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    Mirabito Links Up With Barcoding for Improved Connectivity

    Solution saves money, makes customers happy.

    By Chelsea Regan, Convenience Store News

    BINGHAMTOM, N.Y. — Mirabito Holdings Inc., a full-service energy provider that operates more than 100 convenience stores throughout upstate New York, western Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, had a connectivity problem. Barcoding Inc., an expert in supply chain efficiency, accuracy and connectivity, had a solution.

    For years, Binghamton-based Mirabito relied on the physical wiring necessary for a broadband internet connection in its stores. While that sort of connection may have been sufficient in the past, with the increasing importance and value of internet connectivity for store operations, Mirabito sought a more reliable solution.

    “Mirabito, as a convenience store chain specifically, is very data intensive. We have a number of systems: a private card system, an in-depth loyalty program. Specifically those two components, as well as our back office, heavily rely on our office communication,” Eric Bunts, chief information officer (CIO) for Mirabito Holdings, told Convenience Store News. “What we were starting to see, as we increased the offerings within these programs and built them to be more of a primary component of the customer interaction, was customer dissatisfaction when the internet was unavailable."

    As Barcoding Account Executive Chris Kenney points out, having a stable and uninterrupted internet connection not only improves customer satisfaction, but it also has the potential to save a retailer a significant amount of money.

    “[At] any sort of a convenience store, let’s figure you go in there at high noon, and let’s say a truck hits the telephone poll out in front of the building. All of the sudden, your internet is down, so you can’t process credit cards, you can’t sell sandwiches, you can’t sell soda, beer, gasoline, cigarettes, water. In an hour, you could lose $10,000 to $20,000,” Kenney explained to CSNews.

    When Barcoding teamed up with Mirabito, the goal was to understand the retailer’s specific needs and find the software and hardware that would best serve those needs.

    “If you end up putting a piece of technology first before you understand the requirements, what that ends up doing is amplifying the problem,” said Kenney.

    For Mirabito, Barcoding went with Cradlepoint AER1600 Series Routers and implemented Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Enterprise Cloud Manager, which allows for remote management of devices.

    The solution had a dramatic positive effect at Mirabito locations.

    “We went from having multiple sites down for an average of an hour to two hours per week, to downtime being very negligible. We might have one site down for five minutes,” said Bunts, who additionally pointed to the cost-savings associated with Mirabito not having to use a cellular backup service more than absolutely necessary.

    Bunts added, “The more that we’re able to utilize Big Data and positively impact consumer experience, the bigger requirement for data and consistent data utilization. That’s the power of this solution. That’s where it comes from. It gives us that consistent data.”

    Most recently, Mirabito enlisted Barcoding to use the same savvy that boosted its in-store connectivity to outfit the company's fleet of trucks with equipment that would turn them into mobile offices.

    “We’re again utilizing these same devices, but for a different purpose,” explained Bunts. “Instead of being a backup, it is the primary connection device for the truck. It ties the truck and all the equipment directly to the home office.”

    The solution allows Mirabito's fuel oil delivery trucks to pass delivery information in real-time, including sending new deliveries out to drivers and rerouting them. It also enables trucks to send notifications of completed deliveries back to the home office while the vehicle is still on the road, contributing to a more efficient billing process.

    "From now on, in this arena, any time I have a custom solution development project, [Barcoding] will be the first I'll be reaching out to," said Bunts. 

    Headquartered in Baltimore, Barcoding Inc. is a systems integrator specializing in the development, deployment and management of enterprise-wide solutions. 

    By Chelsea Regan, Convenience Store News
    • About Chelsea Regan Chelsea Regan is assistant editor for EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News and CSNews.com. Previously, she served as editorial intern, then assistant editor, and finally news editor of uInterview, where she curated breaking news and trending content on film, television, music, politics, style and sports.

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