Cisco > Case Studies > Beer Distributor Improves Security, Shipping Capacity, and Service

Beer Distributor Improves Security, Shipping Capacity, and Service

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 Beer Distributor Improves Security, Shipping Capacity, and Service - IoT ONE Case Study
Technology Category
  • Functional Applications - Remote Monitoring & Control Systems
  • Sensors - Camera / Video Systems
  • Sensors - Dimension & Displacement Sensors
  • Sensors - Temperature Sensors
Applicable Industries
  • Food & Beverage
Applicable Functions
  • Business Operation
Use Cases
  • Perimeter Security & Access Control
  • Remote Collaboration
The Customer
Del Papa Distributing
About The Customer
The Challenge

Enjoy a beer on the upper Texas Gulf Coast, and you can probably thank Del Papa Distributing Company. Founded more than a century ago, the company today distributes 10 million cases of beer annually, from 30 suppliers. More than 375 employees work at headquarters in Texas City and two other distribution centers. The family-owned company has a simple aim: to be a great beer distribution company. So when Del Papa set out to build a new 27-acre headquarters, company leaders thought about how technology could contribute to its greatness. “We wanted the new distribution center to have a single, secure network we could use for physical security, communications, collaboration, and even monitoring the temperature of our inventory,” says Steve Holtsclaw, Manager of Information Systems for Del Papa. The old building, in contrast, had separate networks for voice, data, video, and physical security. Separate networks were expensive and got in the way of business. For example, personnel could only monitor video surveillance cameras from certain workstations. And Wi-Fi performance in the warehouse area wasn’t reliable enough for the voice-activated order-picking system.

The Solution

During construction of the new headquarters building, Del Papa engaged Zones, a Cisco® partner, to design a network that would connect previously unconnected people and things. Zones built a reliable, highly secure Cisco IP network. It connects: • Video surveillance cameras • Physical access controls for gates and doors • Wired and wireless IP phones • Cisco TelePresence® systems for in-person collaboration across offices • Digital signage for employee communications • Temperature sensors in the warehouse and keg vaults The same network can also connect any other systems that Del Papa adds in the future. “The Internet of Things is here today,” says Stephen Lurie, Vice President, Internet of Things (IoT) for Zones. “For Del Papa Distributing, ‘connecting the unconnected’ helped to increase physical security and improve business processes.” To protect employees and inventory, 60 high-definition Cisco Video Surveillance IP Cameras monitor the property perimeter, the 100,000-square-foot warehouse, office corridors, and all delivery gates. Gates and doors lock and unlock automatically, according to a schedule. Zones integrated the video surveillance system, physical access control system, and Cisco phones. “If a door to a restricted area is open, employees receive an alert with a link to the video so they can see what’s going on,” says Holtsclaw. “And employees who monitor entrances can open doors by pressing a button on their Cisco Unified IP Phone.” Phones in all three offices connect to Cisco Unified Communications Manager, at headquarters. “Costs are much lower than they were when we had separate PBX systems in each location,” Holtsclaw says. “And the user experience is amazing, with great voice quality.” Moving to a different office is as simple as picking up the phone and reconnecting it. No service provider visit, no fee. In addition, employees no longer need to drive to another office for departmental meetings, performance reviews, quarterly all-company meetings, and first-round job interviews. Instead, they can just click to start a Cisco TelePresence session with high-quality video and audio. Executives from Anheuser-Busch, one of the brands Del Papa distributes, have used a Cisco Telepresence system at headquarters to present sales forecasts and promotions to employees in the other locations. “Of all the things we can do with our new network, TelePresence is the leadership's favorite,” Holtsclaw says. “It’s made us more efficient because we can have an in-person experience without the time and costs of driving.” The network also keeps the workforce informed. The latest news and delivery schedules appear on nearly 30 digital signs in break rooms, cafeterias, hallways, workout rooms, and delivery entrances. Content is centrally scheduled. For example, from 4 to 6 a.m., the signs in the delivery area display safety messages and weather. Signs in break rooms play the latest advertisements and product information.

Data Collected
Network Coverage, Service Lifecycle, Shipping Time, Temperature, Wireless Coverage
Operational Impact
  • [Process Optimization - Remote Control]
    Prevent theft and provide a safe environment with better control over all entrances and restricted areas
  • [Efficiency Improvement - Issue Response]
    Increase responsiveness to customers
  • [Efficiency Improvement - Labor]
    Reduce travel time and free up sales reps for more customer interaction
Quantitative Benefit
  • Increase daily shipping capacity by 6.4% in 1000K square-feet facility

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