Gordons (Bolton) Limited
Gordons (Bolton) Limited is a family owned business which started selling and maintaining Ford motorcars back in 1914. It now has four sites across Lancashire in Bolton, Wigan, Howich and Walkden.
Gordons commissioned APC Solutions to connect two of its dealerships, Bolton and Wigan, with a wireless network which would deliver in excess of 50Mbs. The network would be used to transfer VOIP data between sites, manage customer’s data and ensure an excellent level of customer service.
APC also include a WI-FI hotspot client network at both dealerships to enable customers to access the internet while waiting for their car to be serviced or repaired.
The two dealerships APC Solutions needed to connect were in excess of 40km apart. Over this large distance, there were many obstructions and obstacles in the path. These obstructions are both manmade and natural obstacles including buildings and large developments areas and of course, the profile of the land, which included hills and trees. With these factors to contest with, APC Solutions needed a solution, which was robust and could deliver exceptional reliability even in the most demanding environments.
APC installed two Motorola PTP500 wireless links operating in the 5GHz frequencies. Due to the natural gradients in the land profile, APC utilised an Arqiva mast structure known as Heather Hall. This provided a suitable hop site to allow the two dealerships to route through the mast site as a direct link. This solution would deliver in excess of 50Mbs data throughput allowing Gordon’s to run single network architecture across both sites. With reliable and constant data throughput speeds between the two sites, Gordon’s could adapt its network to include VoIP telephone services. The network would also provide a co-location for its IT infrastructure, allowing ease of management and reducing on-going IT costs.
Due to planned development and building works at the Bolton dealership, APC installed a MRV 1Gbs FSO (Free Space Optical Link) as a backup to a pre-existing fibre which was due to be removed in the development project. The FSO link provided a short distance, high data, throughput link between the communication room above the main showroom and a building around 100 metres away. Due to the development works there was a great concern that a traditional fibre cable would become severed and connectivity would be lost. As the link between the two building was wireless, this could not happen, thus providing a secure and fully operational service at all times.
With the addition of the Wireless Point to Point network connecting the two dealerships, APC also installed an Enterprise Wireless LAN (eWLAN) network internally at both dealerships. The Wireless network provided both Gordon’s Ford staff with access to its corporate network and customer’s access to a Wi-Fi Hotspot solution. Customers visiting either dealership were able to connect their personal devices such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop to the hotspot network. The Wi-Fi hotspot allowed customers to be able to use the internet for business or leisure whilst waiting for their car to be serviced or repaired.
Speaking about the solution, Sandy Jackson, Group IT Manager, comments: “Previously, our old network between the two dealerships could only deliver limited bandwidth and performance, therefore restricting our business operations. The alternative solution APC designed and delivered is exceptional. It delivers a high bandwidth reliable link with no downtime, no monthly re-occuring costs, no lengthy contract terms and a team constantly on hand should we need them. It is critical to our business development and general day to day operations going forward, we couldn’t recommend it enough”
APC Solutions delivered a network which was incredibly cost effecitive. Speaking about the network, David Bell, APC Solutions Group Sales Director comments: “Installing a wireless network can deliver huge savings to businesses whether they’re connecting two or fifty premises. The initial deployment and setup costs can genrally be recouped in within 18-24months, making the ROI (return on Investment) excellent. And furthermore, with no ongoing monthly fees or lenghty legal contracts, makes our solution, the, solution of choice for many. The solution APC provided to Gordons has enabled them to stremline their business. Communication between the sites is imperative and now, with the new network, files can be transfered between sites easily and quickly with increasly reduced upload time. Cutsomer service is a huge part of Gordons business, with the new network in place, customers can experience the same level of customer service at whichever branch they visit.