Poundland chooses 3-in-1 communications solution from Vodat

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Poundland, Europe’s biggest single price discount retailer, which reported a 24.9% rise in total sales year on year for the five weeks to January 1, has selected a new fully managed network supplied by Vodat International, the leading communications solution provider to the retail industry, to help improve communications between stores and head office and drive further growth.

The single solution combines voice, Internet and data for communications between stores, head office and service providers, and can be implemented very quickly, ideal for this fast growing discount retailer. It is also entirely managed by Vodat International, so the support team now has more time to focus on core business issues and overall costs have been reduced.

Matthew Sparks, IT Services Manager, said, “What attracted us to Vodat was that they could offer us a fully managed service as well as internet provision, core connections to head office and the ability for us to gain access to payment service providers in a secure environment. Our previous supplier provided us with an unmanaged service; switching to Vodat has not only saved us money but removed the operational time from the support team allowing them more time to focus on other areas of the business.”

Vodat’s Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) solution was initially piloted in 19 stores over a six week period then trialled at each of Poundland’s new stores. The go-live took place in October 2011, implemented at over 170 of Poundland’s stores by Christmas 2011 with the remaining stores scheduled to go-live over the next few months.

Sparks continued, “We wanted to partner with a supplier who can keep up with the fast pace of the business. We plan to open an additional 50 stores each year and it’s imperative that all communications are in place at the time a store opens. It is critical for our business that we are able to take card payments as soon as the doors open and that the stores have replenishment systems online and available from the outset – getting it right first time, every time. At the same time we have to be mindful of our costs so we can keep offering amazing value to our customers every day. Vodat have the ability to deliver what we need at the right price.”

Paul Leybourne, Head of Sales at Vodat International, said, “Poundland went through a rigorous process to select its Telecommunications provider and we are very pleased that they selected Vodat International. Poundland is a hugely successful retailer with exciting expansion plans for 2012 with the possibility of further expansion into Europe and our solution will support them when this happens.”

The project also included new lease lines between the Head Office Distribution Centres as well as lines coming into the stores, reducing costs significantly by providing Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) connections into each store with a 3G backup service. This has enabled Poundland to be able to reduce the number of PSTN lines into each of the stores and provide free On Net calls further reducing costs. By providing the PSTN line and ADSL service as a joint service Vodat have been able to speed up the delivery of the connections to the stores, helping Poundland to successfully meet its store opening schedule requirements.