Warehouse WiFi case study

Mar 15, 2022

Warehouse WiFi case study

Recently, I was hired as an IT consultant to review and refresh a warehouse system. During my investigation, I realised that the company handling the WiFi had proposed something that would not have worked. It could have resulted in operational issues and would cause a drop in productivity if not fixed.

The WiFi provider hadn’t accounted for the fact that forklift trucks, laden with large pallets full of goods, were regularly two or three deep in the aisles. This blocked the RF signal. To make it work, the mounting height and type of antenna being used for the wireless connectivity were just as important as the placement of the access points when delivering the WiFi the warehouse needed. One of our engineers redid the survey and wireless design, and we well-meaningly let the WiFi partner know.

It didn’t go down well. They tried to patronise us, throwing out the technical jargon and assuming we didn’t know anything about WiFi. We pointed out that we are, in fact, experienced experts with decades of work in the WiFi sector and only keen to ensure the warehouse could operate effectively. They eventually agreed the design needed to change. The agreed solution was installed and testing started.

On my next visit to the warehouse, I spotted that the antenna had been mounted the wrong way round. I learnt that the handheld scanners had been tested at height and the WiFi hadn’t been very reliable. We altered the antennas, tweaked the performance a little, and finally everything worked as it should.

I was happy to assist in this instance, but couldn’t help thinking: ‘its a shame they didn’t hire us in the first place’. Castra Solutions would have assessed the warehouse needs and challenges accurately and then suggested and installed the right equipment in the right way. We also would have charged less than half the price. We could even have recommended a better solution – we tested our Cambium Networks product alongside the existing one and it out-performed it by a considerable margin.

If you’re reviewing and upgrading your WiFi, hire a WiFi specialist. There are many of us out here running companies and consultancies and we are more than happy to share our market knowledge and experience to ensure your WiFi system is fit for purpose, value-for-money and – most important – right first time.

Contact us to find out more about how we can help.

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Great hotel let down by poor WiFi