Customer Success Story
Great Wi-Fi blooms at FloraCraft with Juniper Mist
Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2021, FloraCraft is the world’s leading manufacturer of foam products for the craft and floral industries. From its headquarters in Ludington, Michigan, FloraCraft and its 200+ employees provide innovative, American-made products to Walmart, Amazon, Michaels, JOANN, Hobby Lobby, and other leading retailers. The company is a leader in manufacturing automation and sustainability, but great Wi-Fi to support business operations had been elusive. That all changed when it chose Juniper wireless, driven by Mist AI™.
“Wireless was frustrating,” says Matthew Sutton, network manager at FloraCraft.
|Products used||AP43, Marvis VNA|
Automated troubleshooting, saving substantial time
Robotic process automation, supported by Wi-Fi-connected cameras and sensors
Products picked, packed, and shipped quickly and accurately
A warehouse full of craft and floral foam creates wireless challenges
A family-owned company, FloraCraft operates from Ludington, Mich., on the western shores of Lake Michigan. Some of its offices are historic wooden buildings, while others are modern and steel-clad, creating a challenging RF environment for great Wi-Fi.
But the biggest obstacle was FloraCraft’s product itself.
“The foam products in our warehouse absorb the RF signal,” says Sutton. “Once you go a couple of aisles deep, the wireless signal can drop.”
Warehouse employees often waited for application pages to load, or worse, had to re-login. Repeated delays could put on-time shipments to big customers like Walmart and Michaels, as well as small businesses, at risk.
“We need to get the right products on the right trucks as quickly as we can,” he says. “Every second counts.”
Cloud innovation drives network simplicity
FloraCraft wanted to shift from a legacy, controller-based wireless to cloud-managed networking.
In 2017, Mist was a startup, but with its modern, microservices cloud, had strong appeal. Mist AI promised to optimize the network user experience while streamlining IT operations.
When Sutton plugged in the first Mist access point, his early adopter apprehension vaporized.
“What seemed like a large risk became a no-brainer,” he says. “Mist was doing things with AI and the Marvis Virtual Network Assistant that no one else was doing.”
FloraCraft deployed the Juniper® AP43 High-Performance Access Point in its Michigan and Southern California locations, managed through the Mist cloud portal. And the AI-driven Marvis Virtual Network Assistant became key to delivering a quality experience.
A better quality of experience and streamlined IT operations
User complaints about bad Wi-Fi have stopped. “Silence is the best compliment,” says Sutton.
Team members on the plant floor can plan production and manage inventory from wireless kiosks. Solid Wi-Fi is critical for the operation of a new automated manufacturing line, with cameras and sensors guiding the robots.
The Wi-Fi just works in warehouses filled with RF-absorbing foam products, allowing users to efficiently and accurately pick inventory and pack orders using handheld scanners.
In the office, marketing, sales, admin, and executives are confident that the network won’t fizzle out during important presentations.
Mist AI eliminated reactive troubleshooting and freed up time.
“We’d rather spend time on projects that drive the business forward, like new software, increasing efficiency, or strategic planning,” says Sutton. “With Juniper Mist, we have a tool that saves hours of putting out fires and advances our IT infrastructure.”
Published April 2021