Published on 05-Feb-2014
"We nearly paid for our new electronic labeling application with the savings realized this year, and we’ve gained an infrastructure for the future." - -Pierre Bidault des Chaumes, General Secretary, Ets Claude Blandin et Fils (ecb)
Ets Claude Blandin et Fils (ecb)
Flex System Manager, Flex System p260, Flex System x240, IGF, IGF: IT Financing - IBM HW, PureFlex, PureFlex Express, PureSystems, Business Agility Framework, Business Resiliency
Dozens of servers spread across four Caribbean locations were time-consuming and costly to manage. Consolidating workloads onto two IBM® PureFlex™ Systems in a cloud increased IT efficiency and reduced costs, enabling staff to redirect the time and money saved to new supply chain management, social, mobile and cloud services.
IT staff wanted to improve supply chain management so that it could reduce the time to deliver products to customers. But to do so, it needed a more efficient, scalable and manageable IT environment.
By consolidating workloads from 24 servers onto two IBM® PureFlex™ Systems, the company increased efficiency and reduced costs, redirecting the time and money saved to new business services.
In 12 months, the company realized a 15 percent decrease in IT costs, a 40 percent decrease in hotline calls, and a nearly 3-fold increase in time spent on improving supply chain management.
Ets Claude Blandin et Fils (ecb) is a diversified holding company selling products in six categories: electrical equipment; energy management; renewable energy; agriculture and gardening; beauty and cosmetics; and automobile sales. The company has 50 branches and outlets, 19 retail brands and six car dealerships across Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and French Guiana.
High operating costs impede business innovation
Ets Claude Blandin et Fils has been a dominant player in the French Caribbean for more than 60 years and maintaining its leadership requires an efficient supply chain. With all its products imported from Europe, Asia and North America, ensuring fast delivery of products at the lowest cost is critical in satisfying its customers’ needs.
However, to implement new supply chain management programs and new customer services, the company first needed a streamlined and efficient IT infrastructure—one that would eliminate the need for IT staff to travel from one country to another when problems arose. “We had a lot of servers spread across our market, and it was hard and frustrating to manage and maintain them,” explains Mr. Jean-Pierre Bidault des Chaumes, general secretary overseeing IT, security and risk management for Ets Claude Blandin et Fils. “When we wanted to launch new services, we had to add new servers to handle the workloads.”
Expert integrated systems transform IT
The company consolidated workloads from 22 Windows servers and two IBM POWER® Systems onto two IBM PureFlex Systems. The company operates 44 virtual machines in a private cloud on the PureFlex Systems, running its custom ERP system on the POWER nodes and its Windows applications on Intel nodes. The system’s integrated design and built-in expertise simplified IT maintenance and management dramatically, and reduced the need for specialized external resources and frequent travel among sites. These reductions decreased IT costs by 15 percent and enabled administrators to focus their time on the business instead of operational issues.
The new platform also provided a highly flexible and scalable platform for new supply chain applications. “We set up the two PureFlex in two weeks,” says Mr. Bidault des Chaumes. “It was beautiful. Before, it took three weeks just to move from one server to another. And the Flex System Manager automatically implements any new service that we need without additional costs.”
Reinvesting time and money in innovation
The time and money saved enabled IT staff to implement a new electronic labeling application that will help retailers get products on the shelves more quickly. The platform also enables the company to plan new social, mobile and cloud services that improve collaboration and strengthen customer relationships.
“We nearly paid for our new electronic labeling application with the savings we realized this past year, and we’ve gained an infrastructure for the future,” says Mr. Bidault des Chaumes. “The PureFlex System is incredible. It changed my life. Before I spent 50 percent of my time managing my infrastructure; now I only spend five percent of my time on this. As a result, I can now spend 70 percent of my time focused on innovation, instead of only 25 percent.”
A surprising benefit for Mr. Bidault des Chaumes was the dramatic reduction in hotline calls. “We found that 40 percent of our hotline calls were related to Windows server problems,” he says. “These calls disappeared and work spent on help desk tasks dropped from 60 percent to just 10 percent of staff time, enabling our team to focus their attention on more proactive work.”
IBM solution components
● IBM® PureFlex™ System Express
– IBM Flex System® x240
– IBM Flex System p260
● IBM Systems Lab Services
● IBM Global Financing
For more information
For more information about Ets Claude Blandin et Fils (ecb), visit: www.ecb-groupeblandin.com
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
PureFlex Express, PureFlex
STG Lab Services: PureSystems
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