Sigma 3 Kitchens Ltd – Infrastructure Assessment

Sigma 3 asked Net Consulting to ensure their infrastructure could support a new piece of software.

Sigma 3 Kitchens Ltd – Infrastructure Assessment

Overview

Sigma 3 Kitchens Ltd is a trusted UK kitchen manufacturer with over 40 years of experience. Founder Brian Lakin started making kitchens for friends and family out of an old farm building in Barry back in the 1970s. Now, Sigma 3 runs its manufacturing operations from a 72,000 sq ft, state of the art factory, that produces 1,750 cabinets a week.

Sigma 3's Business and IT Director, Tim Larcombe, wanted to improve performance across the company’s network by introducing a new piece of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Before investing £500k on new software, however, he needed to be sure that the company’s network could support it. He engaged Net Consulting to verify the network suitability and de-risk implementation of the new software.

THE CHALLENGE

Sigma 3's enterprise resource planning software (ERP) was running slow, but they were unable to determine the cause. The business had recognised the need for new software, but wanted to ensure it was the software running slow and not the infrastructure underpinning it before committing to buy. Sigma 3's relatively small IT team did not have the internal knowledge to determine network suitability, so reach out to a third party consultancy (Net Consulting) for support.

THE SOLUTION

Tim was ready to introduce a new business-critical application onto Sigma 3’s infrastructure. The company’s corporate network had served him well, but Tim needed assurance it was still fit for purpose with enough capacity to support the new software. 

Net Consulting undertook a network health check to verify the network’s suitability in advance of introducing the new software, and to de-risk its implementation.  

how it works

After an initial scoping & discovery phase to identify all the network equipment, a server was deployed to monitor each device and each port, looking for key metrics that could impact performance. 

These metrics included: 

  •        Interface utilisation to identify throughput bottlenecks
  •        Interface errors to identify potential hardware or cabling issues
  •        CPU & memory utilisation to ensure that devices were not being overloaded while managing current loads or performing too many complex tasks

 

After a 10-day monitoring period, the results were collated using custom scripts developed in-house to identify the top most poorly-performing ports or devices for each metric. 

The information produced was collated into a report that identified the potential bottlenecks and suggested solutions to each path, ranging from a device upgrade to network design changes that would allow for improved throughput to be supported. 

Armed with the results of the network health check, and understanding the capacity available to him, Tim could then implement the new software with confidence. 

Sigma 3, Net Consulting

Results

  • Discovered additional capacity on the network
  • Recommendations made to further improve network efficiency
  • Identified old ERP system as the cause of the delays
  • Enabled Tim to purchase new ERP software with confidence

“I wanted to make sure it was the software running slow rather than our infrastructure failing us before investing £500k on new software and getting the same response."

– Tim Larcombe, IT and Systems Director, Sigma 3 Kitchens Ltd

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