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Clinton Cards overhauls stock control system with latest technology

Clinton Cards has installed new technology that effectively replaces the need for manual stock control with an automated system.  The company hopes to have future-proofed its IT systems by installing the new wireless network, based on the Aruba Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture.

The technology will give the specialist UK retailer greater insight and control over inventory management and it will allow greater use of mobile technology and applications.  The Aruba Virtual Branch Networking (VBN) solution has been installed across all of Clintons 810 locations with a wireless network fitted at its headquarters as well.

Clinton Cards is based in Loughton Essex UK, with between 8,000 and 10,000 employees depending on the season. The stores range widely in size, from a typical 1,900 square-foot shop to more than 50 stores that each trade in approximately 4,000 square feet. With about 650 Clinton Cards branded stores and more than 170 Birthdays branded stores, inventory control is a top priority for the company.

Moving away from a manual to an automated stock management system has allowed the company to reduce excess stock in its stores, ensure tighter control of stocking and reduce the amount of time taken in stock checking. The deployment of a wireless network at each of its remote stores supporting the stock management system has given Clinton Cards improved visibility into its business.
“We find that the Aruba VBN solution is very easy to install and use. With 810 stores, none of which have independent IT departments, that simplicity of deployment is critical,” said Chris Hill, Head of IT Engineering at Clinton Cards. “It does not require extensive infrastructure at remote retail stores, and is easy for shop fitters to install without any specific technical skill.”

Clintons are particularly pleased with the way the system works wirelessly, even in larger stores where the signal needs to penetrate several floors.  The system also provides a back up so that the stores can carry on functioning in the event of the wireless area network being temporarily unavailable.

“Innovative retailers like Clinton Cards are optimising their current process and laying a solid foundation for the advanced mobile applications with voice and video that they will be using in the future,” said Chris Kozup, senior director of marketing for Aruba Networks. “While inventory control is the current driver, the mobile network that Clinton Cards has installed could serve as the basis for everything from voice over IP to in-store customer engagement in the future.”

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