iCorps Technologies—the single-source IT vendor for one of the Northeast’s oldest packaging companies—applies its unique whole business approach to customized technology solutions that support Industrial Packaging’s business and drive the company’s profitability, productivity, and success.
Industrial Packaging has seen many changes in the industry since its founding in 1953. This dynamic corporation in Oxford, Massachusetts sells packaging films, packaging equipment and provides custom contract packaging for its clients, which include many fortune 500 companies.
For much of its 53 years in business, Industrial Packaging had relied on its employees for manual accounting, sales, and inventory record-keeping. During the 1980s, it moved some of these back-office tasks to a mainframe platform. “Until 1999, we were using an old UNIX box,” explains Mike Mills, Vice President of Operations at Industrial Packaging.“ Dumb terminals on everyone’s desks were used primarily for order entry, accounts receivable, billing, and general ledger work.” As time passed and the business grew, the inefficiencies and limitations of the older mainframe platform became more obvious. “We knew we had to move away from that,” says Mills.
An important first step in that move was finding the right technology partner—one that could broaden the company’s IT capabilities and handle its technology needs, since Industrial Packaging had no dedicated internal technical staff. iCorps Technologies’ comprehensive outsourced IT services were a perfect complement, and would give Industrial Packaging the power and flexibility to handle any aspect of its technology requirements as needed.
iCorps was called in initially to help with a few problems that Industrial Packaging was having with its mainframe system and soon performed an in-depth audit of their existing systems, processes, and future business objectives. The goal was to create a stable, reliable, secure technology infrastructure that would improve productivity and profitability, and allow Industrial Packaging to focus fully on its core business.
iCorps’ key recommendations were to replace the old mainframe system with a new local area network (LAN) and a Windows-based file server platform, email, remote access, and firewall security. iCorps implemented the changes, and to ensure that the new system continued to perform optimally, also established a proactive maintenance program with scheduled visits, and a 24/7 help desk.
The move to the file server platform afforded the company many benefits, including improved internal and external communications and increased efficiency, staff productivity, and workflow.
iCorps enhanced Industrial Packaging’s sales effectiveness by establishing a secure and reliable remote access solution. And it strengthened the reliability, security, and stability of the company’s entire technology infrastructure.
The file server platform and LAN had worked well for Industrial Packaging for six years. Though new in 1999, the hardware was aging and nearing end-of-life by 2005. The company’s business had grown, its needs had changed, and Industrial packaging was once again at the point of needing to refresh its technology. Rather than simply replacing the old hardware with new equipment and software, iCorps searched for ways to help Industrial Packaging reduce their operational expenses and build an architecture that would support the firm’s growth and changing requirements. iCorps recommended and led the planning and implementation of a Terminal Services solution that helped to streamline and centralize system administration, reduce end-user support issues, and further enhance remote access capabilities—all without replacing a single PC.
Finger on the Pulse Industrial Packaging has recently added iCorps’ leading-edge, automated remote monitoring services which continually monitor the health and activity of the company’s network, servers, applications, and security. iCorps can detect, pinpoint, and resolve problems rapidly—often before the company even realizes there is an issue—reducing downtime, and enhancing system stability.
As a result of the increased efficiencies, upgrades, monitoring, and implementation of Terminal Services for Industrial Packaging, iCorps has reduced the company’s on-site maintenance and support costs by 45% while maintaining service standards. In addition, future company growth will have a minimal impact on basic equipment costs. “Terminal Services will allow us to grow significantly without more hardware,” states Mills. “Any way we can cut costs is helpful, because that’s what our customers are demanding of us.”
Industrial Packaging is pleased with the technology—and business—results that iCorps has produced. “iCorps is our strategic partner and a valuable IT consultant. We’re in business together,” says Mills. “I look to them not only to maintain our current IT structure, but also to provide a vision of how technology can work for us in the future as we strive to reduce costs.”
Working with Industrial Packaging at both the boardroom level and in the trenches certainly gives iCorps a good perspective on the company’s business needs and objectives. This vantage helps iCorps continue to drive the smart implementation of solid technology—and make it work— for Industrial Packaging, today and tomorrow.