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Customer Profile

5.11 Tactical is a clothing manufacturer that specializes in products that enhance the safety, accuracy, speed and performance of law enforcement, military, and firefighting professionals. They have multiple sites spread across a large geography: California (Modesto, Lathrop, and Irvine) Hong Kong, Sweden, and Australia.

Key Challenges

Due to their business’ growth, 5.11 Tactical had two serious issues to tackle—the warehouse was in desperate need of expansion, and the existing wireless infrastructure was slow and didn’t provide enough coverage. This made it difficult to run an efficient inventory and shipment system to support the growing sales, causing the operation to bottleneck and take other, more costly methods to get shipments out on time.

The Lathrop site needed their wireless infrastructure upgraded to leverage existing technology and to improve on the wireless network that was already in place. In addition, the warehouse was expanded to triple its size (over 200,000 square feet), and adequate coverage for the entire space was needed.

Telcion Solution

The outdated wireless system was removed and replaced with an updated solution that enabled complete wireless coverage to all areas of the expanded facility.

Four new remote wiring cabinets were added to support new Cisco 2702 Wireless Access Points that had been positioned at the furthest points of the warehouse. To add these cabinets, fiber was used to connect new Cisco 3650 Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) 24-port Gigabit switches at the Main Distribution Frame (MDF) and Intermediate Distribution Frame (IDF) cabinets. Copper wiring from each cabinet was used to support new access points up to 300’ away.

Results

5.11 Tactical saw an immediate bump in wireless performance, which in turn increased the speed at which they could pick, pack, and ship orders out the door. Individual productivity went up as well; what used to be a 5-10 second wait for RFID units to register a barcode scan became an instantaneous response. This allowed employees to get through their work more rapidly, and process more orders in the same time frame.

In the end, the design, solution, and installation by Telcion has helped 5.11 Tactical keep up with their growing demand by creating a faster, more responsive wireless infrastructure.

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