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Outback Stores extends support of remote Australian communities with APC

Outback Stores provides store management services to 27 stores located in remote communities across the Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.

Company

Outback Stores

Sector

Retail

Location

Northern Territory, Australia

 

Icon Eye

challenge

Outback Stores had expanded from seven stores to 27 in 12 months

Many of the news stores are located in remote areas where only diesel-generated power is available. Power quality and reliability in these locations is often poor.

Many of the stores it acquired had no reliable power supplies and no UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) equipment

Many of the stores were experiencing power outages at least once a month which was having a significant impact on operations

Customers relied on the availability of the stores’ electronic services like eftpos to make purchases.

The stores required availability of power to communicate as VoIP and email are their primary communication vehicles.

Solution

90 APC Smart-UPS XL 750VA units used to ensure clean power is supplied to the stores’ PoS equipment, such as the Eftpos and scanner units, even in event of a complete power failure.

32 APC Smart-UPS XL 1000VA units used to support the stores’ back office systems including phone, email and Internet.

Benefit

Since deploying APC Smart-UPS systems, Outback Stores has achieved little downtime across all its stores

In the event of a power outage, the stores now have an average of 30 minutes runtime, opposed to no runtime at all

The Smart-UPS units were easy to install and Outback Stores has had no need to call on APC support services

Outback Stores was established three years ago by several leading retailers, with funding support from the Australian Government body Indigenous Business Australia.

The organisation’s mission is to make a positive difference to the health of people living in remote communities. It does this by providing professional store management to communities in order to ensure reliable supplies of nutritious, affordable food.

It keeps prices lower through good stock management, efficient logistics and achieving economies of scale through centralised buying of key product lines.

Challenge

In the past 12 months Outback Stores has experienced significant growth going from managing seven to 27 stores.

Most stores managed by Outback Stores are in very remote communities that rely on power generated by the town’s own power generation facility rather than the national power grid. As such, power quality and reliability is often poor.

“Many of the stores we agreed to manage in the past 18 months had unreliable power supplies and no UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) equipment,” said Scott Valentine, Chief Information Officer, Outback Stores.

“In almost every store we had to set up a platform that would ensure the 100 per cent availability of the store’s critical applications and data.

“We were trying to establish a resilient environment at the end of the dusty road. If we get power lags or outages, we require something that stops the store equipment from going into shutdown,” said Valentine.

Many of the stores were experiencing power outages at least once a month which was having a significant impact on our operations.

“All our trading relies on our systems. Many of our customers rely on government benefits and, because there aren’t banks in communities, they require electronic services like eftpos to make purchases. Without power, we have no means of transacting with clients.

“We also rely on VoIP and email for communication, so if there is no power, there is no Internet. Without Internet, we cannot communicate with Head Office or local suppliers - a vital part of running our business,” said Valentine.

The Solution

After reviewing a range of different UPS solutions from four different vendors, Outback Stores selected APC’s range of Smart-UPS UPS systems.

Outback Stores rolled out 90 APC Smart-UPS XL 750VA units in its stores. These units are used to ensure clean power is supplied to the stores’ PoS equipment, such as the Eftpos and scanner units, even in event of a complete power failure.

When we reviewed the solutions, we looked at their capability, serviceability and overall reliability - APC ticked all the boxes.

Outback Stores also deployed 32 APC Smart-UPS XL 1000VA units in its stores which are used to support the stores’ back office systems including phone, email and Internet.

Linked to the company’s head office via satellite, the stores’ back office systems collect and feed back critical sales, stock and financial data back to the company’s headquarters.

APC Smart-UPS XL delivers best of breed power protection

“When we reviewed the solutions, we looked at their capability, serviceability and overall reliability - APC ticked all the boxes.

“SmartUPS had the feature set we wanted –including user-replaceable batteries, which means cost savings.”

APC Smart-UPS XL features PowerChute management software that provides IT administrators the comfort of safe system shutdown and advanced UPS management.

Additional manageability is available through the SmartSlot, an internal accessory slot that allows installation of optional accessories to enhance performance.

“Since deploying APC Smart-UPS systems, we have achieved little downtime across all our stores.

“In the event of a power outage we now have an average of 30 minutes runtime, opposed to no runtime at all,” said Valentine.

“The Smart-UPS units were easy to install and we have had no need to call on APC support services which is great.”

 

 
 
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