Update: Ash City now goes by the name of alphabroder after the company acquired them in 2014.
Ash City (now known as alphabroder) has an extensive product inventory, online and print marketing tools, customization services and speedy delivery to meet their corporate gifting and promotional needs. Ash City products are sold to marketing and advertising companies across North America and Europe who, in turn, service the corporate casual, resort retail and resort green grass markets.
The promotional apparel industry is a highly competitive one, so it’s imperative to continuously re-evaluate and improve operations – not only customer facing services, but behind-the scenes business units as well.
One such business improvement initiative was Ash City’s implementation of a new ERP system. Ted Dayno, IT Manager at Ash City Worldwide explains, “We required additional computing resources to accommodate a migration and testing environment for our ERP system without negatively impacting our production environment and employee productivity.”
Ash City intended to update their IBM System i to the latest IBM POWER Systems technology and they needed an experienced implementation partner to help execute their plans. “Since we had dealt with Sentia before, they had already demonstrated their ability to deliver a high quality solution on short notice. Their technical consultants are very knowledgeable and well trained,” says Mr. Dayno.
Gary Millward, Account Executive at Sentia, an IBM Premier Business Partner, describes why Sentia was a good fit for Ash City, “With our expertise in performance management, capacity planning, and systems design for IBM POWER Systems, we knew we could help Ash City move forward quickly with full confidence in the new system. Right-sizing the solution was key.” The results are separate Production, High Availability and Development environments that completely eliminate risk to Ash City’s core business.
Ash City Worldwide started as a small distribution centre in Toronto in the late 1970’s, and has since grown to an organization that employs 500 people globally, including Canada, the United States, Malaysia and Bangladesh. Practically every function of the company touches every customer order, from production department through to customer service and distribution - they all work together to ensure the final goal of total customer satisfaction is achieved.
To maintain customer service standards and to keep pace with the company’s growth, Mr. Dayno was tasked with updating their ERP system - and finding a way to do so without causing disruption to their current production environment. “Our existing IBM System i production machine wasn’t partitioned, so we didn’t want to load our new ERP software within the same server and risk affecting our production environment,” explains Mr. Dayno, “We needed a new server.”