Project Story: European Luxury Goods Powerhouse Renovating its Stores in China
Industry: Retail, Luxury Brands, Fashion & Accessories
Location: Greater China
Project Description: Retail Outlets IT Refresh Project across Greater China
Retail store projects have their own unique challenges.
In this specific case the Project work required special sensitivity as the Client’s stores are almost always located in Grade A shopping malls, or on busy streets in central business and shopping districts. Therefore, the project needed to be managed with considered pre-planning and great execution in order to avoid any misunderstanding or violation of regulations, and, to minimize disruption to normal trading.
Since the kickoff on this series of Projects last year we have been engaged in and supported nearly 20 successful refresh Projects at the Client’s retail stores across Greater China, including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and different cities in mainland China.
Standardization and Simplicity of future IT management was a key driver.
One of their initial requests for this entire project was that they wanted to standardize their IT environment across Greater China. Even though we were familiar with their standardized IT policy and specifications as documented, we still needed to have assessments performed at the locations when starting each individual location project in order to understand existing IT environment and user behavior in the store, so as to be able to plan the refreshes without impact to ongoing smooth daily operations, and ensure future ease of management.
After compiling facts and then summarizing our findings, we reported back to key stakeholders at their APAC IT HQ in Shanghai defining what the required hardware upgrades would be, and provided a comprehensive proposal so their decision making could be clear and backed with sound logic, and, made good economic sense.
Efficient Procurement and Deployment
We then commenced the procurement process, which we ran through our Procurement Desk. Some items included retail specific equipment, such as barcode scanners, codeless phones, printers, PBX etc.
Communications with Key Stakeholders
Concurrently we worked with the landlord, the Client IT team and other project stakeholders to make sure all the IT equipment could be setup in an efficient and timely manner. Working additionally with ISPs for internet circuit setup or migration, and also with local telecoms for PSTN circuit installation.
Network configurations were stored on the cloud so related tasks could be performed in an automated fashion. We were also responsible for the physical connection of all the configured IT equipment including their POS systems. When the environment become ready, we then performed the required cable terminations, together working with ISP internet providers for activation and PBX setup before store handover.
Flexibility and Response
We were required to pay special attention to ceiling related tasks. One of their policies is that Access Points can not be exposed in the sales area. It is sometimes very difficult to get the balance between the policy and the signal coverage required in the space. We also have to place cabling and install devices in the ceiling before the ceiling close-over date. However, because of a lot of uncertainly, it is quite difficult to fix the date for the tasks. So, we have to be frequently on site and very flexible for human resource management.
Ongoing Cooperation and Support
We closely communicate with the Client Service Desk whose team consists of systemsGo IT support specialists. The Service Desk actively monitors the Client network in real-time, so we have to communicate when shutting down network equipment, adding new equipment, or when working on internet related tasks.
Our team constantly shares the current project status to make sure if they have finished all the IT equipment setup on time. Once the project is completed, we prepare site-documentation for the Service Desk so they can provide smooth and efficient user support in the future post-IT refresh works.
• IT Consulting
• Site Survey / Discovery & Assessment
• Network & Wireless
• Service Desk
There are more than 60 stores in Greater China. We have managed renovation/relocation of 10 stores in China, 4 stores in Hong Kong and 2 stores in Taiwan since last year. Currently 1 store is under renovation in Macau and a new project is coming in the restricted area in Hong Kong International Airport soon.
This is how we engage with the global brand for their retail store refresh project in Greater China. For more details on this project and our Work Place Technology Group, please feel free to contact us.