Nomeco springs ahead of the competition

Accelerating order fulfillment to increase customer satisfaction

Published on 03-May-2012

"Deploying the IBM Power 770 and Storwize V7000 solution has transformed performance for many of the systems that are vital to our everyday operations. I have personally received calls from our employees expressing their delight at the quicker response times, which is not something that happens very often!" - Steen Larsen, Operations Manager for iSeries and Web, Nomeco A/S

Customer:
Nomeco A/S

Industry:
Wholesale Distribution & Services, Life Sciences

Deployment country:
Denmark

Solution:
Enabling Business Flexibility, High Availability , Virtualization, Virtualization - Server, Virtualization - Storage

IBM Business Partner:
Soft Design A/S

Overview

Nomeco A/S is Denmark’s largest pharmaceutical wholesaler and an international competency center for the pharmaceutical industry. Since 2012 Nomeco is owned by the German company Phoenix – the world’s fifth-largest pharmaceutical wholesaler. Nomeco is built around three main departments: the Pharmacy Division, Nomeco Retail and Nomeco HealthCare Logistics. The Logistics department includes sub-divisions for purchasing and development. Nomeco employs approximately 680 people and is headquartered in Copenhagen.

Business need:
In the highly competitive pharmaceutical supply industry, response times are everything. Nomeco wanted to be able to check stock levels and initiate orders more quickly, and needed to update its server and storage infrastructure to achieve this.

Solution:
Nomeco implemented two IBM® Power® 770 servers running a total of 21 logical partitions (LPARs), enabling the company to run both the IBM i 6.1 and IBM AIX® operating systems side-by-side on the same IBM POWER7® processors. The company also deployed an IBM Storwize® V7000 virtualized disk array.

Benefits:
Deploying the IBM solution enhanced performance for mission-critical systems, with response times cut by a factor of ten. It has enabled acceleration of the order fulfillment process, boosting customer satisfaction and retention levels. Since implementation, Nomeco has enjoyed uptime levels of close to 100 percent, meeting targeted objective for availability.

Case Study

To read a Danish version of this case study, click here.

Nomeco A/S is Denmark’s largest pharmaceutical wholesaler and an international competency center for the pharmaceutical industry. Since 2012 Nomeco is owned by the German company Phoenix – the world’s fifth-largest pharmaceutical wholesaler. Nomeco is built around three main departments: the Pharmacy Division, Nomeco Retail and Nomeco HealthCare Logistics. The Logistics department includes sub-divisions for purchasing and development. Nomeco employs approximately 680 people and is headquartered in Copenhagen.

Responding faster to customers
As Nomeco’s existing IBM Power 570 server approached the end of its lease period, the company recognized an opportunity to update its IT landscape to help enhance performance. Nomeco’s principal business involves fulfilling orders from pharmaceutical clients as soon as possible, with rapid response times the key differentiator in a highly competitive industry. Nomeco’s employees need to be able to check stock levels and initiate orders extremely quickly, with any delays potentially causing the loss of that order, or even of the client. Since the server infrastructure supports fast-growing operations in seven countries, it needed to be highly scalable and flexible, while remaining easy to manage.

Boosting flexibility with IBM POWER7 technology
As long-time users of IBM technology, Nomeco had been consistently impressed by the stability and reliability of the IBM Power platform, and had not experienced a single minute of unplanned downtime in six years. As a result, Nomeco chose to replace its existing server infrastructure with two IBM Power 770 servers running a total of 21 logical partitions (LPARs), enabling the company to run both the IBM i 6.1 and IBM AIX operating systems on the same IBM POWER7 processors. The process of migrating the company’s business-critical systems, the largest of which included 4 TB of data within a single LPAR, proved even easier than expected, with the entire migration completed in just 23 hours.

Enjoying the benefits of virtualized storage
Nomeco also chose to move from relying on internal storage to implementing an external disk system – the IBM Storwize V7000. The company can take advantage of the IBM Storwize V7000 storage system’s thin provisioning feature to maximize utilization of capacity and resources. The IBM solution does this by providing an abstraction layer between the physical disk drives and storage presented to the host system, enabling over-subscription of the total storage capacity.

Including both solid state drives (SSD) and SAS drives, the IBM Storwize V7000 can automatically reserve the higher-performing, more expensive SSD storage for the most business-critical and time-sensitive data and applications, while using the lower-cost SAS option for less critical requirements. Currently, Nomeco has three SSDs, and uses the built-in IBM EasyTier® software to automatically migrate its most frequently accessed data to the fastest disks to constantly optimize the price-performance ratio.

The IBM Power 770 has matched the stability of the previous solution, preserving planned uptime levels of close to 100 percent. Combined with the accelerated response times, this has led to greater user satisfaction, with no complaints to the IT department since installation.

By replacing its existing servers with IBM Power 770 servers, Nomeco has significantly enhanced performance for its mission-critical systems, with response times cut by a factor of ten. So, for example, those of Nomeco’s employees who take telephone orders are able to identify whether a product is in stock and initiate the order process faster than ever before, greatly accelerating the order fulfillment process.

“Deploying the IBM Power 770 and Storwize V7000 solution has transformed performance for many of the systems that are vital to our everyday operations,” says Steen Larsen, Operations Manager for iSeries and Web at Nomeco A/S. “I have personally received calls from our employees expressing their delight at the quicker response times, which is not something that happens very often!”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Power 770, Power Systems, Power Systems running AIX 7, Power Systems running i, Storage, Storage: Storwize V7000

Software:
AIX, IBM i

Operating system:
AIX, IBM i

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Danmark ApS Nymøllevej 91 2800 Kgs. Lyngby Denmark Produced in Denmark May 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, AIX, EasyTier, Power, POWER7 and Storwize are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at http://www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks, or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.