Sligro Food Group is amongst the most successful companies in the Dutch food service and food retail
industry. The company has wholesalers (under the Sligro brand name) and a large number of retail
supermarkets franchised under the EM-TÉ and Golff names. In total, the group represents some 250 locations across The Netherlands.
Towards a standardised network
Sligro has grown quickly, mainly from taking over a number of competitive supermarket chains. For example, a large number of Edah supermarkets were recently acquired and refurbished to fit Sligro Food Group formulas.
“Most of the acquired branches already had outdated cabling,” explains Jan van Gelder, Director of X-ICT, a Nexans business partner. “After a number of takeovers, we found a jumble of cables in the stores. In order to guarantee that every one offers a uniform, optimal service, the standardisation of each one’s telecommunication network was urgently needed.”
The Group decided to contract Nexans Cabling Solutions to modernise their multiple networks. Willibrord van Sambeeck, Manager of Electro Mechanics at Sligro Food Group, says: “We had already worked with Nexans and were very happy with its products. The company also has a very good reputation within the information communication technology (ICT) industry. We never had any doubt about their abilities, and immediately decided on Nexans.”
“Together with the Sligro Food Group’s ICT department, we first looked into the requirements for the various stores,” explains Jan van Gelder, whose company was responsible for the delivery, installation, labelling and certification of the cables. “It soon turned out that Nexans’ LANmark-6 solution was the ideal choice for all recabling. It combines excellent operational safety with speed.”
In total, no less than 186.5 kilometres of Nexans LANmark-6 F²/UTP PVC cable were installed in the different shops, which steer all data in the right direction. 7664 LANmark-6 EVO Snap-in Connectors and 236 Patch Panels for 24 Snap-in Connectors complete the cabling network.
Cabling as backbone
Newly built stores and refurbished branches have new cabling installed. At some EM-TE and Golff branches, the network was so antiquated that it was necessary to replace all the cabling. In total, no less than 80 stores were completed during the first quarter of 2008.
“Obviously, cabling is of great importance in a wholesaler or supermarket environment,” says Alex Manders, IT Manager at Sligro Food Group. “A shop’s proper operation largely depends on systems that rely on a stable network. Especially the barcode scanning system at the tills. If the data network is not functioning properly, the sales chain just about comes to a halt.”
Willibrord van Sambeeck from Sligro agrees. “The main advantage of new cabling is its significantly improved stability. Nexans LANmark-6 gives our network the operational safety we need to offer optimal services in our stores.”
In addition to the bar code scanning systems at checkout, each store’s data automation as well as each one’s telephone system, counts on LANmark-6 to provide reliable, sufficient bandwidth for all applications day and night.
“We’re convinced this solution provides sufficient guarantees to accommodate future growth. All expansions and additional services planned for the coming years will certainly fit within this infrastructure,” concludes Alex Manders.