People working in the warehouse

Why a Wireless Site Survey is Vital for Understanding Your Warehouse Wi-Fi Integrity

Do you ever experience frustrations, delays or unexpected additional expenses because of problems with your warehouse Wi-Fi connection? Perhaps it’s time to consider the importance of a wireless site survey.

With those large metal racks, moving forklifts and other vehicles – not to mention the constant changes in the physical environment, and the problematic structure of your premises – it can often feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.

However, if your business invests in a comprehensive wireless survey, you could take the first step on the road to creating a robust network that connects your entire warehouse site for optimal speed, reliability and efficiency.

What’s more, leveraging advanced data analytics will also provide insights into inventory and productivity. To ensure the optimal success of your business.

In this article, we’ll be covering why wireless site surveys are so important for warehousing. How they can benefit your business and what happens when you choose the right experts to help design, install and maintain your new connectivity infrastructure.

 

Why is it so difficult to obtain an optimal Wi-Fi network in a warehouse?

Every warehouse can have an effective network installed and deployed. But to reach that point you need to consider the physical limitations that premises presents for your wireless signal. Such as pillars, multiple floors, distances between APs, positioning of machinery, etc.

The unique features of your warehouse, the demands of your business and other related factors must be factored in before the network is installed. This is where a wireless site survey makes its biggest impact.

Now your Wi-Fi network can be planned and installed so your warehouse can be as productive, efficient and profitable as you deserve.

However, more often than not, Wi-Fi networks are designed ad hoc to keep costs to a minimum.

Warehouse managers, warehouse operators and operations directors install Wi-Fi networks and access points (APs) without any professional networking knowledge and simply add new APs as and when required.

Despite their good intentions, this can often result in Wi-Fi networks that simply are not fit-for-purpose and continually encounter connectivity problems that can affect productivity, impact revenue, risk customer confidence. As well as causing unnecessary problems for the business as a whole.

 

How does a wireless site survey help?

Conducting a wireless site survey is the first step in creating a network that’s built to address the challenges presented by your existing warehouse premises (or the one’s you plan to construct) while striving for efficiency, reliability and cost effectiveness.

You’ll understand the unique needs of your premises and appreciate the optimal positions for your APs so you can obtain the best Wi-Fi coverage possible. Even when your inventory, user density, physical environment or business size changes, your business can continue to run smoothly.

Some of the primary benefits of warehouse wireless surveys include:

Maintain a reliable connection

With a wireless site survey, you can identify any dead zones, unstable Wi-Fi connections or weaknesses in your networking. This can be due to factors such as high ceilings, metal shelving, extreme temperatures and fluctuating inventory. By deploying a solution that’s tailor-made to these challenges – rather than utilising something straight ‘out of the box’ – you and your teams can remain fully operational without fear of signal losses or blackouts.

Enjoy smooth roaming

Warehouse staff often operate in a variety of locations, using devices such as handheld terminals (HTTs), handheld scanners and other wireless-based mobile hardware. To maintain productivity, efficiency, and meet revenue goals, they need a reliable Wi-Fi connection without slow loading times, network drops or other connectivity issues.

Without a survey, your APs could be installed or configured incorrectly, causing significant problems for your mission-critical fulfilment responsibilities.

Gain a true ROI

A wireless site survey will ensure your internet connection is stable from the beginning. This means you won’t have to waste money fixing issues, conduct daily troubleshooting or experience any disruption to your business. But can instead focus on what you and your team are best at.

Avoid stress

You have more than enough projects and tasks on your ‘to-do’ list, so any problems with your internet connection simply add more stress and complication to your working day. A wireless site survey and a subsequent professional networking installation relieves the pressure of conceptualising, installing and managing your wireless network and places it in the experienced hands of the experts.

Get a solid plan for your installation

A wireless site survey provides you with a bespoke step-by-step plan based on the unique needs of your business so you can set up your network with ease. You’ll know exactly what you need, how many APs are required, where they should be placed and the internal configurations that will transform your Wi-Fi into a streamlined, efficient tool.

 

Your wireless site survey checklist: Which survey is right for you?

Wireless site surveys differ depending on the size of your premises. The number of sites you have the breadth and depth of your current or intended networking infrastructure. The type of survey you’ll use all depends on the status of your warehouse. Is it already built or currently under construction?

With these factors in mind, there are two types of wireless site surveys to consider:

 

1. Wi-Fi Verification Site Survey

A Wi-Fi verification site survey is ideal for existing sites that are experiencing connectivity issues with their current network. This may be a replacement for an existing network or the first introduction of one to a pre-built site.

Designed to ensure that your network performs to the level needed in the 21st-century workplace, it enables warehouse directors to analyse their current connection and actively improve its health so operations can perform at optimum levels.

At Renovotec, our wireless specialists will conduct a verification site survey that breaks down the process into three key stages:

Analysis

Using state-of-the-art tools, we first analyse your connection and verify the coverage and capacity of your existing network. This includes Wi-Fi coverage areas, application capacity, authentication, Wi-Fi roaming and quality of service.

  • During the process, we will also consider factors such as:
  • How many users & devices will you have on the network?
  • Network access and security
  • Roaming and user mobility
  • Do you need to future-proof the scalability of the network?
  • Where are the high-density user locations within the building?
  • Will Guest Network Access be a consideration?
  • What type of, and how many, applications will be running on the network?
  • Do you have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy?

Optimisation

Once we’ve carried out your Wi-Fi verification site survey, we can use this information and fine-tune your existing network according to your needs. This can be repeated as required.

Detailed documentation

Following our analysis and optimisation, we will provide you with a detailed report that covers all the issues identified. Including a Wi-Fi coverage heatmap and any additional recommendations that can help your wireless connection performance.

 

2. Wi-Fi Desktop Survey

Also known as a ‘simulation survey’, desktop site surveys are designed for businesses who want to plan and optimise their network connection in a new site. Typically before the premises are even built.

Much like a verification site survey, our wireless specialists will plan and conduct a simulation survey based on the plans and blueprints to your premises. So that we can design a network that’s unique to the layout of your site(s). These key stages include:

Analysis

Using the most advanced technological tools available including predictive Wi-Fi heatmaps, we can visualise your Wi-Fi coverage and provide accurate predictive coverage mapping. This enables our specialists to define the correct locations for the cables and APs. Providing your team with the most reliable and effective Wi-Fi coverage possible.

Solutions

If we identify any potential problems including AP locations, interference from other devices or capacity issues, we can identify the right solution using our industry-leading tools.

There may also be the need to conduct a supporting on-site verification site survey once the development is complete to analyse your premises in depth and ensure that the simulation remains accurate.

Thanks to our partnerships with the industry’s leading wireless vendors such as Extreme Networks, Aruba, Ruckus Wireless and Cisco, we can plan your network using the latest devices and solutions for the best wireless experience.

 

Summary

If you want to ensure your warehouse Wi-Fi coverage is as robust and problem-free as possible, you need a wireless site survey conducted by a wireless specialist you can trust. Renovotec has the expertise and the experience to analyse and troubleshoot your existing networks, design an optimal wireless experience for your new premises and ensure your business remains fully connected.

Book your Wi-Fi Site Survey Renovotec today

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