geodis

Case Studies

a global supply chain operator

Geodis Wilson Australia ensures 500 Under Armour orders are shipped each day with new storage area network

Supply chain operator engages Core Technology Partners to provide storage and server equipment at its new Botany warehouse to serve the distribution requirements of clothing manufacturer, Under Armour.

Company profile

Geodis is a global supply chain operator with five lines of business: supply chain optimisation, freight forwarding, contract logistics, distribution and express, and road transport.

Geodis is part of SNCF Logistics, which is a business line of SNCF Group, the number one transport and logistics operator in France and ranked number four in Europe. The organisation has a direct presence in 67 countries and a global network spanning more than 120 countries. Geodis Wilson Australia operates 7 offices and 9 warehouses and employs 351 people across Australia and New Zealand.

Business challenge

In mid-2016, Geodis signed a global distribution agreement with American sports clothing and accessories company, Under Armour. Under the contract, Geodis is responsible for distributing Under Armour products sold through the manufacturer’s online and physical stores and other retailers.

“Under Armour decided to start expanding in Australia and needed a partner here to handle warehousing and distribution. We are clearing Under Armour’s products through Customs and storing them in our new warehouse in Botany in Sydney,” says Alan Barker, IT manager at Geodis.

New technology infrastructure was required to ensure Geodis could effectively fulfil Under Armour’s distribution needs from the 2,500 square metre warehouse.

“We needed to source some dedicated hardware to run the warehouse management and e-commerce ordering systems that we use every day,” says Barker.

Solution provided by Core Technology Partners

For the past 6 years, Geodis has sourced all of its server hardware, printers, network switches and routers from Core Technology Partners for its 9 sites across Adelaide, Brisbane, Freemantle, Melbourne and Sydney.

In June this year, Geodis turned to Core Technology Partners to provide server and storage hardware infrastructure to support core applications that are vital to the smooth running of its warehouse operation.

Core Technology Partners’ technical specialists deployed two Lenovo X series servers and one Lenovo DS series storage area network (SAN) array with 6TB of capacity. The infrastructure is connected to an existing wide area network (WAN), which links its 9 sites.

Core Technology Partners also installed and configured a VMware virtual server environment and supplied 10 Symbol scanners, which are used by staff who manage Under Armour’s stock in the warehouse.

Short time frame for deployment

Geodis had only 2 months from the time it secured new business with Under Armour to open the new warehouse for business so orders could be shipped out to customers, says Barker.

The team at Core Technology Partners ensured the server and storage hardware was installed with 3 to 4 weeks, he says.

This was vital as retailers use Geodis’ e-commerce system to place up to 500 orders each day for Under Armour’s products. Retail deliveries from Geodis’ warehouses to stores around Australia are completed every few weeks.

“Core Technology Partners’ technical specialists ensured that our new technology infrastructure was ready to go from day one,” says Barker.

A cost-effective virtual server environment

The deployment of a VMware virtual server environment by Core Technology Partners’ technical team has eased the burden of managing physical servers for Geodis. Without virtual server technology in place, the organisation would need to purchase six physical servers rather than only two, says Barker.

“Virtual server technology provides the flexibility for our technical staff to move workloads, add new servers into our environment and backup and replicate up to 6TB of data,” he says.

“If there’s a hardware failure, everything fails over to another server, which enables us to recover almost immediately.”

Why Core Technology Partners?

Core Technology Partners has been Geodis Wilson Australia’s “go to partner” for all its IT hardware purchases for 6 years, says Barker.

“Technical staff at Core Technology Partners are flexible and willing to meet all of our server and storage hardware requirements at very short notice,” he says.

“Their service and support is very good and they assist by working with vendors to get us the right products and quickly solve problems when the arise.”

Core Technology Partners also provides people with specialist skills in scoping out hardware requirements and database tuning to supplement Geodis’ small IT team of five staff in Australia.

“These are things our internal staff aren’t necessarily skilled up to do,” he says.

Problem

Deploy server and storage infrastructure quickly inside a new warehouse stocking and shipping out products for a global clothing brand.

Solution

Two Lenovo X series servers and one Lenovo DS series storage area network (SAN) array

Benefits

  • Ensured server and storage hardware that supported an e-commerce system fulfilling 500 orders per day was installed at the new warehouse within 3 to 4 weeks
  • Created a virtual server environment that eased the burden of managing infrastructure and eliminated the need to purchase 4 additional physical servers
  • Provided failover capabilities that enables the organisation to recover almost immediately in the event of server failure
  • Gained access to technical staff with specialist skills that the organisation does not have internally