Wing Yip Superstores Case Study
Wing Yip is widely recognised as the UK's leading Oriental grocer. Established by Mr Wing Yip and his brothers, and now with two family generations at the helm, the company has rapidly become one of the most celebrated stores, sourcing and supplying authentic ingredients to the UK's Chinese and Oriental restaurants for discerning chefs and food enthusiasts.
With over 40 years in the Oriental food trade, Wing Yip has developed an enviable network of Far Eastern suppliers and manufacturers enabling them to source quality and innovative products for their customers. With their iconic Chinese arches and features, Wing Yip superstores and business centres are recognisable landmarks in Birmingham, Manchester, Croydon and Cricklewood.
The IT team in the head office consists of two individuals and since 2015 a graduate intern. This small team maintains the vast estate of not only IT infrastructure but other connected devices such as their tills and weighing scales. In all, the network consists of around 300 devices across the Wing Yip estate.
Tony Ritson, Information Technology Manager at Wing Yip said We had servers dotted all over the place and it was becoming un-manageable.
As the infrastructure grew the manual monitoring of the estate got increasingly harder and the decision was made to look at a monitoring solution that could encompass all the disparate devices on the Wing Yip network and its future needs. One of their suppliers suggested they investigate Mutiny as a potential option and after meeting the team and seeing the capabilities of the system they were convinced Mutiny was the solution for them.
Wing Yip has been using the Mutiny solution since October 2005 to monitor virtually all of their infrastructure. This includes their internal IT systems consisting of: PCs, switches, routers, firewalls, email, servers, 40+ virtual servers and their website. It also includes less traditional devices such as their EPOS solutions (and accompanying software both on site and at their headquarters), IP Telephony, CCTV and even electronic scales and fridge monitoring.
Mutiny also ensures connections between their sites are performing at their best. Mutiny monitors their two connections; a BT leased line and ADSL. Wing Yip also uses Unitrends for backup which is monitored to ensure their systems and data are safe.
Recently the team have moved their external data centre in house which has added to the pressure on the Mutiny solution.
Tony said: Where ever we can get it on Mutiny we've got it on Mutiny
The Mutiny solution does away with the manual monitoring which they were doing previously. When the initial installation was done the business was running around 130 nodes, but since this point the network has more than doubled in size. The ability to monitor virtually everything within their sites gives them a robust and centralised overview of their entire operation, from their head office data centre to the shop floors.
As the network has grown, new devices have been added to the Mutiny monitoring solution, even where Mutiny has not natively supported a device. The team have been helpful in producing the connectivity for those devices. The ability to flex to the needs of the business was identified as one of the features that Tony sees as vital: We've included several products into the estate which we were not able to monitor in the past. We've gone to Mutiny and put in a support call'can you add it into the mutiny product', and they've added a number of bespoke Wing Yip devices. Better still, they'll talk to the third party and take the pressure of the end user, rather than us being the middle man.
Wing Yip uses the Mutiny SMS module which allows them to pro-actively identify signs of failure and issues, before they become real problems. The SMS service is connected to both their senior IT team and allows them to monitor 24/7. Tony said: The best thing about Mutiny is the fact that you don't just get an alarm when something goes wrong. It's being pro-active rather than reactive. So you'll get an alarm when something is getting critical, if memory gets to 85% or a disk gets to 90% you get told about it before it gets to 100%. You can do something about it before it becomes an issue.
The use of Mutiny and its highly customisable reporting engine also saves the business time, cutting through the noise to give them just the information they need. Wing Yip uses temperature monitoring both in their infrastructure and in their retail environments. The Mutiny product also talks to their fridge monitoring devices and allows them to print easy to read, comprehensive reports for trading standards; no more hand written sheets.
Tony believes that the Mutiny technology is invaluable to the business, Having Mutiny is honestly like having another member of the IT team, but one that works 24hours a day 7 days a week.
There are a number of changes planned for the immediate future, including plans for expansion, and with each new site there will be need for numerous new devices to be added to the monitoring. There are also plans for a new ERP solution across the organisation. This will run on Windows meaning that Mutiny can easily be deployed to monitor its services and status.
Lawrence Freeman, Operations Director at Mutiny said: Wing Yip is one of our oldest customers, and the use of our system across their estate shows the flexibility and power of the Mutiny solution. We look forward to supporting Wing Yip for many more years in their expansion as they add even more obscure devices.