On 18th January 2007 in the early afternoon strong winds ripped the roof from Croft Engineering Services (CES) unfortunately injuring 6 staff in the process.
Croft Engineering Services, a highly successful manufacturing company specialising in all types of perforated plate, woven wire and mesh filters, had large parts of their factory floor made unavailable to them due to debris from the roof. This impacted their ability to run their business by making unavailable key equipment, computer systems and the loss of part of their skilled workforce.
Under these conditions customers may think that CES may not be able to continue to fulfil orders and may turn to other manufacturers. If customers moved their business elsewhere then this might have dire consequences to the future of CES.
CES requested that Wired IT Services, a supplier of theirs, help them by turning their Board Room into another office so that they could draft in additional staff to ensure contact was maintained with their customers. In this way customers would know CES was still in business and would be able to continue to manufacture customer’s orders.
Wired IT Services set up 4 additional computers in the Board room and connected these to CES's network. Since CES uses Wired IT Services Hosted Applications then these machines immediately had access to all of Croft's Applications. From request through to an active Board Room took less than 24 hours.
Neil Burns, Partner at Croft Engineering Services, said
"The damage from the wind was unexpected and devastating and we had to deal with staff in hospital and large parts of our factory floor unavailable. At this time I did not want to think about IT and I was glad that Wired IT Services came and took that worry from us. Due to their help we were able to contact our customers and keep the business running".
Andy Beesley, Business Development Director at Wired IT Services, commented by saying
"Croft Engineering Services is a treasured customer of ours and we were shocked to see the devastation a gust of wind can have on lives and on business. We were only too happy to help Neil in any way we could. CES runs its business from a key database and this was always safe as it is stored on our servers and therefore was not at risk from the roof collapse. In business, events like this happen and it is at this time that you see the strength of relationships you have with your staff and suppliers."
CES have survived the initial impact of the roof collapse and their business has managed to get back on its feet and is pulling through due to the perseverance of the workforce and the management team.
On April 27th a second hard disk failed in Claremont's server bringing it to a complete stop. On the server was all of the information that Claremont used to carry out its business of providing Dental Health Plan Administration support services. Without the server Claremont's business was at real risk.
The first disk failed a week earlier, but luckily for Claremont, Wired IT Services spotted this during their regular Health Check and were onsite with a spare disk when the second one failed.
A hard disk is the place where all of the documents, spreadsheets and databases are stored on a computer. A hard disk is constantly spinning and the information is read or written from the disk by a magnetic reader called a 'head' - a little bit like a stylus on a record player (but the 'head' must not touch the surface). Over time the 'head' might touch the hard disk surface and this is called a 'disk crash'. Disks are built to run for a long time but inevitably they will eventually fail. Of the three disks in Claremont's server, two failed within a week of each other.
After reviewing the situation with Claremont, Mark Slater, Operations Director for Wired IT Services decided to rebuild the server.
Mark says "Claremont had been sensible with their server and had used a data protection system called RAID. This allows one disk to fail without loss of any service or any information. Unfortunately they had two disk failures in a short space of time and the server could not cope. Claremont made us aware that they had a critical Direct Debit run to be completed by Tuesday and needed the server for this."
Wired IT Services provided a new server and worked through the weekend to bring Claremont back online in time for the Tuesday deadline for Direct Debit processing.
Mark Slater commenting on the job said "I was delighted to be able to help Claremont after the challenges became known. Disk failures are more common than customers think and it was reassuring that Claremont had a good backup policy, as we relied upon this to bring back their data."
Rob Williams, Managing Director of Claremont said "Claremont relies heavily on the thousands of records that we keep on the server. It is of paramount importance to the business. I was very concerned that the server failed but very glad that I had Mark's number. Wired IT Services breathed life back into our systems and worked around the clock until we were back and working. They did a great job!"