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New IT infrastructure agreement to deliver better services and communications for retailer’s FMCG requirements

High Street retailer Poundland has signed a new contract to upgrade its core local area network (LAN) infrastructure. 

A new agreement with NextiraOne will see the communications services provider design, supply, implement and maintain Poundland’s communications infrastructure for its administration and warehouse distribution locations.

The investment is designed to ensure that the company can continue to run efficient systems to keep it ahead in the retail value sector. Poundland uses its core network to handle stock control, distribution, financial and staff management systems and to integrate sales and stock information, via electronic point-of-sale (EPoS) with a 24-hour warehousing operation that despatches over 650 million items every year to the company’s 340-plus retail outlets.

Supporting continued scale and growth

Established in April 1990, Poundland has quickly grown to a nationwide operation with a network of over 345 stores offering exceptional value to over three million customers each week. The company plans to open a further 50 stores in the next year, creating around 2,000 new jobs. 

In support of this, Poundland’s ICT strategy is focused on ensuring the quality of its support systems and technical infrastructure meet the requirements of an expanding, fast moving business. Poundland has therefore invested substantially in the computerisation of stock control, distribution, financial and staff management systems – and the underlying network infrastructure and communications that support these systems. 

NextiraOne and Poundland have worked in partnership since 2004, when NextiraOne originally won a tender to upgrade Poundland’s LAN and voice environment and provide ongoing support and managed services. The new contract covers the design implementation and support of a Cisco-based core and edge LAN infrastructure using Cisco Catalyst switches. This will achieve a significant upgrade and improvement to the company’s existing network infrastructure. 

Mike Gray, IT director at Poundland, said: “Operating in a highly competitive retail environment, Poundland’s strategy has always been to invest in the systems that will allow us to run our retail and warehouse operation with the highest levels of efficiency. With a growing organisation and rapid turnover of goods, we need dependable systems that are reliable, resilient, and provide high-speed communications. NextiraOne has delivered the infrastructure and managed the network for us for many years and we are very happy with the service they have provided. This new contract is a logical extension of that trusted relationship and a further step in our strategy of building the best systems for our growing business.”

Faster bandwidth and connectivity

The NextiraOne solution will deliver faster communications with improved management for the company’s main headquarters in the West Midlands and the warehousing sites. It is designed to provide greater bandwidth for new systems and applications and to allow for future growth, meeting the current and future business demands of Poundland’s IT.

Based on Cisco switches, the supplier said Poundland’s new network will provide high availability, scalability, security, energy efficiency and ease of operation, plus increased bandwidth availability as the switches will support multiple device types. They will help to enhance productivity by enabling applications such as internet protocol (IP) telephony, wireless and video communications.

Steven Skakel, NextiraOne managing director in UK and Ireland, said: “Poundland has always used leading-edge technology to ensure the efficiency of its operations and achieve its business goals. In an FMCG fast-moving consumer goods] environment this has paid off in allowing the company to grow rapidly to its current success.”

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