Notions Marketing Corporation offers the largest, most complete source of creative arts products on the planet.
“The creative arts market moves quickly, and so do we,” said Adam Boynton, Senior IT Manager at Notions Marketing. “It’s our job to stock every relevant product in the marketplace. We offer retailers the broadest scope of items and brands available anywhere.”
That explains why Notions Marketing serves many of the largest retailers in the world including Amazon, Target and Walmart. Service level agreements (SLAs) with each retailer define order fulfillment. On average, Notions Marketing ships 10,000 orders per day, but that number increases to 80,000 during the peak months of October, November and December. Every order is processed through an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
“Our ERP system is the backbone of our company, so you can imagine the panic we felt when legacy backup failed us,” Boynton said. “We couldn’t recover one of our systems-non-critical thank goodness-so we had to rebuild it from scratch, and that took several hours. What if this had been our ERP system? Our distribution center can’t shut down for several hours while we restore our ERP. We could lose more than $1 million per day in sales.”
If Notions Marketing can’t process orders, it can’t meet SLAs with retailers, who won’t be able to stock their shelves. During peak season, retailers stand to lose tens of millions of dollars if their customers can’t find what they need and shop elsewhere. As for customers, they’re impacted as well. It’s a huge inconvenience for them to run from one store to another looking for an item or frantically search for it online, especially on the last few days before Christmas. They may never return to the retailer, leading to a huge loss of business, market share and brand value.
“Retailers have every right to fine us for not meeting SLAs—up to $1,000 per day — and we serve more than 10,000 retailers,” Boynton said. “Losing our ERP system could literally put us out of business. We were in a dire situation with legacy backup. It had to be replaced, and fast.”
Notions Marketing replaced legacy backup with Veeam® Backup & Replication™.
“Veeam maximizes the availability of our ERP system so we can meet SLAs with our retailers, including Amazon, Target and Walmart,” Boynton said. “In this fast-moving digital age, SLAs are constantly changing and getting tighter, so ERP availability is a requirement, not an option. If your ERP system isn’t available 24.7.365, your business may be in jeopardy.”
Veeam maximizes the availability of any critical system. Notions Marketing backs up 150 VMware vSphere virtual machines on-premises (100 TB) so they’re available for instant recovery.
“Recovery took hours with legacy backup, but it takes minutes with Veeam,” Boynton said. “I can’t express the peace of mind that gives us. We’re doing our part in IT to protect the business from sales loss and SLA fines.”
Veeam also helps Notions Marketing comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which applies to companies that accept credit card payments.
“Veeam checks a very important box for us: secure backup of credit card data that can be recovered fast,” Boynton said. “Knowing we can verify and certify recoverability during an audit is one more way Veeam has our back.”
Notions Marketing Corporation is the world’s largest creative arts distributor. With more than 150,000 in-stock items and 40,000 new items added each year, the company helps 10,000 retail customers in 87 countries buy smarter, sell more and increase profits. Family owned and operated since 1938, Notions Marketing is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and employs approximately 1,000 people.
Notions Marketing has amassed more than 1 million square feet of distribution space containing nearly 8 miles of conveyor belts. During peak season, a highly customized ERP system works around the clock to process up to 80,000 orders per day. If the ERP system fails and can’t be recovered from a backup, Notions Marketing may not be able to meet SLAs with retailers (such as Amazon, Target and Walmart) and could go out of business.