DuraFon: The Choice of Grocers Nationwide

The Leading Industrial Voice Provider Reveals the Secret Behind Its Powerful Handsets

Reliable and effective communication is essential, but the grocery industry really put it to the test during these recent months of lockdowns and social distancing. Industrial voice communications have always provided both phone and two-way radio communication needed across the grocery floor, parking lot, and loading dock. The question is, what makes up the best voice solution—especially now—for these types of demanding environments?

Doug Hayter, senior product marketing manager of EnGenius voice communications, revealed what makes the DuraFon SIP system one of the best solutions for grocery chains across America.

“One of our key vertical markets for the industrial voice category is the grocery industry,” says Hayter. “Numerous grocery store chains throughout North America are using DuraFon industrial voice systems today and have insisted upon DuraFon for years because of its long-range phone and two-way radio coverage and durability.”

Hayter shares the four main reasons why.

Uses 900 MHz Spectrum, Not Wi-Fi, for Bandwidth

First, many of today’s grocery store Wi-Fi networks have overwhelming demands placed on available Wi-Fi bandwidth by everything from barcode scanners, cell phones, security cameras, temperature, and moisture sensors to other IoT devices within the store.

“Adding voice communication to the Wi-Fi network may result in poor Wi-Fi across all devices. This problem has increased demand for wireless voice communication that doesn’t use Wi-Fi 2.4 or 5 GHz frequencies,” Hayter stated. “The DuraFon SIP voice system functions on the 900 MHz spectrum; therefore, it does not add to Wi-Fi bandwidth demands and prevents device interference.”

Efficient Coverage with Minimal Costs

Second, given the size of many of today’s grocery stores and superstores, coverage becomes exceptionally challenging. This is true not only for in-store coverage but also for loading docks and parking lots where workers handle curbside pickup, customer queues, and cart collection.

According to Hayter, lower frequencies like 900 MHz have a longer wavelength and, with DuraFon’s higher output power, results in more efficient coverage while reducing the required infrastructure and associated costs. As a result, industrial voice communications can cover these environments, where Wi-Fi and DECT-based devices would fall short.

Flexible, Independent System

Third, in the grocery industry, it is essential to have flexibility and redundancy with voice communications. Good systems will allow for making and receiving phone calls and broadcasting messages to groups or sending a private intercom to an individual.

Also, voice communication should not be lost just because the power goes out or the IT or phone network goes down.

“This flexibility makes it possible for management to direct staff to where the need is and for staff to share information throughout the store,” says Hayter.

Durable, Drop-Tested Handsets

Fourth, not all voice equipment can survive such demanding environments like grocery stores and warehouses. But DuraFon can sure take a beating.

“The DuraFon SIP handset is dropped from six feet, at nine different angles over 50 times onto concrete floors as part of the durability testing,” says Hayter. “Not only are DuraFon handsets covered by a factory, one-year, limited warranty, but they are generally repairable for up to five years from manufacture.”

It turns out the EnGenius DuraFon line has remained the leader in the industrial voice category for over fifteen years. Their systems have been the choice of leading grocery and retail stores, assisted living facilities, warehouses, hotels, and other demanding environments.

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