Fastener component distributor The Fastener Network Ltd has completely transformed the performance of its IT infrastructure, achieving nearly 20 times faster data interrogation and reporting, with expert help from Centiq, an IT consulting and services provider focused on the data centre. Centiq achieved this breakthrough performance by optimising The Fastener Network’s existing data storage and management systems, and then migrating SAP R/3 from a UNIX-Oracle platform to Windows-SQL Server with high-performance hardware.
The Fastener Network engaged Centiq for the complex system migration and optimisation to improve the infrastructure’s ability to handle simultaneous requests from different departments; data input, access and reporting – processes that were essential to support the group’s continued business growth.
The incumbent system, a six-year-old IBM RS6000-H70 UNIX / Oracle system running SAP R/3 4.6b, was incapable of keeping pace with the Group’s growth and had reached the limit of its processing speed. In addition, the Oracle database, hampered by data storage and capability limitations from its ad hoc development, processed data at sub-optimal speeds. The new platform has transformed data access and reporting speeds across the Group’s four UK locations.
Group IT Director at The Fastener Network, Ade Jones said: “After Centiq optimised our data storage and management, our processing speeds increased dramatically. Our SAP system transacts information up to 20 times faster than it did previously. The sales team now only needs a few seconds to access data to process an order, so they’re more efficient when dealing with customers’ needs. Some reports that used to take between 30 minutes and 1 hour are now generated in a couple of minutes.”
Centiq also upgraded and tested the Group’s backup and restore function to secure the integrity of sensitive corporate information.
Centiq SAP Practice Leader Mark Bartrum said: “We met The Fastener Network’s objective of improving infrastructure performance, while finding a means to maximise existing software investments, such as their SAP release. I was very pleased that our team achieved these outcomes, all with minimal disruption to the Group’s operations and employees’ day-to-day activities.”
The new system revamp and lower cost of ownership provided The Fastener Network’s management team with added impetus to initiate a management buy-out from its owners and take control of the business.
Ade Jones at The Fastener Network said: “Now that we have total control of the business, we are pleased the new IT system has a lower total cost of ownership. Centiq’s advice in migrating to Windows / SQL Server proved invaluable as this is a more cost effective option, significantly easier to administer and maintain, and a more suitable platform for us now and for our plans going forward.”
Centiq (centiq.co.uk) is dedicated to helping clients meet the daily challenge of effectively containing the risk inherent in technology change in their business by making their computing systems efficient and agile and more adaptable – systems fit to deliver on their business aspirations. With a genuine depth of experience in migration, optimisation, management & measurement, we use tried and tested methodologies and benchmarking to ensure that complex change becomes predictable and repeatable processes. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Nottingham, UK, Centiq has successfully developed and grown a blue-chip customer base covering sectors including government, healthcare, retail and telecommunications.
About The Fastener Network
The Fastener Network Ltd is a Group of four UK-based companies. Its head office is based in Redditch, Worcestershire. The other locations are Bromsgrove, Worcestershire (formerly known as Holbruck Fasteners Ltd), Christchurch, Dorset (formerly known as The Fastener Warehouse Ltd), and Stevenage, Hertfordshire (formerly known as DB Industrial Fasteners Ltd). The group distributes 97,000 standard and non-standard fasteners and associated products to the primary industry sectors, including consumer, engineering, automotive and aerospace. The group has a strong national and international customer base.