For Advance Auto Parts, the challenges were daunting. The Roanoke, Virginia-based Fortune 500 Company– the second-largest retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories, batteries and maintenance items with 35,000 employees and 2,652 stores in 39 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands—had an immediate need to upgrade various generations of RF and computer equipment as part of a larger project to modernize store layout and systems to enable more efficient business processes for store management.
Not only was the project huge, but Advance Auto Parts wanted it done in an expedited timeframe which called for just two weeks notice for the installations to begin and approximately 90 days to outfit and implement working systems in more than 2,600 locations across the US.
The deployment required:
- upgrades and installations of in-store RF networks and devices
- installation of memory in PC-based cash registers
- firmware upgrade in existing RF devices
- network enable all back-office printers and install new printer in some stores
- install new wireless switches to control and manage the new RF devices and configure these devices to store specific specifications
To meet its technology deployment project management needs, Advance Auto Parts turned to industry leader Velociti, Inc. Velociti was responsible for all aspects of the deployment and installation.
Staging and Inventory Management:
Velociti assembled all of the necessary technology, staged all equipment in its Atlanta facility and shipped customized kits to Advance Auto Parts Stores across the US.
The project required:
- 25,000 pieces of computer memory
- Nearly 2,300 network cards for in store printers
- 265 new laser printers
- Over 2,300 new wireless switches
- More than 2,500 RF printers
- Nearly 280 new Symbol access ports
- Over 2,600 antennae
- More than 200,000 feet (or roughly 38 miles) of cable
Velociti provided a dedicated manager who oversaw the efforts of 23 full-time technicians as they completed two store installations per day, six days a week. Each technician was trained and took part in a 50-store pilot project to validate installation processes.
In addition, Velociti created a web-based tool for tracking the progress of the technology deployment and for daily, periodic and end-of-project reconciliation reporting. This web solution gave designated personnel at Advance Auto complete insight to the progress of the project, allowing them to know exactly which stores were complete and which were next to be deployed.
The entire Advance Auto Parts technology deployment project required over 52,000 route miles, including over 4,300 miles by one technician, in order for all locations to be successfully completed in the 90-day timeframe.
With an in-house IT staff of less than a dozen people, outsourcing this large, complex and time critical technology deployment was the most viable option for Advance Auto Parts. “We investigated our options thoroughly and found that not many companies were willing or able to handle the diversity and challenges of the project,” stated Chuck Kingery, Director of Store Technology. “Only Velociti offered the versatility and ability to manage a large, nationwide project on budget and on time and with the expertise we needed to get the job done.”