Keystone Automotive Revs Up Server Horsepower to Boost Operations
POMONA, CA - 30 Aug 2006: Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc. has streamlined its operations and made technology a strategic weapon with one of the world’s most powerful servers from IBM (NYSE: IBM), enabling 99.9 percent up-time and improving operating efficiencies throughout the organization.
Car accidents happen everyday, and as the largest distributor of aftermarket auto body parts, Keystone needs speed in its data center to maintain its competitive lead. It is a business that mandates both speed and quality -- collision parts must be delivered exactly when they are needed -- damage free and indistinguishable from original equipment parts.
Keystone’s CIO recognized that superior technology was crucial to better meet the needs of its body shop clients. IBM stepped in and replaced the hardware and database software behind Keystone’s distribution operations, including finance, purchasing, warehouse order processing and inventory management. Consistent performance from IBM has enabled hundreds of Keystone locations to be more efficient in processing sales orders and interacting with customers.
“With IBM System p5, we went from multiple seconds to sub-second application response time. We run reports in half the time or less. Processes that took five days before now run overnight,” said Keystone Automotive Industries’ Chief Information Officer Jesus Arriaga.
Keystone has successfully consolidated 13 outdated systems to a single ERP suite, Prelude, provided by Activant. At the basis of Keystone’s entirely new infrastructure is the IBM System p595 and an IBM Unidata database.
It was a high-risk initiative since the company had scrapped software applications from two previous ERP vendors. This time Keystone completed the implementation across 136 locations on time, while providing the functionality the company needed to keep growing year over year in sales.
Keystone required a system that could scale for growth, with built in reliability and stability. Keystone supports approximately 2,000 users and anticipates that number could grow as the company grows over time. Other key selection factors included the server’s ability to turn on additional processors, add extra memory and provide built-in redundancy. In other words, if a processor fails, the workload will be executed automatically by another processor.
“If a processor goes out, we continue to move forward without a problem and see no issue with the performance. The system availability has really paid off,” said Arriaga.
Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc. distributes its products primarily to collision repair shops through its 136 distribution facilities, of which 22 serve as regional hubs, located in 38 states and Canada. Its product lines consist of automotive body parts, bumpers, and remanufactured alloy wheels, as well as paint and other materials used in repairing a damaged vehicle. These products comprise more than 19,000 stock keeping units that are sold to more than 25,000 repair shops throughout the United States and Canada.
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