The Salvation Army is an international charitable organisation which works with vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the UK, including those experiencing homelessness, poverty, addiction, unemployment and modern slavery. The church and charity also provides practical and emotional care and support to older people, families and local communities.
In 2017, SATCoL was looking to make fundamental changes to the IT infrastructure of its 235 stores. Previously, stores worked in silos, the majority of them used out-dated PDQ machines and there was no shared connectivity between stores. E-mail capabilities were limited and had little support. The disjointed nature of these outlets also meant that SATCoL had little control over the security of the estate’s network.
Since SATCoL was planning to open a number of “superstores” – the equivalent of high-street luxury stores – it wanted to address the connectivity issues across its retail estate and implement a reliable and secure network to bring together all of its sites and improve the technology available to staff.
The two contact centres for the charity’s trading arm, in its Wellingborough headquarters, were also in need of better communications technology to improve efficiencies and collaboration between its clothing collection points, music and merchandising arms and its other Support Centre Teams.
Intercity Technology was engaged to carry out an assessment of SATCoL’s IT estate. Following this, the company designed and implemented a new MPLS network across the charity’s 235 stores and two contact centres.
“With Intercity’s MPLS networks, rapid connectivity and innovative Touch Technology platform, we’re able to bridge the gap between all of our stores, allowing us to function as one business. It has helped to create an integrated approach to reinvigorating the retail experience for our customers, particularly as we open our more high-end superstores across the country.” John Woods, Project Delivery Manager, Salvation Army
Intercity’s solution was set up and fully integrated with sites and all APIs within 12 weeks, allowing SATCoL to benefit from improved connectivity, quicker purchasing processes and the ability to monitor the status of tills across its stores. New WiFi was also installed across the entire retail estate for customers, staff and volunteers.
The two contact centres in the Wellingborough Support Centre were equipped with Intercity Technology’s innovative unified communications solution, Touch Technology. This patented technology transformed the way in which the charity’s different teams communicated with each other, boosting productivity and facilitating collaboration by delivering integrated voice calls, video conferencing, mobility, screen sharing and collaborative tools across all workforce devices.
Along with the user-friendly management platform, the Touch Technology solution benefits from 24/7 monitoring and maintenance, it has an open API and fully integrates with other business systems including Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, helping the organisation to streamline its business processes.
SATCoL has sought additional MPLS networks from Intercity Technology for its two existing superstores and up to 23 future superstores. There is potential to gain insight into consumer behaviour through data collection and customer geo-spotting solutions in all superstores and smaller outlets in order to improve the customer experience and adopt a more personalised approach.
Plans are also underway to roll out Touch Technology, which is currently operational within the Support Centre and newer stores, across all sites to further improve collaboration across the charity’s entire retail estate.