Wright Manufacturing, Inc. Mows Down IT Inefficiencies
A Complete IT Infrastructure Upgrade Based on a Lean IT Model
Wright Manufacturing is an innovative leader in lawn maintenance technology, dedicated to manufacturing the safest, most durable, and highest quality lawn equipment in the world. Since its inception over 30 years ago, the company has revolutionized commercial lawn maintenance with products such as the industry-leading “Velke SulkyTM“, the “Grass GobblerTM“, and its revolutionary line of patented stand-on mowers. As a testament to their continuous innovation, Wright’s engineering teams have already received over 50 US patents with more pending future approval. A member of the Maryland World Class Manufacturing Consortium, Wright has also come to represent manufacturing quality and efficiency worldwide. The company’s plant in Frederick, MD, with 77,000 square feet under roof, leverages the latest techniques in efficient “just-in-time” production and the highest quality control. As a recognized innovator, Wright constantly reevaluates and updates their manufacturing processes to reflect the latest proven concepts in design and production. Wright Manufacturing is known for reinventing the manufacturing supply-chain and is associated with revolutionizing the lean model in their industry. Their focus on efficiency extends beyond equipment design and the lean use of capital and human resources into intelligent vendor choices. When it came time to upgrade their network systems, it made sense to partner with Swift Systems, a managed IT services provider that specializes in Lean IT solutions that scale quickly and operate cost effectively.
Wright Manufacturing had outgrown their IT systems and their aging network systems presented increased technical difficulties. These daily challenges shifted the IT department’s time away from critical customer facing operations initiatives that supported Wright’s revenue streams.
The challenge presented to Swift was to create a “private cloud” platform that would allow Wright’s systems to run at optimum performance levels and still keep them flexible, agile, and streamlined with their corporate, production, and online customer ordering processes while maximizing uptime, reliability, scalability, and cost effectiveness. Additionally, Wright desired to consolidate several public cloud systems into this single system to further reduce operational costs and increase service and performance levels for those systems.
Approach & Solution:
Swift Systems’ engineers collaborated with Wright to ascertain all of the various system and application requirements. Together they designed a Three-Phase plan to migrate these critical systems to a modernized and enhanced platform. Swift coordinated with Wright’s IT lead to install and configure the new environment. Swift supported Wright’s internal transition to ensure that the data access paths were seamlessly connected to internal and external customer data, trimming unnecessary IT processes and hardware expenses while securely integrating the new virtual systems, keeping speed and uptime at peak performance levels throughout the project.
This cutting edge private cloud platform made it easy for Wright to quickly stand-up additional virtual instances when needed for collaboration systems or to support the depressurized operating system and application updates. Increased storage capabilities and performance also dramatically improved the end user experience. Many other supporting systems were added or updated to address Wright’s desire to provide maximum uptime to staff, partners, resellers, customers, and the supply-chain.
Wright was able to ramp up and streamline other subsequent efforts based on the new infrastructure platform Swift set up, supporting increased demand and significant new contracts. Wright increased their overall production capacity without concerns over past IT bottlenecks. Purchasing and warranty applications that were previously hosted externally were brought internal to Wright’s “private cloud” so that customer orders are now processed internally. This has also increased performance, reduced outside risks, and reduced maintenance costs.
Results & Benefits:
By dividing this project into multiple well planned phases, Wright was able to resolve the greatest risks quickly and to progressively upgrade systems according to a strategy that both addressed immediate risks and operational challenges while also facilitating a strategic quantum leap forward in terms of scalability and operational sustainability. This approach eliminated the need to make non-strategic tactical upgrades by deploying capital efficiently toward building blocks that culminated in a planned outcome spreading costs evenly across the life span of the project. The ultimate result was a reduction in operational costs, an increase in system performance and scalability, and the freeing up of human resources to focus on more strategic automation opportunities including barcoding and other higher level development work. The methodologies and outcomes of this project were both agile (delivering the highest value and reducing the greatest risks in the shortest time) and lean (deploying what was needed when it was needed) without sacrificing on the final product – a system on par with Wright’s other areas of operational excellence, delivering unprecedented performance, uptime, and value.
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About Swift Systems:
Swift Systems serves regional businesses as a provider of IT engineering and consulting services, colocation services, and other cloud-based services from two Swift Systems owned and managed data centers. Our dynamic infrastructure services and data management solutions help growing organizations solve their business challenges and successfully leverage their IT investments. We define flexible architecture for organizations that allow them to grow their businesses knowing that their network and critical storage and computing platforms can easily and cost effectively scale to meet their ever expanding needs. Swift Systems – a certified veteran owned small business and leading managed information technology (IT) solutions provider that delivers the highest level of technology based IT services to businesses, government agencies, and institutions throughout Maryland, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
For a full version of the Wright Manufacturing case study including network diagrams and technical descriptions, please send an email request to Swift Systems or call us today at 301.682.5100 or 877.SWIFT.S.I (877.794.3874).