Consumer Goods Company
Industry: Manufacturing
Stats: 46 production, 52 distribution sites
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba

“From previous project engagements with CDW and through the events they host, we quickly determined the skill level of their resources are second to none.”

As a leading producer of packaged ice, the manufacturer serves locations throughout the US and Canada, producing over 10,000 tonnes of ice per day. The company relies on its system infrastructure to keep the business humming at peak performance, and is laser focused on improving its routing efficiency of ice deliveries to the retail, commercial and industrial customer locations it serves.

Efficient route optimization for delivery of the ice is important business. Multiple sources of data are taken into consideration to determine the most optimal distribution of products to the stores the company serves. From weather and customer analytics right through to the sensors in the ice coolers at the local convenience store, optimal routing of the ice relies on a high-performance IT backbone. With the system reliant on SQL server databases, it was critical for this client’s IT Manager to ensure he had a solid plan in place to access a database administrator (DBA) with skills that are in high demand.

Challenges

• Lack of internal resources to address SQL server database issues

• No longer made strategic or economical sense to keep DBA resources on staff

“The consultant assigned was quick to understand our challenges, solve problems and deal with issues we had no idea about. I cannot say enough about his skill set and how much we learn from him on a weekly basis.”

A flexible resourcing model means no task is too small

CDW’s focus on putting clients first means that no client problem is too small. “It is about solving customer challenges in a creative way,” said the CDW Account Manager. Recognizing that the SQL Server DBA role would be better filled through a contracted service model, the ice manufacturer worked with CDW to address the requirements. “From previous project engagements with CDW and through the events they host, we quickly determined the skill level of their resources are second to none,” said the IT Manager.

It has become fundamentally impossible for companies to build and manage an internal IT department that can address every IT challenge that lies ahead. And while IT consulting services are nothing new, CDW’s approach to staff augmentation is somewhat different from the typical model. “We believe the best way for our customers to bring external resources into their environment is by ensuring the consultant skill set has been validated by a trusted source, namely our engineers,” said the Account Manager. A three-step process that spans talent sourcing, skills validation, and ongoing support once the consultant is working in the client environment is key to building a successful resource plan.

Solution

• CDW IT consulting services

CDW provides rapid triage and ongoing support

In order to triage the performance issues, an experienced SQL server consultant was brought in for one day per week over an extended period of time. “The consultant assigned was quick to understand our challenges, solve problems and deal with issues we had no idea about. I cannot say enough about his skill set and how much we learn from him on a weekly basis,” said the IT Manager. Knowledge transfer is also a central theme – “The general best practices CDW has introduced, combined with the deep technical expertise, helps out in so many ways,” he added.

CDW’s ability to grasp the challenge, source the right consultant, and provide ongoing support in a flexible way for the ice producer has created a level of resiliency that was not there previously.

The manufacturer has now engaged with CDW to bring the SQL server consultant into their environment on an ongoing part-time basis, providing IT management with access to the skills they need while striking an operational balance between timelines, budgets and results. The company used to have recovery time objectives of up to one or two weeks on some systems, but today it is critical that all systems stay up and running. The stability and uptime have drastically improved, which means customer service has improved and distribution is optimized.

Highlights

• Flexible IT resourcing model provides client with access to deep technical expertise

• Immediate issues resolved and ongoing policies, procedures and processes for database administration put in place

• IT backbone performance and stability drastically improved

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