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    2020

    5 Things IT Managers Need to Know to Ensure Supply Chain Availability

    by Daniel J Infrastructure 0 Comments

    Increasing Costs

    With profit margins under pressure as costs creep up throughout the supply chain network and with the uncertainty of availability due to the current climate, it is essential for IT Managers to know how to keep systems in check and how they can benefit from available incentives.

    There is not much you can do to battle increasing prices, except to look at where you may be able to reduce expenditure. Rising costs of fuel to transport goods by road, sea, or air affects the profitability of your operations, but logistics is not an area you can look to cut costs; unless you can make improvements on your sales data to better streamline your transportation strategy, that is.

    Increasing commodity prices raising the cost of raw materials is also going to affect the profitability of your operations, but cutting costs by using lower quality components is going to damage your reputation and lead to increased costs when you need to deal with customer issues further down the line.

    Higher labour costs from suppliers and manufacturers, and also internally is also going to impact the profitability of the business.

    Profit margins are under pressure as costs creep up throughout the supply chain network. These costs come from many areas, and a lack of visibility and accountability for reducing them can result in rising operational expenses.

    Working within Supply Chain

    A critical supply chain organisation in the UK, one we have worked with for over ten years, approached us to help them with a substantial networking project.

    Due to rapid growth, they were expanding into a new purpose-built factory. Our remit was simple enough; to provide a fully resilient network which could incur multiple failures and keep the business running using the latest high resilience systems.

    A key thing to mention early on is that Dell Technologies often runs finance incentives to support companies to implement large scale projects such as this. Spreading the cost helps to ensure the business can maintain healthy cash flow while being able to take advantage of the benefits that come with modernising your network infrastructure.

    Another way we were able to help them reduce costs was by outsourcing their arduous monitoring and management tasks, saving them time and resources, allowing their IT function to focus on more firefighting tasks and ensuring the business remains operational at all times.

    How we did it

    After consultation with our team, the customer provided detailed requirements for server, storage, and network requirements. The customer runs SAP (Systems Applications and Products), so we had to ensure that the solution could exceed the required SAPs and disk performance on the storage across both server rooms.

    Due to the relationship we have built with them over the years, they were confident we could deliver what they needed and trusted our suggestions. With the ease of integration and compatibility with their current network, we chose to implement a Dell Technologies end-to-end solution, and here’s what that looked like:

    Each server room has a range of Dell servers with platinum processors running VMWare, a Dell EMC SSD SAN, and a series of Dell fibre core access switches. There is also a resilient 40gb fibre ring around the factory linking various remote racks and providing a high level of resilience.

    VMWare’s fault tolerance was configured to replicate tier-one servers, data and the applications between server rooms in real-time. The native SAN replication protects back-office servers against hardware failures. The entire solution is further backed up by Veeam, to both server rooms.

    Our network operations centre and a team of IT technicians now fully monitor and manage their servers, storage, switches, and firewalls, to ensure they are patched and updated. What was previously an arduous task -which took up valuable time- is now outsourced and their systems and monitored around all-day every-day.

    Reducing Costs and Improving Internal Resource Function

    One of the critical benefits, other than achieving what the client had asked for in terms of delivering a network infrastructure refresh, was that we were able to work with the Dell Financial Services team to spread the cost of the infrastructure while taking advantage of the 0% interest rate that was being offered to support the business during the COVID-19 crisis.

    Having monotonous administrative tasks carried out for them, meant that they did not have to employ new staff to carry out these tasks. It also meant that their current IT team were able to be directed to working on other areas of the business and to identify other areas of potential improvements.

    The Business Benefits

    The servers, storage and switches are now exceeding the requirements stated during the project brief. By choosing a fully resilient Dell end to end solution, the client can rest in the knowledge that if there are any technical issues, then they will be resolved through a single point using the Dell “ProCare” mission-critical support.

    Added to this, the high resilience of the system’s design; the business will be able to continue trading should they face issues within their network. With a faster and more secure network, they were able to improve their business operations and system processes, allowing many of their administrative tasks to become almost entirely automated.

    Their critical network infrastructure is regularly monitored and managed, which includes applying pre-tested updates and security patches. As a result of this, they know that their network remains secure from internal and external threats which may target their operations, which would otherwise result in downtime.

    Implementing a complete Dell solution into their business allowed for easy integration and compatibility. It also meant that the client has a single point of contact should they need support in the future, rather than having to communicate with various suppliers.

     

    Are you planning any IT projects for the near future? Why not consider working with CWL Systems to support your business throughout the entire process.

     

    Alongside the integration of modern technology to improve business performance and security, we offer advice and guidance to help you get the most out of your equipment, whether that’s with physical hardware or your digital resources.

     

    Call us on 01480 217777 or email info@cwlsystems.co.uk - lets see how we can help.  

     

     

    Daniel J

    About Author: Daniel J

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