Beaverbrooks has installed a wireless network and 3G back-up system across its 62 stores.

The jeweller finished the roll-out a month ago, working with its existing broadband supplier Vodat.

The network gives staff who work from multiple stores wireless access to head office applications. Auditing and store teams can also carry out stock-takes more efficiently using wireless barcode-scanning guns.

In the long run, Beaverbrooks plans to use hand-held point-of-sale (PoS) terminals in stores, which will also connect via the wireless network, so that staff can complete transactions with customers at seated areas.

Beaverbrooks head of management information systems Patrick Walker explained that the retailer is to develop an in-house EPoS system that will allow it to deploy the mobile PoS devices. It will also implement Vodat’s EFT processing service so that credit card transactions can be completed over the network.

Walker added that the wireless network is also being used for an in-store music system.

The 3G back-up system ensures that, should the broadband network ever fail, stores can still connect to head office via a mobile operator’s network.

Walker said that the back-up system can also be used to provide a connection where a fixed-line broadband link is impractical. For example, one store has moved to a temporary location for 12 weeks while the main site has a refit. Because the 3G system is portable, the store can always connect to head office.

Finally, Beaverbrooks is to roll out an IP telephony service over the Vodat network to its head office and stores. Walker says this will also improve communication and customer service.