Kwik-Fit Europe B.V. drives business growth

Creating a highly reliable platform for customer data with help from IBM and Flexyz

Published on 30-Nov-2012

"PowerLinux is the backbone of our organization—it handles almost all of our vital customer data. Thanks to increased performance, we estimate that the IBM PowerLinux solution will support our growing business for at least the next four years." - René ten Hove, Manager for ICT, Kwik-Fit Nederland B.V.

Customer:
Kwik-Fit Europe B.V.

Industry:
Automotive

Deployment country:
Netherlands

Solution:
Business Resiliency, Enabling Business Flexibility

IBM Business Partner:
Flexyz B.V.

Overview

Headquartered in Harderwijk in the Netherlands, Kwik-Fit Europe B.V (Kwik-Fit) is a car servicing and repair company, specializing in tires, brakes, roadworthiness testing and car servicing. The company has approximately 180 branches and employs 1,600 people.

Business need:
Car servicing and repair company Kwik-Fit wanted to support growth by boosting the performance of its core databases—serving an increasing volume of requests from across the business.

Solution:
IBM Business Partner Flexyz implemented two IBM® PowerLinux™ 7R2 servers running the MySQL database, then migrated Kwik-Fit’s Java-based databases and booking systems to the new platform.

Benefits:
Triples the performance of the system, enabling Kwik-Fit to respond to over 200,000 online requests each year and support growth for the next four years.

Case Study

Headquartered in Harderwijk in the Netherlands, Kwik-Fit Europe B.V (Kwik-Fit) is a car servicing and repair company, specializing in tires, brakes, roadworthiness testing and car servicing. The company has approximately 180 branches and employs 1,600 people.

Winning new business

Following a successful marketing strategy aimed at increasing the company’s market share, demand for Kwik-Fit’s booking systems began to rise sharply.

As René ten Hove, Manager for ICT at Kwik-Fit Nederland B.V., explains: “Over the past few years, our business has been growing rapidly—both online and in our centers across the country. Every time a customer books a roadworthiness test (a legal requirement to keep cars on the road) schedules a servicing appointment or orders a component in store or online, the request is served by our customer booking and vehicle information databases.

“Our databases also serve important information about when cars are due for servicing, as well as the particular servicing arrangements we have with vehicle leasing customers, who may have certain maintenance tasks contractually supplied by a dealership. When a leasing company car comes in for a service, our employees can see a list of all the parts we are contracted to service, and carry out the work accordingly.”

“Roadworthiness testing customers are especially important for our business because the tests are part of a range of services which help our customers to keep their vehicles roadworthy. For example, if we have identified a faulty system or component that causes a car to fail its test, we can offer the customer the replacement parts they need to make the vehicle roadworthy again—such as fitting new brakes or tires.”

“With online transactions alone increasing substantially each year, we realized that our existing HP database servers would not be able to sustain the increase in database requests driven by our business growth.”

Need for a high-performance platform

Kwik-Fit wanted to support business growth across all channels by enabling an increasing number of customers and Kwik-Fit employees to access its customer booking systems and vehicle information databases simultaneously. To achieve this, the company decided to refresh the hardware platform for its customer and vehicle information databases.

“When we took the growth in web traffic into account, we calculated that our existing servers would soon not be able to deliver the high-speed service that customers have come to expect from our online booking systems,” says René ten Hove. “This presented a business risk, as poor performance from our largest sales channel could potentially have damaged our brand image.”

“We wanted a solution with an excellent level of reliability and performance to support our growing customer base—helping us to continue to ensure that we never lose a sale because of slow response or unplanned downtime.”

Building a resilient solution

The company engaged its trusted IBM Business Partner Flexyz to design, install and configure a solution. “We have worked together with Flexyz for a number of years now,” says René ten Hove. “In addition to designing our business applications—such as a system for scheduling car servicing appointments—Flexyz provide us with high-quality support.”

Working with Kwik-Fit, Flexyz implemented two IBM PowerLinux 7R2 servers running the MySQL database and a Java Runtime Environment which supports the web application.

René ten Hove comments: “Owing to the professionalism and technical expertise of the Flexyz team, installation went extremely smoothly and the migration was completed with minimal disruption to our business operations. After a few hours, our databases were up and running on PowerLinux.”

Three times the performance

Since installing its IBM solution, Kwik-Fit has achieved its goal of creating a reliable platform to reduce business risk and support future business growth. The IBM PowerLinux servers now respond to over 200,000 online requests each year.

“PowerLinux is the backbone of our organization—it handles almost all of our vital customer data,” says René ten Hove. “Today, our databases can respond to queries from our online store servers three times faster than they could previously. Thanks to this increased performance, we estimate that the IBM PowerLinux solution will support our growing business for at least the next four years, helping us to reduce our operational expenditure through cost-avoidance on additional server hardware.”

Boosting business flexibility

The IBM PowerLinux solution has also provided Kwik-Fit with a high-level of business flexibility.

René ten Hove comments: “Because of the increased performance we have gained from PowerLinux, we can also offer our customer and vehicle information databases to our sister company USN-Centuri, which is a wholesale business. This means that we can now support business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer growth.”

Through its close collaboration with Flexyz, Kwik-Fit has gained a solution which will meet its business requirements for years to come. “Overall, we are extremely satisfied with the turnkey IBM PowerLinux solution that Flexyz has provided,” concludes René ten Hove. “With our databases and booking systems running on the IBM PowerLinux platform, we have all the performance and capacity we need to continue to drive business growth.”

For more information

To learn more about PowerLinux, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit: ibm.com/systems/power/software/linux/

For more information on Flexyz BV, please visit: http://www.flexyz.com/

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
PowerLinux 7R2

Software:
Linux

Operating system:
Linux

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America November 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and PowerLinux are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. Java and all Java-based trademarks and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. POC03110-USEN-00