Case Study:

SHI Integration Center Hammers Out Complex Mobility Rollout for Tool Distributor

SHI images, activates and deploys thousands of Apple iPad mini devices to retail stores nationwide


Customer Profile

Large U.S. industrial distributor


The customer needed help rolling out 1,000 Apple iPad mini 2 devices to run an internal inventory application across 2,600 branches.



SHI’s Integration Center performed configuration, kitting, Apple ID creation for the devices, asset tagging, updating the devices to the latest version of Mac OS, downloading the customer’s internal inventory app to each device, and activating their Verizon phone numbers.




  • The customer saved millions of dollars in hard and soft costs.
  • SHI’s Integration Center services saved time and eased execution of an otherwise complicated rollout.
  • SHI simplified the management process and sped up the overall implementation and deployment.


A large distributor of industrial tools, safety equipment, and construction supplies excels at parts manufacturing and supply-chain management on behalf of its own customers. But when it came time to put a very important piece of hardware in the hands of its own 1,900 employees, this well-oiled machine sprung a leak.

Now management needed approximately 1,000 Apple iPad mini 2 devices imaged to run an internal inventory application across its 2,600 nationwide branches, but they could not seem to get the conveyor belt rolling.


Supporting similar mobile hardware rollouts every day, SHI combined the technical and logistical expertise of its Mobility Solutions Team with the configuration technicians in SHI’s state-of-the-art Integration Center. Together both teams simplified what would have been an overwhelming DIY project and seamlessly integrated device procurement, imaging, implementation and deployment. The services SHI performed included:

  • Creating Apple ID’s for all devices
  • Updating devices to the latest Mac OS
  • Imaging the devices with proprietary software
  • Carrier activation using existing Verizon phone numbers
  • Asset tagging
  • Kitting and shipping

SHI reduced freight costs by kitting 1,000 of the iPad mini 2 devices with an attached Honeywell Sled barcode scanner and shipped the entire package at the rate of 100 per month. The SHI account team also leveraged existing VMware AirWatch licenses for mobile device management and shipped each mini with a two-year Safeware warranty.

Finally, SHI sweetened the deal by working out a financially feasible solution in which all of the performed services were rolled into a bundle under Apple’s Financial Services (AFS) Leasing program. This allowed the tool distributor to pay for the entire rollout in monthly increments. The end-to-end solution saved the customer millions in the hard and soft costs related to procuring the hardware and software, as well as configuration, wireless activation and shipment.

Afterward, SHI worked with the customer and delivered 3,000 additionally iPad devices to other locations and refreshed the customer’s iPad mini 2 devices.