Bicycle wholesaler unifies communications over IP

Bike wholesaler Trek and its retail arm now connect by VoIP.

Trek Bicycles Australia, a wholesale business, grew out of a long-established Sydney bicycle retail business called Clarence Street Cyclery. Trek Bicycles Australia owns the distribution rights for the American made Trek bicycles and today sells more than 200 models and eight brands of bicycles, clothing and accessories to a network of 140 retail outlets nationally including Clarence Street Cyclery.

Historically, the head offices for Trek and Clarence Street Cyclery shared the same city location, while the Trek warehouse was established at a separate suburban Sydney site. A decision was recently made to move the Trek offices to the same site as the Trek warehouse. This office relocation allowed for an improvement in the way in which orders were managed from the city offices to warehouse.

David Cook, business development manager of Trek Bicycles Australia, said, "Under the old system, orders were sent from the city office to the suburban Trek warehouse by using a dial-up modem to connect to a remote printer. The hardcopy orders were then picked up and fulfilled by warehouse staff. Inventory management and invoicing were separate, largely manual processes."

"When we decided to physically separate our Trek wholesale operations from our Clarence Street Cyclery retail business, it was a great opportunity to revamp our technology strategy and future-proof both companies by choosing an easily expandable, converged voice and data communications solution."

To achieve this upgrade, Trek employed a Cisco solution to link the two locations. This involved setting up routers at each location, as well as several wireless access points and a number of wireless and unified IP phones.

Stocktaking at the warehouse is now managed with wireless PDAs, and staff or visitors such as sales representatives can use wireless-enabled laptop computers anywhere on the site for paperless ordering and administration. Internal or external callers can reach the warehouse staff carrying wireless telephones anywhere on site, any time, and messaging and greeting services ensure that there are no lost customer contacts. Received messages can be played back using either the Cisco Unified IP phones, or via email.

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