VASP

Network provides platform for Portugal’s largest news distributor to innovate with smart, as-a-service logistics

  • Customer Profile

    VASP is the leading Portuguese distributor of printed newspapers, magazines and books. The business was formed in 1975 and has more recently expanded into parcel distribution and kiosk PoS. The company has an ongoing focus on enhanced operational efficiencies and sustainable environmentally friendly initiatives.
    • Vertical: Retail, Enterprise, Transportation
    • Location: Lisbon, Portugal
    • Customer size: 15 distribution centres, 7,000 points of sale

    Use Case

    Create a platform on which to layer smart logistic applications, including asset tracking, heat maps and wearable technology, while reinforcing a sustainable and environmentally friendly agenda.

    Requirements

    • Centrally manage and secure high-performance network across 15 distribution centres and offices
    • Ensure uninterrupted business-critical Wi-Fi throughout all locations, including outside areas
    • Provide reliable visibility and tracking of valuable logistic assets
    • Support logistics innovation, including robotics and IoT
    • Establish efficiency and scale through a repeatable network template

    Outcomes

    • Strengthens logistics certainty with end-to-end tracking of goods and MHE
    • Cuts network deployment times, saves in-house IT resources and enables Zero-Touch deployments across the country
    • Ensures a Zero Trust approach to onboarding users, devices and things
    • Establishes resilient, future-ready infrastructure with ability to integrate new applications quickly and securely
    • Increases efficiencies in operations and savings in time and costs
    • Boosts sustainability credentials. Use of single-use plastic film slashed by 12.4km every month
    • Creates an opportunity to sell ‘logistics-as-a-service’ to customers, from fulfilment to delivery to data

    Never has so much news content been consumed by readers. Unfortunately for traditional news publishers, a diminishing amount of this content is read in papers and magazines. Digital is now king.

    VASP is the largest distributor of printed news in Portugal. Its mission is to make sure everyone has access to the news, even those that remain offline. Commercial reality dictates that it must do so in the fastest, most efficient way possible. Here, digital can be VASP’s friend.

    Creating a Smart, Sustainable Distribution Network

    VASP supplies newspapers and news magazines to 7,000 shops throughout Portugal. In the past ten years it has also branched out into book distribution and parcel deliveries. It is a business that understands logistics and process efficiency.

    “The pressures on this industry require us to be in a constant state of transformation,” says Pedro Soares de Pinho, Group CIO, VASP. “We have always been a business that is open to new ideas.”

    VASP recognised an opportunity to reimagine its warehouse processes. It wanted to replace its plastic-shrink-wrapped pallets with reusable steel containers, and for these valuable assets to be tracked throughout the facility and onto delivery vans. This would kick-off a programme of ‘smart logistics’ improvements and address sustainability concerns.

    “Sustainability is an increasingly important business issue,” says Soares de Pinho. “We want to do our utmost to reuse resources.”

    “Aruba was able to demonstrate an end-to-end solution,” says Soares de Pinho, “ubiquitous connectivity, the Bluetooth interface, the network connectivity as-a-service. We could see the potential for this as a platform for further innovation.”

    Employees working inside of a distribution warehouse

    Establishing End-to-End Asset Tracking

    In response, Aruba has developed a secure and robust wired and wireless network with integrated asset tracking comprising Bluetooth asset tags integrated with the Aruba Meridian location services platform. The entire architecture is managed via Aruba Central, a cloud-based platform which provides single-pane-of-glass network configuration, deployment and monitoring services. The asset tracking application was designed and deployed by Dualtime, an Aruba partner.

    The scalable template can be applied to all VASP facilities, including the main warehouses in Porto and Lisbon and smaller regional distribution centres. It features Aruba asset tags applied to 250 foldable steel containers, to date.

    “Aruba was able to demonstrate an end-to-end solution,” says Soares de Pinho, “ubiquitous connectivity, the Bluetooth interface, the network connectivity as-a-service. We could see the potential for this as a platform for further innovation.”

    Aruba Central simplifies the task of managing the national network. The cloud-based platform enables Soares de Pinho to monitor the health and performance of the network; new sites can be brought online quickly with Zero-Touch Provisioning.

    Ensuring Operational Certainty

    The most immediate impact is operational certainty. VASP can now track every container movement throughout the warehouse, onto its 600 delivery vans and to their final destination hubs. It creates a clear national audit trail of deliveries. VASP can plot delivery times. There is less chance of wastage.

    The network also connects CCTV, handheld Zebra and Honeywell scanners, tracks forklift trucks and provides full security and mobility for laptops and phones. In warehouse management terms, it can create heatmaps and plot shift patterns or cleaning and maintenance routes.

    It also impacts VASP’s sustainability credentials. The rugged steel containers can be reused and VASP is using 12.4km less single-use plastic film every month. Asset tracking encourages the business to examine how it can fully optimise existing resources.

    “We want the highest levels of environmental certification,” says Soares de Pinho. “We’re also looking at the use of electric vans and electric bikes, particularly for the last-mile delivery.”

    Greater Workplace Mobility, with Control and Security

    The priority was creating a smart warehouse but VASP also used the network rethink as an opportunity to upgrade its office wireless. The workplace is now wireless-first, with the network recognising employees whichever VASP office they choose to work from.

    “It’s wireless, and it’s more secure and more controlled,” says Soares de Pinho. “In security terms, the Aruba Edge Services Platform architecture is a huge improvement on the previous solution.”

    Together with Aruba Central, Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager protects VASP users and networks by replacing static VLANs and ACLs with policy-based automation and advanced threat intelligence. It ensures users have reliable, secure access no matter how or where they connect.

    “It’s wireless, and it’s more secure and more controlled,” says Soares de Pinho. “In security terms, the Aruba Edge Services Platform architecture is a huge improvement on the previous solution.”

    A machine printing onto a newspaper

    Building a Platform, and Mindset, for Continuous Innovation

    The engagement also creates a platform for continuous innovation. Soares de Pinho expects to soon introduce wearable technology to help link warehouse workers with the digital network. The use of robotics is also likely, whether driverless vehicles or order picking. The Aruba architecture simplifies the task of integrating new applications and opens the door to Aruba’s ecosystem partner solutions.

    VASP wants to become a benchmark for smart logistics in Portugal. This efficiency will help attract new clients (VASP already fulfils distribution for several business customers) and will allow the business to pitch a broader ‘logistics-as-a-service’.

    “We can provide 360° logistics,” says Soares de Pinho, “the fulfilment, delivery, tracking, the data, the whole digital platform. As retail moves online, that becomes an attractive new proposition to offer customers.

    “Historically, we’ve made money from selling newspapers, not logistics. The adoption of Aruba technology helps to move us up the value chain.”

    Read more

    Historically, we’ve made money from selling newspapers, not logistics. The adoption of Aruba technology helps to move us up the value chain.
    Pedro Soares de Pinho, Group CIO, VASP
  • Customer Profile

    VASP is the leading Portuguese distributor of printed newspapers, magazines and books. The business was formed in 1975 and has more recently expanded into parcel distribution and kiosk PoS. The company has an ongoing focus on enhanced operational efficiencies and sustainable environmentally friendly initiatives.
    • Vertical: Retail, Enterprise, Transportation
    • Location: Lisbon, Portugal
    • Customer size: 15 distribution centres, 7,000 points of sale

    Use Case

    Create a platform on which to layer smart logistic applications, including asset tracking, heat maps and wearable technology, while reinforcing a sustainable and environmentally friendly agenda.

    Requirements

    • Centrally manage and secure high-performance network across 15 distribution centres and offices
    • Ensure uninterrupted business-critical Wi-Fi throughout all locations, including outside areas
    • Provide reliable visibility and tracking of valuable logistic assets
    • Support logistics innovation, including robotics and IoT
    • Establish efficiency and scale through a repeatable network template

    Outcomes

    • Strengthens logistics certainty with end-to-end tracking of goods and MHE
    • Cuts network deployment times, saves in-house IT resources and enables Zero-Touch deployments across the country
    • Ensures a Zero Trust approach to onboarding users, devices and things
    • Establishes resilient, future-ready infrastructure with ability to integrate new applications quickly and securely
    • Increases efficiencies in operations and savings in time and costs
    • Boosts sustainability credentials. Use of single-use plastic film slashed by 12.4km every month
    • Creates an opportunity to sell ‘logistics-as-a-service’ to customers, from fulfilment to delivery to data

    Never has so much news content been consumed by readers. Unfortunately for traditional news publishers, a diminishing amount of this content is read in papers and magazines. Digital is now king.

    VASP is the largest distributor of printed news in Portugal. Its mission is to make sure everyone has access to the news, even those that remain offline. Commercial reality dictates that it must do so in the fastest, most efficient way possible. Here, digital can be VASP’s friend.

    Creating a Smart, Sustainable Distribution Network

    VASP supplies newspapers and news magazines to 7,000 shops throughout Portugal. In the past ten years it has also branched out into book distribution and parcel deliveries. It is a business that understands logistics and process efficiency.

    “The pressures on this industry require us to be in a constant state of transformation,” says Pedro Soares de Pinho, Group CIO, VASP. “We have always been a business that is open to new ideas.”

    VASP recognised an opportunity to reimagine its warehouse processes. It wanted to replace its plastic-shrink-wrapped pallets with reusable steel containers, and for these valuable assets to be tracked throughout the facility and onto delivery vans. This would kick-off a programme of ‘smart logistics’ improvements and address sustainability concerns.

    “Sustainability is an increasingly important business issue,” says Soares de Pinho. “We want to do our utmost to reuse resources.”

    “Aruba was able to demonstrate an end-to-end solution,” says Soares de Pinho, “ubiquitous connectivity, the Bluetooth interface, the network connectivity as-a-service. We could see the potential for this as a platform for further innovation.”

    Employees working inside of a distribution warehouse

    Establishing End-to-End Asset Tracking

    In response, Aruba has developed a secure and robust wired and wireless network with integrated asset tracking comprising Bluetooth asset tags integrated with the Aruba Meridian location services platform. The entire architecture is managed via Aruba Central, a cloud-based platform which provides single-pane-of-glass network configuration, deployment and monitoring services. The asset tracking application was designed and deployed by Dualtime, an Aruba partner.

    The scalable template can be applied to all VASP facilities, including the main warehouses in Porto and Lisbon and smaller regional distribution centres. It features Aruba asset tags applied to 250 foldable steel containers, to date.

    “Aruba was able to demonstrate an end-to-end solution,” says Soares de Pinho, “ubiquitous connectivity, the Bluetooth interface, the network connectivity as-a-service. We could see the potential for this as a platform for further innovation.”

    Aruba Central simplifies the task of managing the national network. The cloud-based platform enables Soares de Pinho to monitor the health and performance of the network; new sites can be brought online quickly with Zero-Touch Provisioning.

    Ensuring Operational Certainty

    The most immediate impact is operational certainty. VASP can now track every container movement throughout the warehouse, onto its 600 delivery vans and to their final destination hubs. It creates a clear national audit trail of deliveries. VASP can plot delivery times. There is less chance of wastage.

    The network also connects CCTV, handheld Zebra and Honeywell scanners, tracks forklift trucks and provides full security and mobility for laptops and phones. In warehouse management terms, it can create heatmaps and plot shift patterns or cleaning and maintenance routes.

    It also impacts VASP’s sustainability credentials. The rugged steel containers can be reused and VASP is using 12.4km less single-use plastic film every month. Asset tracking encourages the business to examine how it can fully optimise existing resources.

    “We want the highest levels of environmental certification,” says Soares de Pinho. “We’re also looking at the use of electric vans and electric bikes, particularly for the last-mile delivery.”

    Greater Workplace Mobility, with Control and Security

    The priority was creating a smart warehouse but VASP also used the network rethink as an opportunity to upgrade its office wireless. The workplace is now wireless-first, with the network recognising employees whichever VASP office they choose to work from.

    “It’s wireless, and it’s more secure and more controlled,” says Soares de Pinho. “In security terms, the Aruba Edge Services Platform architecture is a huge improvement on the previous solution.”

    Together with Aruba Central, Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager protects VASP users and networks by replacing static VLANs and ACLs with policy-based automation and advanced threat intelligence. It ensures users have reliable, secure access no matter how or where they connect.

    “It’s wireless, and it’s more secure and more controlled,” says Soares de Pinho. “In security terms, the Aruba Edge Services Platform architecture is a huge improvement on the previous solution.”

    A machine printing onto a newspaper

    Building a Platform, and Mindset, for Continuous Innovation

    The engagement also creates a platform for continuous innovation. Soares de Pinho expects to soon introduce wearable technology to help link warehouse workers with the digital network. The use of robotics is also likely, whether driverless vehicles or order picking. The Aruba architecture simplifies the task of integrating new applications and opens the door to Aruba’s ecosystem partner solutions.

    VASP wants to become a benchmark for smart logistics in Portugal. This efficiency will help attract new clients (VASP already fulfils distribution for several business customers) and will allow the business to pitch a broader ‘logistics-as-a-service’.

    “We can provide 360° logistics,” says Soares de Pinho, “the fulfilment, delivery, tracking, the data, the whole digital platform. As retail moves online, that becomes an attractive new proposition to offer customers.

    “Historically, we’ve made money from selling newspapers, not logistics. The adoption of Aruba technology helps to move us up the value chain.”

    Historically, we’ve made money from selling newspapers, not logistics. The adoption of Aruba technology helps to move us up the value chain.
    Pedro Soares de Pinho, Group CIO, VASP
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