High performance for higher order volumes
The performance advantages of a modernized IT infrastructure streamline the day-end reporting and backup processes at distribution centers. That translates into decreased downtime and a significant jump in the number of orders processed daily at each center.
However, the most impressive results occur during the month-end close. Before, this process brought order processing, stock movements and carpet cutting to a halt. Things are quite different now.
“As we migrated the sites into a Sungard AS private cloud, we had nearly a five-fold increase in processing speed,” Hitchmough reports. “Our month-end jobs that used to take several hours now run in minutes, without impacting our business operations.”
Increased availability supports next-day delivery
With a 99.99% SLA, Headlam knows it can count on the cloud to support its just-in-time delivery model. This is especially important to meeting the needs of customers in the residential market, including the independent retailers and flooring contractors who represent most of the company’s business. Many lack the warehouse space to store flooring
for pending jobs.
“Our residential customers rely on us to store carpet or flooring and have it ready for them, so our next-day service offering is critical,” Hitchmough explains. “The stable and resilient systems we have in place now increase our ability to have an order ready for them just when they need it.”
Previously, a system failure required Headlam’s IT provider to transport another physical server to the impacted site. If a server went down, it could stop business operations for nearly a day. Now, a managed backup solution and a virtual cloud environment with a four-hour SLA means recovery can happen much faster.
Cloud speeds new business onboarding
Acquisition is a chief growth driver for Headlam. While absorbing the IT operations of a new business into the company’s own environment is a complex process, the new cloud environment streamlines integration.
“My role is to introduce the right technologies to move us forward,” says Hitchmough. “Part of that is to speed up the onboarding process for newly acquired businesses, so we can get them up and running quickly. A lot of data needs to be extracted from their systems and converted into ours. The speed of the cloud servers has made a big difference in how quickly we can turn that data around. And, we can bring these companies on remotely, without the need to travel.”
A foundation of trust
Since the initial cloud transition, Headlam extended the environment to add storage for business intelligence projects, and servers to support Oracle database development. As part of its five-year transformation project, the company is also launching a testing and training site with a new look and feel for its ERP applications. Sungard AS will remain a key player in the transition.
“I’m used to working with hosting partners centralized help desks and support teams, so I know what to expect from an IT provider,” says Hitchmough. “Sungard AS very quickly became a trusted partner. Their account management structure organizes support when I need it, escalates any issues to the right team, chases the answers for me and provides monthly reviews and updates. I can call them anytime I need to, and they’ll respond. Sungard AS does everything I expect from a service provider – and does it well.”
In closing, Hitchmough offers this advice to other companies contemplating a transition to the cloud: “It’s been a well-managed journey for us and I’m very grateful for the support I’ve received,” he says. “Sungard AS is a safe pair of hands, and you can trust in their abilities.”
Sungard AS very quickly became a trusted partner. I can call them anytime I need to, and they’ll respond. Sungard AS does everything I expect from a service provider — and does it well.
Head of Information Technology, Headlam Group