The solution for a complex 24/7 operation
When it comes to providing IT, the LeaderBrand environment is very demanding: it’s a complex business with lots of moving parts.
There is a manufacturing platform, various production-related systems, a SCADA facility that controls factory automation in terms of water flow, critical to food and hygiene in the factory. There is dispatch. There is a sales platform. There are over 200 fulltime staff plus 300 casuals, meaning a massive payroll, with both permanent and seasonal staff across the course of the year.
Fusion Networks has developed a Hybrid IT environment for Leaderbrand. Delivering a connected seamless user experience whether in the office or out in the field in a cost effective manner was a critical success factor for the business to operate.
New Zealand’s most recognised and diverse horticultural business
Leaderbrand is vertically integrated, producing, growing, harvesting, packing, marketing and distributing all of its own product domestically and internationally. For 4-5 months of the year the business is in turbo mode as different products come into season. LeaderBrand has at least five sites around the country with two key sites located in the Gisborne region. With a $20m factory to provide the capacity required to handle the demand for bagged salads, means there are 17 different servers that have different systems to manage it all. On top of this, the 200 permanent and 300 casual staff nationally all impacting the network and technological deliverables.
Meeting the challenges
For a company with a New Zealand-wide sales and distribution network, it was a big problem that Auckland sales people were dropping their sessions 2 – 3 times a day, making sales and taking orders a very frustrating process. Fusion took responsibility for the WAN part of business. At the end of 2015 after an exercise for data resilience and a contestable pitch, Fusion took the LeaderBrand business to the next level, introducing hybrid cloud hosting.
Fortinet provided two elements into LeaderBrand – the core firewall security appliances in High Availability (HA) mode and wireless access points, consisting of indoor and outdoor industrial AP’s to provide coverage across the admin offices, manufacturing plants and distribution facilities.
The firewalls provide all outbound and inbound security to the LeaderBrand WAN across all sites. LeaderBrand utilises the Web filtering and access control features to ensure their users are safe and using Internet resources sensibly.
LeaderBrand operates 24/7 production facilities during peak times, maintaining / deploying an IT system that can keep up with the demands of such a business. Fusion have built a Hybrid IT environment consisting of on premises servers using existing server environment and Fusion Cloud hosted servers including file, remote desktop, database (financial and ERP systems ).
Collaboration with Fortinet and use of the Fortinet Security Fabric has meant mitigation of threat intelligence, enhance overall threat awareness, and broaden threat response from end to end. Replacement of an aged ERP system with a variant of the Microsoft Navision – LinkFresh, designed for the horticulture business sector gives scalability and future proofs the company for growth and future change.
Fusion are focused on business operations through the delivery of effective reporting and analytics, including forecasting and what-if analysis. Our goal is for technology to become invisible via delivery of a seamless mobile experience from the office to the factory floor and farm.