Sola Salons is the largest, fastest-growing salon studio business in the country with over 400 locations nationwide. What makes them unique is how they provide beauty professionals with the opportunity to operate their own business, while also minimizing the financial and management risks. Haynes Chidsey is one of the largest Sola Salons franchise operators in the United States, owning and operating over 40 Sola Salon Studios across the Southeast region—typically supporting 30 beauty professionals per location. Needless to say, he is an integral part of the Sola system.
Haynes needed secure WiFi that did not interrupt his business operations as well as his personal time. He was having to work 7 days a week dealing with complaints and outages. Not only did all of the salons need upgrades from typical small business WiFi to enterprise-grade, but they also needed workflow processes that brought them to scale.
They were dealing with equipment, capacity, and service issues, while also lacking a committed partner that was interested in learning and supporting their business and future growth.
With a digital transformation on the horizon, Haynes saw the impact WiFi had on the success of his stylist and the difference that it could make in their guests’ experiences.
Now there is a new generation of stylists who are determined to use new technology to build and manage their businesses. Haynes strongly believes that:
“Our responsibility to provide and support a technology platform allowing the use of a wide-range of applications.”
Everything from their POS system to inventory management required WiFi—as well as BYOD devices from their stylists and guests. To solve these problems, Haynes choose SecurEdge to design a scalable, turnkey solution that could be implemented in each of his salons.
After meeting with Haynes in 2016, we received the floorplans of 10 of his salons and began the WiFi engineering process. Using RF software tools, our engineering team was able to complete the predictive RF designs, installations/configurations, and system testing for all 10 locations.
We used HPE Aruba IAP-305s for improved network performance, as well as a mix of POE and non-POE switches for security and simplicity. Since his door locks and thermostats were already connected to electricity, there was only a need for non-POE, which prevented unnecessary costs.
For power management, they used the WattBox by SnapAV, which is an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) with an application that can be used remotely to provide backup power, which helps cut down on service call expenses.
At SecurEdge, we offer WiFi bundles in addition to our engineering services, software platform, and managed services. Since there was existing capital needing to be used, Haynes choose a Managed WiFi bundle at
first—which allowed him to purchase the hardware upfront and bundle the software platform and managed services into one subscription.
When it came time to renew his contract, he switched to our WiFi as a Service bundle that rolled everything, including the hardware, into his monthly subscription.
“Our partnership evolved through three phases: First, moving to an enterprise-grade solution. Then, moving to a WaaS platform rather than an equipment purchase solution. And now we are developing at scale with new products, services, and workflows,”
— Haynes Chidsey
WiFi is a complex utility, and it’s critical to partner with a team of experts who can design, deliver, and manage enterprise-grade WiFi. When it came to his salons, our experience saved Haynes's time and reduced his capital expenses.
Managed WiFi and WiFi as a Service both include performance monitoring, which allows us to measure performance as if we were a real user on the network. This has enabled us to proactively avoid problems and has led to virtually no
WiFi-related complaints. His stylists and their guests now enjoy a better digital experience.
No longer are the days that he worries about having to be an on-call WiFi technician as he is building his franchise business. Nobody calls him during his one day off a week because we’re there to provide support.
Deploying a customized solution built for a dynamic environment has enabled his salons to expand in order to incorporate new types of IoT devices. These include WiFi-enabled washers and door locks, as well as music and video streaming services.
Converting to WaaS, Haynes is now more efficient with upgrades, security, and customer service. Every time a new franchise location gets underway, SecurEdge can use his new floorplans with similar configurations for a faster project turnover time with zero installation problems.
Parallel to other utilities, SecurEdge is now integrated into his construction business process—the electricity, the cabinets, and finally—SecurEdge WiFi.
"We have been working with SecurEdge as our WiFi solutions provider for three years now. In that time, they have helped us deploy over 40 locations across four states. Have a team of experts who can deliver and manage our enterprise-grade WiFi has saved us time and reduced our capital expenses. With SecurEdge, we have peace of mind knowing that they're committed to the success of Sola Salons and our stylists."