TRM Packaging Ltd. produce a wide range of packaging including conventional corrugated products, boxes, fitments, flat and pre-glued trays and double wall combinations.

They have a strong market share within the food and beverage sector but are also rapidly expanding into the glass packaging and healthcare markets.

Their main focus for their customers include; increasing work rate with efficient automated systems, eliminating wastage through intelligent production and adding to brand value with professional product presentation and on-shelf presence.

When their IT systems went down for two weeks, this cost them greatly not only in terms of cost but also their reputation, a far more valuable commodity. This showed them that they had become reliant on their computer automation process and therefore needed a stronger and more resilient IT system.

When considering how they could remove downtime by improving their current computer systems, they were presented with a number of problems.

  • They would need to purchase IT hardware
  • They would need off-site resilience systems to protect against disasters
  • They would need to employ specialist IT staff to manage the new hardware and software
  • Installation and training would take time

All of these factors had their own inherent risks and would require a high investment of capital.

When TRM looked at additional options concerning their IT systems, they consulted with K3 Starcom with a view to finding out the difference in price and the benefits associated with Cloud based systems.

Consultancy

The consultants at K3 Starcom investigated TRM’s current computer systems and identified ways they could maintain higher uptime and effectively safeguard their systems. After this they drew up a comprehensive system plan with transparent pricing.

Through being able to view a clear annual cost they were able see that by outsourcing they would be able to significantly reduce their spending. K3 Starcom’s main focus for TRM was to create a truly reliable base for their computer systems.

Resilience was obviously a big factor for them; the ability to recover as quickly as possible from any potential threat and reduce downtime wherever possible. From their initial older in-house IT systems, TRM have now taken on the full range of solutions to manage their requirements and maximise resilience across all areas of the business.

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Implementation and Upgrading

K3 Starcom originally provided TRM with hardware and software maintenance and managed services like email hosting and anti-virus, but for the past eighteen months have supplied the three systems which now form their core IT usage.

VMware is a virtual operating system where applications, data and software are held. This has many advantages over normal IT systems, the first being cost: On average companies can cut their IT expenditure in half by switching to VMware. This also means that they can handle heavy workloads much more easily as VMware offers a more dedicated service than operating systems which have to do lots of processes to achieve the same results. Often the simplest solution in IT is to make sure the system never has a chance of reaching its breaking point.

K3 Starcom employs their “StarServer” monitor to track potential threats, predict how much memory and speed the system will require and log any changes upon the system. Finding potential issues before they become problems is essential to good system uptime.

The first line of defence is an on-site Disaster Recovery suite. This system employs various safeguarding protocols. This system uses Dell Equallogics technology which takes a “snapshot” of the entire system, recording all of the data then automatically then backing it up, like a comprehensive system restore point. Ensuring systems have top-level protection is vital to ensuring business continuity.

Production has increased to a staggering 200 million retail ready packs as of last year and the company has been able to invest in newer, more efficient technology to increase its output even further: Recently TRM invested £17 million in latest technology machinery including a new corrugator that allows it to use lighter, better-performing paper grades and a greater recycled content in its packaging. TRM has also made plans to invest a further £7m in the business and the growth plans are expected to increase turnover by £40M over the next three years.

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"The consultants at K3 Starcom investigated TRM’s current computer systems and identified ways they could maintain higher uptime and effectively safeguard their systems. After this they drew up a comprehensive system plan with transparent pricing."