About the Company
Visual Comfort & Co. is the industry-leading resource for decorative and premium architectural lighting and fan collections in North America. The company’s extensive product assortment is available in every style and application, and features products produced with leading designers and top consumer brands such as Ralph Lauren and Thomas O’Brien, among others.
Visual Comfort has four distribution centers (DCs) across the U.S., with its main center in Houston, Texas. The Houston DC has a daily average of 3,500 to 4,000 cartons shipped, while company-wide Visual Comfort ships approximately 12,000 to 15,000 cartons per day.
Recently, Visual Comfort has experienced unprecedented growth in demand for its products, resulting from multiple merchandising efforts like creating specialized display areas in lighting showrooms and working with (and promoting) leading lighting technology developers and artists.
According to Ronnie Moseley, director of operations at Visual Comfort, the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to a major increase in home renovation projects, due to many people across the country spending much more time at home.
In turn, Visual Comfort has seen increased pressure on its distribution operations. Until working with Peak Technologies, Visual Comfort used an internet-only company for ordering scanning equipment.
“At one point in 2021, our sales were up 42%,” noted Moseley. “As we started to grow, our need for better mobile scanning technology also started to grow. We needed more than a supplier or customer service agent who could schedule repairs — we needed what I would call a real business partner.”
The Solution and Results
An initial introduction with Peak Technologies offered Visual Comfort the opportunity to engage an experienced mobility solutions provider to take a more complete evaluation of their existing legacy technology and provide recommendations on ways to better manage the company’s fleet of scanning devices.
Peak Technologies’ consultants conducted a thorough audit, including:
• Analyzed Visual Comfort’s operations, existing scanning devices and service coverage
• Identified devices that had fallen out of service contract coverage
• Developed a complete repair and depot service program that included a coterminous service plan for the company’s legacy devices that was easier to renew, and helped guide which devices to repair and which to replace with new technology
One of the most important tasks was a systematic evaluation of the various mobile scanning devices Visual Comfort uses, which encompass both Windows and Android operating systems from different vendors. Peak Technologies is providing expert guidance on new scanning technology and a plan to cost-effectively retire the older Windows devices, and eventually standardize Visual Comfort on Android devices going forward.
This is being done so Visual Comfort can cost-effectively update its portfolio of devices and ensure it has the most up-to-date mobile scanners with the latest features, as well as eliminating possible security risks associated with the older Windows scanners.
Service contracts for some of the mobile scanners had lapsed, while information on the repair status of other equipment being serviced was often difficult to get. As a result, it was sometimes challenging to ensure all shifts at Visual Comfort distribution centers had the mobile scanners they needed.
Peak Technologies was instrumental in providing depot repair support for Visual Comfort’s legacy equipment. Peak Technologies assessed Visual Comfort’s legacy equipment, determined which mobile scanners needed servicing and got those devices under a single coterminous service contract. This helped ensure Visual Comfort would always have enough scanners and other units on the floor to keep up with growing demand.
One of the most important benefits Visual Comfort has gained from its partnership with Peak Technologies is insightful communication.
“There are times we might have five or six orders in the system, and Peak Technologies proactively keeps us informed about the status of each and when we should realistically expect them,” said Moseley. “With the supply chain difficulties every company is facing, that is tremendously helpful.”
Visual Comfort is also benefiting from more long-range guidance and support from Peak Technologies on new technologies and applications for its operations.
“Peak Technologies is there to help us as we grow our business by keeping me informed on the latest technology that’s out there,” said Moseley. “If you want to stay on top in this industry, you have to have the best technology. I may not always have the time to see what the new technology is, but the people at Peak stay on top of it for us, and they are always there with new suggestions and ideas about how to address current and future issues with better technology. That’s our definition of a true partnership.”
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Residential & Commercial Lighting Supply
Warehouse receiving, putaway, picking, outbound shipping
Rapid growth in demand for lighting fixtures placed a strain on the existing legacy warehouse scanning equipment. The need for warehouse personnel to have working devices, greater support for the device repair process and the management of the device upgrade path was critical to keep deliveries moving.
Peak Technologies is providing a managed mobility services solution (consulting, procurement, order management, depot repair services) focused on managing Visual Comfort’s legacy scanning equipment more effectively and supporting a cost-effective migration to new Android-based mobile devices and printers.
Reviewed existing device & service coverage, then implemented depot repair services for legacy scanning equipment. Established coterminous service contract; identified replace vs. continue using. Developed plan to mitigate legacy Windows devices. Proactive advice on new tech.