MANUFACTURING | CASE STUDY
Founded in 1973, Comfy Quilts has grown to become one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of quilts, pillows, mattress covers and bed linens
Headquartered in Wilmslow, Cheshire, the family-owned business has four manufacturing and distribution sites across the Manchester region. In 2013, Comfy Quilts teamed up with LIMA to modernise its infrastructure and integrate IT with production in a bid to work more efficiently and accommodate future growth.
LIMA + Comfy Quilts = Growth + Innovation
Results at a glance
Continuous production with no downtime
Robust infrastructure to support up to 400 users
Estimated £150k savings in power and uptime costs
Improved processes leading to consolidation of physical sites
WHAT COMFY QUILTS SAID
“LIMA, through its people and solutions, has provided our team with the confidence to keep moving forward. From day one, LIMA took the time to understand our business and infrastructure in order to provide the right solutions and support that would suit not only our users and customers, but also deliver on the goals of the business.”
– Jason Corfield, Head of IT, Comfy Quilts
Delivering our Four-Cornered Methodology
Discovering aspirations and challenges
Following its major acquisition of Bedcrest, Comfy Quilts experienced accelerated growth, but its infrastructure hadn’t kept up. The business had ageing systems in place with only two servers running all of its applications.
The significant strain on these servers meant systems would frequently fail, affecting everything from production to dispatch. With Comfy Quilts manufacturing approximately 200,000 pillows and 60,000 quilts every week, the collapse of its ordering system would equate to losses of over £1.3 million in a single week.
Comfy Quilts’ Head of IT, Jason Corfield, was brought on board to bring the company up to speed and quickly got to work implementing a three-year strategy to integrate IT and production. Having completed successful IT projects for Jason in his previous roles, LIMA was selected to become the key IT partner for Comfy Quilts to ensure every aspect of his strategy was delivered.
Comfy Quilts key challenges
Ageing infrastructure prohibiting growth
Strain on two servers leading to frequent downtime
Inefficient and disjointed IT and production processes
Collapse of ordering system equating to losses of over £1.3 million a week
Identifying the right technology
LIMA worked closely with the team at Comfy Quilts to design and implement a robust backbone infrastructure to enable continuous production and provide the building blocks for virtualisation and growth.
In addition, we provided Comfy Quilts with a full disaster recovery solution. To achieve this, we mirrored the environment of its main production site at another site so that production would continue even if there was a problem at the main site.
This bolstered infrastructure and disaster recovery environment has helped the business to achieve estimated power and uptime cost savings of £150k a year.
Alongside major infrastructure work, LIMA has undertaken several smaller projects to help the business achieve continuous production, including the implementation of a secondary print server to make sure the labels stitched into the products could still be produced even if there was a failure with the first print server.
FlexPod Technology consisting of: 1x NetApp FAS2240HA - 5x Cisco UCS C220 - 2x Cisco Nexus 3048 - Microsoft Hyper-V - Veeam Backup & Replication Enterprise
FlexPod Technology consisting of: 1x NetApp FAS2552HA - 4x Cisco UCS C220 - 2x Cisco Nexus 3048 - Microsoft Hyper-V
Supporting businesses as they grow
Through delivering a secure and scalable infrastructure that’s integrated with production processes, Comfy Quilts has been able to increase efficiencies and dramatically reduce overheads. Since 2013, the company has downsized its number of physical locations while still achieving considerable growth, with the number of users increasing from 75 to nearly 400.
The improved infrastructure has also enabled Comfy Quilts to grow through the launch of a new ecommerce site, which offers an online ordering system linked to production to provide its customers with a simple, all-in-one solution.
With growth and innovation a huge driver for Comfy Quilts, LIMA’s fully managed ProActive support with PULSE Monitoring, ensures the smooth running of its systems 24/7, so its IT team can concentrate on projects that will drive the business forward.
Continuing to strive to excellence
Never a business to stand still, Comfy Quilts continues to work with LIMA to explore ways in which technology can advance production processes, with automation and IoT high on the agenda to deliver tomorrow’s improvements in efficiency and quality control.
LIMA ensured that the investment Comfy Quilts made in its infrastructure would provide the company with the building blocks it needed to keep growing and evolving into the future, making projects such as the upcoming move from a remote hosted desktop session to a full VDI model straightforward and disruption-free.