Kichler designs and produces decorative lighting, landscape lighting and ceiling fans. The Kichler brand, which includes more than 3,000 products, is available through authorized independent distributors such as Lowe’s and select e-retailers. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Kichler has been privately owned and operated since 1938.
When the supply chain stops moving, companies feel the effects immediately. Orders can’t be logged, manufacturing sits idle and deliveries arrive late. Reputation and revenue are at risk. To stay on track, the supply chain must stay in motion, which means the IT systems that support the supply chain must be available 24.7.365.
Kichler Lighting offers more than exceptional products. Kichler offers awardwinning craftsmanship, unparalleled quality and superior service. The company’s commitment to quality and customer care is its greatest competitive advantage and the foundation for 80 years of commercial success.
“It’s fairly easy to get into the lighting business, but it’s very difficult to succeed,” said Monique Spearing, Marketing Communications Manager at Kichler. “Reputation is everything in our industry. If we run out of stock and fail to deliver what we promised to our distributors, they’ll find another lighting manufacturer.”
One of Kichler’s largest distributors is Lowe’s, a home-improvement megastore that serves 17 million customers each week in 2,400 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.
“Lowe’s carries many of our products, and they trust us to keep their stores stocked,” Spearing said. “If something happens to our supply chain—if we can’t take orders or fulfill orders—our reputation could suffer irreparable damage, and revenue would take a direct hit.”
According to a study by the World Economic Forum, more than 25 percent of a company’s market value is directly attributable to its reputation. Deloitte cited this statistic in a 2014 global survey about reputation risk. Eighty-eight percent of the 300 companies surveyed said they explicitly focus on managing the vulnerabilities that put their reputation and revenue at risk.
A large part of Kichler’s risk was disaster recovery. The company couldn’t recover its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system fast enough to keep the supply chain in motion. Kichler’s ERP system is the backbone of its supply chain.
“Recovering our ERP system could take days, reducing our supply chain to a trickle and making downtime and data loss a distinct possibility,” said Philip Freund, Manager of Application Infrastructure at Kichler. “Downtime and data loss prevent us from taking and fulfilling orders, putting our reputation on the line with distributors. We can’t afford to lose distributors because they’re our conduit to customers, brand loyalty and sustained business growth.”
Kichler deployed Veeam® Availability Suite™ to keep its supply chain running 24.7.365, retain stellar relationships with distributors and sustain ongoing business growth. Veeam also saves the company $50,000 per year in backup costs.
“We’re only as good as the people we employ and the technology we use — that’s why we deployed Veeam,” Freund said. “Veeam gives us the assuredness that our supply chain will run without disruption so we can serve our distributors in a timely, efficient manner. Veeam helps us protect our reputation and revenue — it’s a great insurance policy.”
Veeam keeps Kichler’s supply chain in motion through high-speed backup, replication and recovery.
“Recovery with Veeam is 99 percent faster than the previous solution,” Freund said. “That’s the difference between being able to restore an ERP system in minutes rather than days. It’s the difference between being able to take orders, fulfill orders, pay bills and receive payment—or not. Veeam provides a level of availability that we never thought possible for a company of our size. The business can depend on having the data it needs when it needs it.”
Veeam also monitors and reports on Kichler’s VMware environment, which spans several locations.
“Veeam provides complete visibility of the health and well-being of our virtual machines, which enables us to detect and fix issues before they impact our supply chain,” Freund said. “We maintain consistent availability of our ERP system, and that’s how we keep the business afloat and profitable. Our IT infrastructure is a well-oiled machine because of Veeam.”
Veeam also saves the company $50,000 each year in backup maintenance fees.
“Veeam saves the company money, which allows us to invest in new technologies that will benefit the business,” Spearing said. “Ten years ago we invested in adding ceiling fans to our portfolio, and now Kichler is one of the leading ceiling fan distributors. Partnering with vendors like Veeam who help us save money and improve our processes is one way we are able to grow as a company.”