Poundland Powers Product Approval Process with Video Conferencing-as-a-Service

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mvision has announced that the UK’s biggest single-price discount retailer, Poundland has deployed its video conferencing-as-a-service (VaaS) and expects to circumvent £28,000 per annum on postage and re-labelling costs.

The majority of Poundland’s imports come from China and are managed by its Hong Kong office. Until recently, the sampling process involved posting products to the UK for quality assurance checks and approval against packaging and quality standards. By enhancing this physical sample process with video conferencing from mvision, the Retailer has significantly shortened the approval cycle for some imports. It has enabled samples to be viewed and decisions made about them without having to physically send samples between the UK and Hong Kong offices.

Mike Gray Head of IT at Poundland explained, “We looked for a solution that would fit with our current technical set-up. We have a variety of IT support services but we really wanted a solution that the business could operate itself without the need for IT support. mvision’s VaaS was an infinitely more attractive option for us; it’s always on, available and works with whoever we want to communicate with by video.”

“It’s incredibly easy to use, so adoption has been rapid and we’ve realised a great deal of value from our investment,” continued Gray. “We encountered a few connectivity issues when the project started, but had we not bought the systems as part of a managed service it would have been far more difficult to resolve them. mvision owned the whole technical installation for us.”

Poundland has room-based Cisco systems placed on portable trolleys and connected to the mvision dedicated video network. These systems are used in Birmingham and Hong Kong where colleagues from the buying department assess products for quality and their suitability for the UK market. This not only reduces postal costs between the two sites, but empowers the team to meet UK quality and packaging requirements and helps avoid a costly re-labelling or returns process once product has arrived in the UK.

Terry Dwyer, Managing Director at mvision added, “The solution not only meets the original business case, but has greatly improved the communication between Hong Kong and the UK. It allows colleagues, including members of the executive board, to use video conferencing for meetings; encouraging the whole team to connect more regularly and productively.”

In future months, Poundland plans to connect with its suppliers via video conferencing, to achieve similar efficiencies through its supply chain.