two years and involved some 13,700 man hours in its development.  When the Jade data comms platform went live in March 2013 – giving M&S the lead time needed to get everything ready for its grand opening in May – Mike and his team were pleased to find that after putting the network through a rigorous series of tests, labelling and final commissioning, the original project specifications drawn up two years earlier proved to be exactly correct.

Choose an expert to remove the pain

A focus on utilising new technology to improve customer engagement and communication.

This has involved a complete shift in operational platforms to facilitate the move from counter service to single/dual collection points with the introduction of innovative technology throughout their restaurants.

With a history of successful project delivery for McDonald’s and as a trusted IT delivery partner, Jade Solutions were delighted to be selected for this flagship project. The programme scope includes the installation and commissioning of new technology across hundreds of UK sites, with both technical expertise and programme management of paramount importance.

Going the extra mile

With a focus on customer experience, the project includes a stream-lining of all kitchen operations, this includes the installation of two blade servers, that are imaged off site, and then the data is migrated across from existing servers on-site.

The full technology transformation itself is a big challenge and includes the installation of digital menus, POS units, self-order kiosks, upgrades to call order displays and installation of Aircharge mobile charging stations.

The technical input however is only part of the challenge. The extensive restaurant programme had been planned to minimise restaurant closure periods, with jade needing to schedule their work into the main contractor programme.  The priority being to deliver the EOF vision with minimal disruption and loss of revenue to each restaurant.

Infinite expandability to meet future e-commerce ambitions

 

To increase the efficiency of shipments in and out of Castle Donington, rail track has already been laid down for two freight lines, due to be activated in a future phase of M&S’ supply chain transformation programme.  Fortunately this and all the future innovations yet to come – many not yet conceived – are already catered for by a super-stretch network infrastructure that can expand  as far as M&S’ e-commerce ambitions can reach… and beyond.

Come and meet us

Jade Solutions, Beech House,
Woodlands Park, Ashton Road,
Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside
WA12 0HF

Give us a call

01925 295 400

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