Griflex

“This project has put us in a tangibly stronger position as a business and given me the freedom to focus on digital transformation, efficiencies and new projects. My long history with K3 is based on their understanding of us, our IT challenges and their flexibility. It really is a great relationship – collaborative, friendly and trustworthy. We’re a team”. Michael Parker , IT Manager

Case study

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INDUSTRY

Manufacturer

THE PROBLEM

Requirement for IT provision that could support successful restructuring and relocation whilst retaining existing IT infrastructure

THE SOLUTION

New on-site server, new offsite disaster recovery and a private cloud-hosted ERP

Griflex is a leading British hosing, tubing and ducting specialist with over 30 years’ experience. From a midlands HQ, the company serves an international customer base and manufactures an ever-developing, high-quality product range utilising the latest production techniques.

Being committed to innovation, quality and cost-effectiveness, Griflex ensures that its customers benefit from competitiveness and service that’s second-to-none. With advanced processes, complex products, tailored order requirements and a global reach, robust IT provision is essential to the business’ successful running.

Griflex is a company in continual development – always exploring ways to build on its excellent reputation and superior products. So, when in late 2017 Griflex’s former parent company Flexicon announced they were to split their brand portfolio, there was no question that Griflex would continue as a resilient independent.

Managing Director Andy Poulton, tells the story. “Griflex were entering a transformative period marked by restructuring and relocation – and we were in search of IT support that would help us to successfully embrace change”.

“Following restructuring, the Griflex team and I were required to occupy a new building. This wouldn’t be far in distance but meant parting with our previous IT infrastructure – all of which was on-premise at three sites and managed externally”.

Andy continues. “This presented a significant challenge. We almost felt like a start-up entering the market, except we’re a well-established and successful name. At this point, I already knew that I wanted to retain Griflex’s SYSPRO ERP and NiceLabel, our tried-and-tested label management system”.

“This changed when I was introduced to K3 Cloud, Hosted and Managed Services (K3) through a partner”, Andy tells us. “I’d found that providers offered either fragmented services, inappropriate solutions or unsatisfactory flexibility but K3 offered a refreshing take. Following insightful consultations at a schedule that suited us, transparency and a willingness to go the extra mile, I was confident that K3 were the go-to-guys for this business-critical project”.

As an added-value benefit, K3 is also part of the same group as K3 Syspro, Griflex’s ERP providers, meaning one less management headache. As an enthusiastic and tech-driven MD, Andy was keen to stay at the helm of the project but still needed the space to focus his skills and energies on leading the transition at Griflex.

“I asked K3 a deceptively simple question”, recalls Andy.  “How much can you do for me with as little input from myself as possible?”. With this sentiment in mind, they took all steps possible to deliver a unified and hassle-free project in coordination with all third parties, including K3 Syspro and NiceLabel. This ensured rapid, seamless progress and allowed Andy to be as involved as his busy schedule permitted.

Together, it was agreed that multiple options would be implemented for Griflex to create the ideal solution. NiceLabel would be hosted on-premise with offsite disaster recovery whilst SYSPRO would be deployed on a fully managed private cloud platform.

The private cloud included 24/7 platform management, full infrastructure and helpdesk support. As a managed service provider, K3 would also be responsible for all monitoring, backups, disaster recovery and testing, cybersecurity, antivirus, documentation and physical hardware. From three months of project approval, the private cloud platform was in full use and SYSPRO testing, training and data migration was complete at all sites.

“First off, I was extremely impressed with the performance”, Andy reports. “I welcome that K3 overcame our IT challenges without entirely gutting the software that had value to us. We essentially retained the best parts but now benefit from enhanced performance, resilience and reduced downtime across the board”.

“From a user perspective, our IT couldn’t be simpler, and the project also ran exceptionally smoothly”, Andy adds. “But there are significant complexities beneath the surface – with a wide scope of responsibilities and multiple parties involved. Therefore, hiring an IT Manager just wasn’t an option and instead we rely on K3’s managed services and support to take care of everything. I rarely need to think about IT but when I do, it’s one call for assistance”.