Lakeland is a household name in the British retail market and one of the UK’s home shopping pioneers. Founded in the early 1960s, its head office is still located in Windemere in the Lake District, the area the company is named after, and its distribution centre is down the road in Kendal. Lakeland has around 4,000 products in its range, specialising in home cooking, baking, cleaning, laundry and Christmas ranges. Lakeland trades through its catalogues, retail stores, e-commerce and marketplace channels. There are now 67 Lakeland stores across the UK, including its flagship store located next to its Windemere head office.
Lakeland had been using Zebra ET1 Enterprise Tablets in-store. However, these devices were coming to end-of-life and Lakeland’s IT team wanted to migrate to the more flexible, secure, future-proof Android OS. It tested various devices in a competitive bid, which included tablets from Zebra Technologies and other suppliers; however, ultimately Lakeland decided to move to the smaller Android TC51 Touch Computers supplied by new partner Peak-Ryzex. Peak-Ryzex has worked with Zebra for many years and is the UK’s largest enterprise mobility integrator, with over 500 team members and an unrivalled services portfolio. It provided end-to-end mobility solutions, enabling businesses of any size to enhance their business-critical processes with the latest hardware and software innovations alongside comprehensive customer support. Peak-Ryzex introduced Lakeland to the idea of deploying smaller format screens and to re-engage with Zebra, changing Lakeland’s perspective as well as offering the most competitive pricing.
Peak-Ryzex supplied device and SOTI® MobiControl specific training to Lakeland teams; and, on receipt, of the TC51s, the Lakeland IT team then utilised SOTI Stage to enrol and integrate the devices. Once deployed, Lakeland used SOTI MobiControl to remotely manage, update, troubleshoot and secure the devices located in the different retail stores across the country. Peak-Ryzex manages Lakeland’s Zebra LifeGuard™ for rapid security and OS updates through over-the-air roll-outs and for visibility over the devices via an analytics dashboard, as well as the Zebra OneCare support, in case of any accidental damages or breakdowns. It also uses Zebra’s Mobility DNA to enable all the enterprise capabilities that Lakeland needs; for example, making integration and application management simpler and ensuring optimal connectivity and workflows on the TC51s are operating optimally.
Each store has, on average, 2-3 Zebra TC51s and a 5-slot charge-only share cradle. The Lakeland IT team has developed its own in-house applications running on the Lakeland’s intranet operating on Google Chrome or IE, for ease of mobile access; applications include its OMS (Order Management System) and its ECS Global ticketing application, for shelf-edge price or product labelling generated by SKU scanning. Staff use the TC51s to manage in-store inventory, goods receipt, price markdowns or changes and to look up product information in response to customer enquiries, using either their finger or a stylus to navigate around the touch screens. Thy can access a huge range of product information, from stock in-store and in other stores, PO dates in warehouse, stock history, spec sheets and product videos to show how to assemble an item or how the item works, for example, as well as being able to access the product pages on Lakeland’s website. Lakeland has also recently developed an LMS (Learning Management System), which staff can access via the TC51 for training videos, knowledge sharing and innovative display ideas.
The future-proof deployment of Zebra Android touch computers at Lakeland is driving efficiencies and productivity for the stores, as well as enabling teams to deliver improved customer service. Staff have a huge amount of information at their fingertips, including high-quality, engaging and instructive video content, which increases sales; they particularly associate the crystal-clear screen, fast processing speeds and excellent sound quality, when it comes to taking or playing videos.
The extensive Zebra support and toolkits coupled with SOTI MobiControl, meanwhile, are ensuring the ongoing success of the deployment by extending the life cycle of the devices, enhancing security and enterprise functionality and enabling ease of deployment, visibility, management and troubleshooting. Lakeland is truly maximising its enterprise mobile computer investment; following the success of this project, Lakeland may look at other solutions from Zebra Technologies, or may expand this solution to equip all retail staff with a TC51. Indeed, looking forward, Lakeland envisages that mobile computing will play an increasingly important role in its stores of the future.