The BCP Technical Services team have transformed the IT infrastructure at foodservice wholesaler W McClure Ltd, giving the company a flexible, cost effective, Windows-based network architecture which delivers a host of new functionality and is easy to both manage and expand. Highly secure and reliable, the new infrastructure opens up Internet access to all PCs on the network, and provides messaging and scheduling capabilities, as well as centralised file storage and backup. It also prepares McClures for trading via the web.
A family owned business, established in 1945 and based in Windermere, McClures has nearly 60 years’ experience in the foodservice industry.
With a turnover exceeding £9.5m, McClures serves some 1200 catering customers throughout Cumbria, North Yorkshire and North Lancashire.
Customers include Hotels, Pubs, Restaurants, Care Homes, Local government, area health authorities and schools authorities.
BCP is one of the UK’s top suppliers of specialist Supply Chain solutions to the Food and Drink Wholesale industry.
McClures were previously using a Workgroup network which, though relatively small, was proving inflexible, difficult to manage and very restrictive with email and web access limited to a single machine with a dial up connection.
The solution was to implement a Domain network managed by the Active Directory service of Microsoft Windows Server 2003. In addition to the UNIX server running the Accord wholesale solution, two new HP servers were implemented in a multiple server network that provides file and print, messaging, network administration services, and improved security. All users now have easy access to the relevant shared information on the servers, while file access and data backup are managed centrally.
Microsoft ISA Server (Internet Security and Acceleration Server) provides a software firewall and proxy server access to the Internet for all users. This gives a more reliable and robust connection to the Internet with the advanced security and event logging needed for networked Internet access.
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 provides unified messaging services, which include internal and external e-mail and group scheduling capabilities. BCP have also implemented anti virus software management with automatic updates to provide continued protection against the latest viruses.
The new infrastructure was implemented with minimum disruption to McClures’ trading, the system being built at BCP then installed at McClures over the course of a single weekend.
Mike Edmunds, McClure’s IT Manager, says the company is: “delighted with the new set-up. We now have a flexible and secure infrastructure which provides the platform required to take orders over the internet in the future.” To utilise Accord’s Web Ordering module McClures would now need only to install a web server, Webspeed software and, of course, the Web Ordering module. Other services available with Domain – VPN for remote access, Intranets, group policies for controlling PCs, for example – can now all be easily and economically added on, at McClures’ convenience.
BCP Technical Services Team has a wealth of expertise in IT infrastructure – from building, through deployment to ongoing support. Several other BCP clients already take advantage of this expertise in order to attain greater functionality alongside improved security, flexibility and ease of management.