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Holsten migrated from a SAP R/2 enterprise resource planning system to Oracle 8i and implemented a Wan on a dial-up basis to improve links between its Dorking headquarters and distribution depots at Feltham, Greenford and Swanscombe.
The dial-up network was upgraded with Cisco routers and always-on leased lines to replace £7,000-per-quarter dial-up costs with a single £7,000 annual charge.
The Wan provides real-time communications between Holsten's headquarters and its depots, allowing stock levels to be monitored and tracked. The initial implementation proved so useful to the distribution centres that usage exceeded expectations.
Katherine Todd, Holsten's head of IT, said, "We are seeing a significant return on investment. This is a key system which is robust and reliable. It has accelerated our processes - without it we would have lorries standing at the gate. Also, with real-time communications, we have less chance of input errors."