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QK Cold Stores Go Live With PathFinder High Availability Module

About QK Cold Stores

QK Cold Stores (Marston) Ltd provides cold storage & distribution solutions to customers in the manufacturing, food service and retail industries. Based at Marston, near Grantham, they have a total on site cold storage capacity of 157,000m3, with over 30,000 system controlled pallet locations.

QK routinely process in excess of 100 trucks, 2,500 pallets, & 2,500 EDI files per 24 hour period.

With systems designed to support exacting supply chain management requirements, QK need to be able to provide their customers with access to real time stock information from anywhere in the world.

QK & Orion have a long standing partnership going back to 2005. PathFinder just works. It is reliable, stable, & fast. QK can just forget it’s there working away in the background whilst we get on with the operation.

Darrell Swain, Business Development Manager, QK Cold Stores (Marston) Ltd.

PathFinder at QK Cold Stores

The PathFinder system handles a variety of messages, including Exchange of pre-receipt advice, receipt confirmation, orders, order despatch confirmation, product status, new product set up, & new delivery point set up.

The nature of the business is such that processing is continuous, 24/7, and – in most cases – just in time. As a result, any delay of data processing can have significant effects on the business.

PathFinder has handled all of these requirements since its installation, 12 years ago, and the system has just been updated to allow for quicker and more reliable processing. Previously, the site operated two PathFinder servers – one Live and one Backup – with automatic switching between the two as necessary, via a third party application, Lifekeeper.

The PathFinder High Availability (HA) Module

With the installation of the PathFinder High Availability module, QK Cold Stores will be able to make more efficient use of their servers. Rather than having a backup server sitting doing very little, except for replicating the live system, High Availability allows for multiple servers to be live simultaneously, working together, side-by-side. Should any server need to be shut down – due to technical issues or routine maintenance – the remaining server(s) accept the load, and processing continues, until the issue is resolved.

This makes better use of the available hardware, and also removes any requirement to periodically test any backup server, as all PathFinder HA servers are in constant operation checking both the data queues and each other.

It is totally flexible, can translate to & from any file type, & can be tailored through programming to any customer requirement. The GUI for QK users is superb, & allows us to search any query for a definitive answer almost instantly.

The team at Orion are friendly & efficient, but also progressive, in that new versions & service packs are routinely rolled out to upgrade their products. Without PathFinder we simply wouldn’t be able to process the activity we get through with the level of accuracy we achieve.

Darrell Swain, Business Development Manager, QK Cold Stores (Marston) Ltd.

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Using Orion Consulting's flexible approach enables Marston's to respond to trading partner requests in a way that often exceeds their expectations. Orion work closely with us during the development and test phases of our projects and post-implementation, we receive excellent support from Orion.

I would recommend Orion Consulting to other organisations without reservation and regard them very much as part of the extended Marston's team.

Phil Court, Head of Technology Delivery, Marston’s PLC