Project profile: Retail chain data center

Unified communications system for growing retail chain stores across three states.


Project name: Data solution for Pyramid Foods

Project type: System overhaul

Engineering Firm: Tech Electronics

Building type: Retail; data center

Location: Rogersville, Mo.

Entrance: Pyramid Foods General Offices. Courtesy: Tech ElectronicsProject background

Missouri-based Pyramid Foods was once a small neighborhood grocery store with roots dating back to 1919. Today, the company oversees 53 retail grocery stores in three states operating under several brand names such as Price Cutter, Ramey, Smitty’s and Save-A-Lot. As the company continued acquisitions and new store developments, including adding pharmacies and Starbucks coffee shops with free Wi-Fi service, it discovered how inefficient it was to maintain the existing telephone and communications systems at its stores. Pyramid Foods’ growth over the last few years saw a massive increase in data usage within and between its stores, causing the company to spend valuable time troubleshooting the systems when down. Furthermore, Pyramid Foods was still using DSL services through its telephone service carrier, which posed a threat for users to breach the network. The project brought integrated solution to the table, which included IP phone systems, MPLS & Fiber network, data center switches at each location, and instant access points for Wireless throughout the stores.

Meat: Pyramid Foods Meat department. Courtesy: Tech ElectronicsChallenge

Develop a unified communications system for Pyramid Foods’ corporate office, data center and all 53 grocery store locations in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Solution: Tech Electronics designed an integrated, enterprise-class solution that included Mitel IP phone systems, Brocade data switches at each location, firewalls and wireless instant access points throughout the stores. Over a period of several months, Tech Electronics mapped each Pyramid Foods location, reviewing each store’s communications systems, including existing access points, wireless local area networks (WLAN’s) and cabling systems. Tech Electronics discovered that Pyramid Foods had existing WLAN’s meant for small businesses and residential settings. This limited the management, capacity and scale of communications capabilities for the company’s multiple locations.

Deli: Pyramid Foods Deli Department.Courtesy: Tech ElectronicsUnified communications system

The new unified communications system streamlines the day-to-day operations of Pyramid Foods’ network of stores; the company can grow its Wi-Fi managed services business with profitable value-added services as it continues to expand its footprint. Since implementing the enterprise-class system, Pyramid Foods has eliminated the use of old service provider lines, and does not have to sustain aging phone systems from multiple manufacturers. By switching to the standardized network numbering plan, Tech Electronics personnel can repair its systems remotely.

Results: Unified communications system enhances workflow and safeguards future expansion for Pyramid Foods. Tech Electronic recommended the Mitel IP solution and opted for the 3300 Integrated Communications Platform (ICP). This unified solution was chosen for its ease of use, productivity-enhancing applications and networking capabilities. This platform allows for transparent communications between store departments and locations through features such as extension-to-extension dialing, audio web conferencing, audio conference bridge, and integrated voice mail. In addition, this feature-rich system allows Pyramid Foods to add applications and new Mitel software as the company continues to expand. Pyramid Foods now has a communications solution that is software-based and can grow with the company as it expands its business. Tech Electronics went above and beyond to show Pyramid Foods new features for its system, ensuring the company knows exactly how to leverage its business and services provided now and in the future.  

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