FLOORING COMPANY UTILIZES WIRELESS SOLUTIONS FOR SPEED-TO-DEPLOYMENT & FAILOVER
Mannington Mills Inc., is one of the largest flooring companies in the world and as the business grows, so does its IT requirements. Cradlepoint enables Mannington Mills to successfully support changing business needs with a scalable, easy-to-use solution that provides reliable backup connectivity for business locations across the U.S. In fact, the deployments are so effective that the company leverages Cradlepoint solutions to more quickly get new locations up and running while waiting for traditional wired connections to be installed. Moreover, Mannington Mills is eliminating its traditional DSL lines at some locations and using wireless for primary network connectivity. These reliable connections enable the IT team to reduce costs and the scope of work for location openings, cut the stress of managing wired lines, and gain ultimate confidence it can address changing network challenges anytime, anywhere.
Mannington Mills manufactures residential and commercial sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl, laminate, hardwood, and porcelain tile floors, as well as commercial carpet and rubber. Founded in 1915 and still privately owned, the company continues its commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and the environment through innovative product design and marketing, state-of-the-art processes, and industry-leading programs. The company’s flooring products have received numerous awards for their outstanding style, design, and innovative technologies.
“We implement technology to make the business more efficient. We are constantly looking for new innovations to help us better serve our customers,” said John Leonowich, director of technology solutions for Mannington Mills.
Two of Mannington Mills’ main IT priorities are redundancy and reliability. As the business grows and depends increasingly on remote computing applications, reliable connectivity is mission-critical to supporting Mannington Mills’ success.
Traditionally, each business location had wired lines for main network connections and as standby connectivity. However, this approach can become expensive due to the associated monthly charges. Furthermore, in remote locations, connectivity options can be limited at best and in urban environments, the IT team is often at the mercy of the Telco provider’s schedule to establish connectivity.
As Mannington Mills expands business locations, the IT team is assigned new projects that often have to be completed in a short amount of time and can’t risk stalling a project just because a service provider didn’t make it out to a job site. In the event of a regional network outage, there is little the IT team can do to push Telcos to more quickly bring locations back online.
“I always want the IT team to be ahead of business requirements and not be the hold up of any growth. So, we decided to cut our wired dependency and try wireless failover,” Leonowich said.
After a recommendation from its Tier 1 service provider, Mannington Mills evaluated the Cradlepoint routers with integrated 3G/4G for redundancy and on-demand connectivity. The routers are easy to install and support both wired Ethernet and 3G/4G wireless WAN connectivity to keep enterprises up and running. Advanced scalability and flexibility deliver continuous uptime and bandwidth to ensure there is no loss of productivity or business opportunity.
“At first I was skeptical. Wireless is not traditionally thought to be enterprise-ready, but I looked at other potential solutions and quickly learned that Cradlepoint was the leader in providing the capabilities that we required. I actually don’t recall any comparable competitors,” said Leonowich.
Simplified Scalability: Mannington Flooring is able to scale its Cradlepoint routers individually, making it easy to swiftly adapt and grow network support as business demands increase. This capability takes stress off the IT team, knowing it has a solution that it can pull off the shelf at any moment to meet the changing needs of the business. For example, Mannington Mills’ IT team was challenged to very quickly open a new location and did not have the time to coordinate the wired connectivity with Telco providers. So, Leonowich turned to Cradlepoint for the site’s primary connection, and uses DSL as the backup line.
"Our network is dynamic and always changing. It is important to have solutions that enable us to adapt. Historically, it has thought wired connections provide the best, most reliable solution and use wireless as a backup," said Leonowich. "That has flip-flopped. To see the Cradlepoint solutions stay up all this time has really made me a believer in wireless technology."
Flexible Reliability: Cradlepoint also empowers Mannington Mills to ensure constant connectivity requirements are met in some of the most extreme—and sometimes unexpected—networking environments. For example, Mannington Mills opened an important new warehouse and selected a fiber line for its main network connection and relied on Cradlepoint for backup wireless. A week after the IT team finished establishing its connectivity; an internal demolition project contractor accidently cut the fiber optics to the building, severing all communications to the warehouse. The IT team was able to quickly move its Cradlepoint wireless router on the other side of the cut fiber and bring connectivity back to the network the same day. In fact, Mannington Mills moved primary connectivity over to the Cradlepoint router to ensure a reliable network connection was maintained to support all warehouse applications— from shipping to inventory management—until construction projects were completed. Without Cradlepoint, all operations would have been at a complete standstill.
"That was exciting. All of the sudden, this other requirement came out of nowhere and it was the Cradlepoint solution to the rescue again. Because Cradlepoint is portable and wireless, we were able to position it where we needed it to bring the site online again."