Ahlsell has a multi-sourcing strategy and works with six different suppliers who run their applications and are responsible for their communication systems.
Radar proactively monitors six outsourcing providers
With Rg19’s proprietary Radar system, Ahlsell gets a complete picture of their IT system. They can quickly identify and remedy any disruptions that occur.
Ahlsell is a leader in the Nordic region in installation products and offers professional users a wide range of goods and services related to their product areas: HVAC, Electricity and Tools & Machines.
- SEK 21 billion in sales
- 4,800 employees
- 110,000 active customers
- 15,000 active suppliers
- 150,000 orders per day
- 1,000,000 products
- Minimize lead times for critical IT systems
- Suppliers blame each other
- Multi-outsourcing strategy
- Rg19’s Radar system for monitoring
Ahlsell IT – a fulfillment company
To support Ahlsell’s business operations, they collaborate with some 20 application suppliers, the largest of which is Aptean (formerly Industri-Matematik), which supplies their supply chain, web shop and CRM systems.
Other important applications include Astro WMS (Consafe), transport management and track & trace (Centiro), PIM (Stibo), shop & drop (Information Factory), IFS Ekonomi, the Cognos reporting tool, and Microsoft and EDI (Sterling Commerce).
Ahlsell IT, which is largely a fulfillment company consisting of 14 people, is located in four countries and in 10 different locations. They communicate mostly through Microsoft Lync. For 14 years, the virtual organization has been led by CIP Kenneth Larsson.
Radar – monitoring of suppliers and systems
Ahlsell wants to avoid any situations where one outsourcing provider might blame another, so they have chosen to use Rg19’s Radar system, which gives them total control over their six outsourcing suppliers.
With the help of Radar, they get a complete picture of their IT and communications system, which enables them to quickly identify any disruptions that arise and initiate corrections as soon as possible.
- Proactive monitoring
- Quick resolutions of any disruptions
- Stable IT environment with a high degree of accessibility
- Cost-effective IT management
The Radar system does not resolve issues, but detects incidents that are occurring or about to occur. Today, Radar is designed primarily for the IT department, which supports the monitoring of all servers, routers, switches and the remaining LANs in the four Nordic countries from its laptops, smartphones and tablets. Via e-mail, they are notified about abnormal events that may require different types of actions. For example, they can see the average response times for the respective router.
Radar warning and alerts
Radar is used as a reminder alarm, since warnings and error messages also go to the different outsourcing partners, depending on which system indicates some type of error or warning.
There are different SLAs, depending on how business-critical the systems are. For most critical systems, the SLA is tough. We’re talking about a maximum of 60 minutes of downtime during one month. Should the downtime amount to 60 minutes and one second, the penalties start to add up.
“Since we’re selling 11 million SEK worth of goods an hour, a serious stop can turn into big losses. During the 14 years I’ve been here, however, this has only happened a handful of times,” says CIP Kenneth Larsson.
How is efficiency measured?
“If we didn’t have Radar, we would be at the mercy of our suppliers, instead of sitting behind the wheel. We have to be proactive so that the suppliers don’t blame each other, and nothing happens,” says Kenneth Larsson.
Because they have Radar, good agreements and tough SLAs, Kenneth is convinced that they have cut their downtime by at least half during serious incidents. So instead of being down for two hours, their system is up and running within an hour.
Radar has jokingly been given the nickname “PIA” (Pain In the Ass), as it enables them to constantly monitor their suppliers and IT systems with an eagle eye, and can thus identify incidents and get the problem resolved quickly. In this way, their suppliers pay them a lot of attention, which is important for quick problem solving.
Rg19 as supplier
“Rg19 has many competent employees, is business-minded and delivers cost-effective services. They manage the CRM system ‘Ahead’ for 3,000 users and it is stable and works well. Soon they will also launch a mobile version of Radar for tablets and smartphones, and we’re looking forward to that,” says Kenneth Larsson.
If you are interested in Radar or want to know more about how Rg19 can help you manage your IT systems, contact us and we will see how it fits your situation and needs.