About George Lodge & Sons

George Lodge & Sons Ltd, based in Hull, is one of the largest bearings and power transmission distributors in the north of England and has been in business for over 130 years.

Formed in 1880, it began distributing bearings in the 1920s and by the 1990s had added numerous other products to its range including lubricants, oil seals, tools, wheels, castors and springs. In total, the company now has over 50,000 stock lines held onsite ready for immediate despatch via its fleet of delivery vehicles.

The company has 11 employees, 10 of whom are IT users.

Number of Employees: 11

Partnered with OGL since: 2005

Company Location: Hull, East Yorkshire

Company Website: www.georgelodgedirect.co.uk

George Lodge & Sons attributes 50% turnover increase to OGL’s prof.ITplus

Until 2005, George Lodge & Sons was predominantly a paper-based organisation with only a select number of functions computerised.

Striving for efficiencies and a more professional image, George Lodge & Sons purchased what was OGL’s premier software product at the time, Neptune, in order to computerise the business throughout.

At the same time, the business purchased a whole range of IT hardware to enable each staff member to have their own individual PC, system access and email address, rather than having one PC and a single email address that was shared by all employees.

George Lodge & Sons Managing Director, said: “Following the 2005 partnership with OGL our IT infrastructure improved beyond all comprehension. Overnight we became a fully computerised operation with easy access to historic records, click-of-a-button stock level reports and fully integrated analysis tools which gave us a way of running comprehensive business reports for the first time.”

Today, Neptune has been replaced by OGL’s current flagship business management tool, prof.ITplus, a bigger, better and more powerful version of Neptune.

“We chose Neptune over Microsoft Great Plains and Sage MMS because it offered a tailor- made solution to all our requirements and all of the requests we made to OGL were met with positive answers. Neptune as it was then, and prof.ITplus as it is now, gives us everything we need and more.”

George Lodge & Sons has very successfully harnessed all of the functionality of prof.ITplus and have embedded it into the heart of their operation meaning their return on investment is significant.

Since upgrading to prof.ITplus from Neptune five years ago, George Lodge & Sons reports a 50 percent increase in turnover and a reduction in staff from 15 to 11 employees. “No redundancies were made, we just had no need to replace retirees or leavers because of the efficiency that prof.ITplus has introduced to the business.”

In addition to contracting prof.ITplus for ten users, George Lodge & Sons also has a hardware support and data recovery contract with OGL. This means that IT experts are never more than a phone call or email away should it be required.

Kurt Barone, George Lodge & Sons’ dedicated OGL Account Manager recalls, “I spoke to George Lodge & Sons in 2012 and advised them about the unnecessary risks that were being taken by not having a full data recovery contract in place. prof.ITplus contains all their customer data, not to mention the stock levels of its 50,000 product lines, so having a full disaster recovery plan really was critical for this business.”

Consequently, a contract for OGL’s data recovery product was set in place. Neither Kurt or George Lodge & Sons could have predicted just how invaluable the ability to recover their prof.ITplus system 18 months later would prove to be.

The UK’s worst tidal surge in 60 years hits premises of George Lodge & Sons

On December 5th 2013, the George Lodge & Sons’ site, situated on the edge of Hull’s Albert Dock, was victim to a devastating tidal surge as a result of days of torrential rain and storm-force gales over the nearby North Sea. The extreme weather caused the River Humber’s banks to burst which then flooded Albert Dock causing huge surges of water to gush into the surrounding industrial area which included the George Lodge & Sons’ premises. In a matter of minutes, the building and many others surrounding it were deluged with between 3 and 5ft of flood water.

“In our 130 year history, it was the biggest single incident that we have faced. The immediate effects of the flood in December were loss of £300,000 worth of stock, uninhabitable offices and no electricity. With no electricity, this effectively meant an almost total shutdown of our operation because we had no IT, telephones, lights or heating. The server and all PCs were destroyed.”

“The reaction to our disaster by OGL was excellent and by the same evening we had been given access to all our data on a virtual copy of prof.ITplus that was hosted in OGL’s cloud. All we needed was an internet connection. Knowing the company data was protected and accessible was a relief although we clearly had many other issues to overcome.”

OGL’s data recovery product – called cRecovery - is a managed service which automatically replicates a company’s data to OGL’s maximum security offsite storage location every night. In the event of a complete disaster which destroys a company’s onsite appliance, such as the Hull tidal surge, the data, operating systems, IT applications, their settings and email are restored on OGL’s virtual servers at their tier-IV aligned data centre and are accessible via any internet connected device.

Having taken out a cRecovery contract the previous year, they were able to call OGL and activate their data recovery plan without delay. “There were many phone calls before our hosted version of prof.ITplus and email was fully functional so it was not quite as smooth as I would have expected. However, the OGL staff involved in the data transfer offered fantastic service and remained immediately contactable at all times during the transfer process and this included numerous phone calls out of normal working hours and over the weekend.”

Colin Dennis, OGL’s Hosted Service Delivery Manager explained: “Such a catastrophic loss of IT and power did mean that although George Lodge & Sons’ version of prof.ITplus was fully replicated in the cloud by the close of play on the day the incident occurred, we had to rely on other contractors, such as the broadband contractor and power company, to do their bit too. Consequently, we ended up with staff using dongles to access prof.ITplus, until broadband and a fully secure firewall had been reinstalled a few days later.”

In summary, George Lodge & Sons Managing Director said: “On the whole, the service from OGL was superb and it is a credit to many of their staff, in particular Kurt Barone, our Account Manager, who kept us fully informed of the progress of all the work being carried out.”

“OGL is a very valuable partner to us and we would recommend them to other potential clients, particularly in respect of prof.ITplus.”

"The reaction to our disaster by OGL was excellent and by the same evening we had access to all our data on a virtual copy of prof.ITplus that was hosted in OGL’s cloud. All we needed was an internet connection. Knowing the company data was protected and accessible was a relief although we clearly had many other issues to overcome."

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