AF Blakemore keeps its stores connected with 3G technology from Vodat

AF Blakemore, the largest wholesaler of Spar UK and distributor to the independent grocery sector, has implemented a 3G failover system from Vodat International, the leading in-store communications and network provider. The solution offers AF Blakemore’s store estate improved resilience, reduced down time and confidence in providing data services on-time for new stores.

In 2011, AF Blakemore completed the acquisition of fellow Spar wholesaler Capper and Co. which has led to the migration of a further 100+ stores to the Vodat Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network.  This extends AF Blakemore’s total number of stores connected via Vodat to nearly 600 with a further 100 to migrate.

In addition, AF Blakemore is rolling out a Voice-Over IP system that runs on Vodat’s private network which will enable stores to make zero cost calls across the A.F Blakemore Group.

James Lloyd, service and support manager at AF Blakemore, said: “We have worked with Vodat on a series of technology solutions that give the business a competitive edge. We trust Vodat implicitly; they are now our network provider of choice and have been consistently impressed with their customer service and willingness to meet our needs.

“3G technology means we are not reliant on third party telecoms providers in provisioning and reliability and puts us firmly in control of our network, allowing new stores to trade sooner and provide a better service to our customers thanks to less down time.”

Paul Leybourne, head of sales at Vodat, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with AF Blakemore as the company goes from strength to strength and consolidates its position in the wholesale and retail sectors.

“With the rollout of owned stores complete and planned migration of remaining independents to the MPLS network, all AF Blakemore sites will be able to access our management systems and be fully informed when discussing any issues with their users, meaning a faster and more reliable service.”