Virtualisation technology leads to greener business operations

Profile

Worldwide Fruit Ltd is one of the UK’s largest fruit marketing and distributing companies, specialising in the supply of apples, pears, kiwi fruit, dates & avocado to major UK multiple retailers. The company works with growers from every part of the globe to ensure consumers get great tasting fruit 12 months of the year.

Worldwide Fruit Ltd (WFL) was created in 1993 following a merger between Geest Worldwide Fruit and Enzafruit New Zealand UK Ltd and a subsequent investment from Northcourt – an amalgamation of the UK’s finest suppliers of home-grown apples and pears.

The company’s commercial, international procurement and central administrative teams are located at the firm’s Spalding offices. A high proportion of the imported apples and pears are packed on-site, as well as speciality lines avocado, kiwi and dates.

Issue

As an expanding global business and a leading UK supplier of apples and pears, the business relies heavily on robust and efficient IT systems to ensure the smooth transition from orchard to shop. In addition, more than 100 UK growers need to be able to access WFL’s servers so efficiency and accessibility were key requirements for the company’s IT systems.

Solution

Quiss Technology had a strong history with WFL; playing a pivotal role in the company’s office moves at Spalding, Whitstable and Chartham. Quiss had also been instrumental in upgrading and maintaining all IT systems, changing business applications and deploying wireless connectivity in the fruit distributor’s warehouse.

Based on the work already completed, Quiss was awarded a new six-figure contract to include the virtualisation technology to significantly reduce the number of servers required for Worldwide Fruit’s global business operations. The new system implemented by Quiss supported the company’s social responsibility commitments with the new servers consuming less power than their predecessors as well as using less energy to maintain the optimum temperature of the server room. The combined power of the new servers, workstations and screens offer an estimated 20% reduction in power usage.

Gordon Clark, Finance Director at WFL said: “Worldwide Fruit ensures the supply of apples, pears, avocados and dates 365 days of the year, so we’re a 24/7 operation.

“The way we operate means our IT supplier must work in very close collaboration with Prophet who supply us with software designed specifically for the fresh produce market.

“Quiss had already proved it can work well in tandem with our providers – in fact, I can say that the improved efficiency we enjoy thanks to our partnership with Quiss and Prophet has been an important factor which has led to a 1% increase to our bottom line.

“Our existing relationship with Quiss was also a key factor in our decision. Over the last seven years, Quiss has demonstrated a thorough understanding of our business and the processes required to keep us in our market-leading position. The Quiss team proved it could handle the continued expansion of our business – and we have planned an increase of 30% in our computer capacity in the new contract.

“The new contract offered by Quiss was made even more attractive by the fact it’s all encompassing so there are no limits to the amount of calls we make to the helpdesk, or the number of callouts we request. This means we don’t have to keep track or worry if something else comes up – and of course it means there are no hidden costs. Other IT outsourcers we met with would only offer a limited package which would have led to additional costs further down the line.”

The latest contract also includes the provision for business continuity. The methodology adopted by Quiss ensures that any physical or virtual server failure will be automatically corrected by the software and in the event of a power failure, available standby time is now greatly enhanced. The installation of the latest technology ensures high availability disaster recovery.

“Our recent profitability growth means we have also been able to invest more in the equipment used by our staff,” adds Gordon.

“Office 2010 means multiple users can work on the same document at the same time to respond faster and meet deadlines. The new laptops also have in-built provision for encryption which offers enhanced security.”

Clive Taylor, Operations Director at Quiss said: “After seven years of working with Worldwide Fruit, and its staff, our knowledge not only extends to the IT systems but also into the way that Worldwide Fruit works as a business and its growth aspirations. This knowledge has been acquired by people at all levels within Quiss, ensuring that we deliver a consistently high
level of service.”

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