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John Smedley

John Smedley is a knitwear manufacturer and one of the oldest manufacturing companies in the world.

The challenge

John Smedley is a knitwear manufacturer and one of the oldest manufacturing companies in the world. Established in 1784, the John Smedley story began during the infancy of the industrial revolution at their factory in Lea Mills, Matlock, Derbyshire, where John Smedley are still based over 230 years later. Lea Bridge provided an ideal setting for the mill, as the brook that ran through the village provided motive power and a constant source of running water.

In its early days the mill specialised in the production of muslin and spinning cotton to send out to local cottages with hand frame looms. Towards the end of the 18th century the company had extended its activities to include knitting and hosiery manufacture.

With changing times and the introduction of modern technology and processes, John Smedley sought ways to evolve and innovate. They required a site wide network to be implemented in their menagerie style original factory building, which dates back over hundreds of years.

John Smedley were seeking a local company with expertise in wireless networks to take on the project. They made contact with several companies in the area and were attracted to Performance Networks, who were a fellow member of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.

Initial findings

Prior to the installation, Performance Networks carried out a site survey which is an essential part of the planning and design phase of a wireless network in any set of premises or location. Factors considered in the survey included the size of the building, the required coverage, the number of devices accessing the network (capacity), current infrastructure, interference, and the construction of the building.

A bespoke report was compiled, and the recommendation was made to install 40+ managed WiFi access points across the site to cover all areas. A fixed price was quoted to carry out the work in its entirety, from initial survey to final installation and testing.

Our solution

Building logistics proved physically challenging, but despite the complexity and potential obstacles that could be problematic, Performance Networks deployed what was referred to by the client as a “world class” WiFi network. Despite the additional work involved to ensure the project was delivered successfully, no further charges were levied by Performance Networks to the client.

Proactive monitoring

Performance Networks proactively monitor every client network, meaning that potential problems are identified and resolved early on, even before the client is aware of an issue. The network at John Smedley has performed flawlessly since its installation.

We found the engineers very friendly, knowledgeable and adaptable as they came to understand our internal network and its configuration. In addition, the guest provisioning portal is impressive and allowed us to seamlessly provide secure access, while protecting our own assets, from visitors wishing to get connected. I would not hesitate to recommend Performance Networks to any business looking to deploy a business worthy, reliable WiFi network with the security and confidence in having specialist engineers available for support when required.

Michael Waterhouse, IT Manager

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