Coop is the leading retailer of consumer goods in Denmark, who recently started a comprehensive digitalization process. Konica Minolta was chosen as a supplier of Wi-Fi for the retailer’s more than 1,100 stores. This Wi-Fi is the basis for profoundly transforming them into truly digital shops – making additional services for the customers possible while unburdening staff with tools which enable them to better support the customers.
With an annual turnover of approximately DKK 50 billion and more than 36,000 employees in the country, Coop is the leading retailer of consumer goods in Denmark. The company has recently started a comprehensive digitalisation process. Konica Minolta has been a strong, strategic IT partner for the company for several years now, covering the entire service and support set-up for the retail giant. Having proven itself as a partner with a deep understanding of the company’s strategy and strength in project implementation, Konica Minolta was chosen as a supplier of Wi-Fi for the retailer’s more than 1,100 stores. This Wi-Fi is the basis for profoundly transforming them into truly digital shops – making additional services for the customers possible while unburdening staff with tools which enable them to better support the customers.
Retail as we know it is changing profoundly – and Coop is boldly placing itself at the front of this transformation. With Coop’s ’Beep ‘n Go’ service, customers can already use their Coop app and scan their products as they put them in their shopping cart in selected shops. Reliable and strong Wi-Fi is crucial for this, but Coop is aiming at providing far more at its shops:
“We want to set the staff free and give them tools they can use to help and provide advice to the customers. For example, customers who need help choosing the right wine, the best meat or want to know more about some local vegetables using their smartphones might be able to call a staff member who knows the most about, for example, wine,“ says Bjørn Langhorn Lundt.
The goal of the company is not to reduce the need for staff in the shops. It wants to create increased value for the customers. Using digital tools, the employees should be provided with new opportunities, for training, for example, or for creating new, local products and market them to local customers. The staff app is set to become the focal point of Coop’s digital dialogue and communication between employees and managers, locally and nationally.
For setting up the wireless infrastructure needed to take this step towards shop digitalisation, Coop relies on Konica Minolta’s skilled network specialists and technicians.
Konica Minolta had already established itself as a strong, trusted partner for Coop’s IT department. Konica Minolta has taken over the retailer’s IT service agreements and supports Coops in-house support team with skilled consultants that truly understand the retailer’s installed NetApp system inside out – with its around 1,200 servers and a total capacity of 3.5 PB.
For Coop, it was of paramount importance that their new service and support partner could meet the retail group's uncompromising requirements for operational reliability, supervision and management. Working with Konica Minolta, Coop has gained a simpler service and support set-up, able to save them time, effort and expenses.
Coop decided to implement the Wi-Fi project with its trusted partner Konica Minolta. “We chose Konica Minolta because they understood our strategy best and could describe a solution that lived up to our strategic goals. Subsequently, they have shown their strength during the implementation, and we only hear positive feedback about Konica Minolta’s technicians and consultants from cooperative store managers and warehouse managers,” explains Bjørn Langhorn Lundt with regard to this decision.
The solution implemented in the shops is built on Cisco Meraki products. Konica Minolta has an extensive technical support department in Denmark with 100 employees, of which 70 are technicians who can make on-site visits. An additional 40 employees work at the company’s IT infrastructure department.
The system is installed by Konica Minolta’s network specialists and technicians. They take over the responsibility for the total delivery as well as the dismantling of existing equipment that does not live up to the requirements and visions that Coop has. They set up the new equipment and ensure that it is operational. Because the shops are very different in terms of size and furnishing, the number of access points needed in the individual shops vary significantly as well. Typically, between 5 and 30 access points, but in some of the largest shops, there can be 40 to 50 access points. The network itself is divided into a customer network and a staff network.
Despite this complexity, Konica Minolta is able to monitor the entire network centrally from Konica Minolta’s office in Ballerup. From there, the company’s specialists can troubleshoot and, in many cases, remedy errors in the network. Further, Konica Minolta can also manage policies for which web pages may be accessed and regulate traffic, if necessary.
With Konica Minolta as a strong partner in IT, Coop can focus on reshaping tomorrow’s shopping experience for its customers – with digital tools enabling a completely new, more personal and localised service at the shop, while maintaining highest levels of reliability and efficiency in the system.
For us, it is crucial that our suppliers are strategic partners who can handle the challenges that naturally arise along the way during a major project in the spirit of partnership, and Konica Minolta is simply the right strategic partner for us
Bjørn Langhorn Lundt
Head of Procurement, Coop Technology