CHALLENGE

3M, a Fortune 100 company and world leader in innovation and manufacturing, was faced with a challenging but not uncommon problem: rising hardware and software support costs of legacy systems in its plants around the world.

These were valuable systems - responsible for the entire manufacturing process for 75 distributed plant sites from inventory management to shipping. Not only this, these systems handled the entire order fulfillment process at 10 global distribution centers. 3M was also faced with losing technical expertise to support these systems as employees were retiring or moving into other areas of the company.

 

APPROACH

LCI worked with 3M’s IT and business decision makers to develop a plan to consolidate 85 distributed legacy systems onto 8 centralized systems.

LCI then executed and managed the plan.  This included working with the corporate infrastructure team to determine the target hardware/software needs. It also included working with the corporate application support team to determine how best to consolidate these legacy applications with no disruption to the businesses.  

During the project, LCI also:  

  • Realized that that the applications were initially developed to only run one instance per server. We created and executed a plan to run multiple instances per server - greatly reducing the amount of hardware needed going forward.  
  • Met with multiple application groups and developed a plan to modify legacy applications to work with a variety of corporate interfaces.
  • Analyzed performance of each distributed system, and recommended to client the size/model/specs of servers to purchase.
  • Worked with each plant/distribution center personnel to discover localized application customizations and develop/implement centralized solutions.

 

RESULTS

3M realized approximately 2 million dollars a year in savings due to the server consolidation work that LCI provided.  These savings were a result of lowered hardware/software/operating system support costs, reduction/redeployment of staff personnel, and simplification of plant infrastructure.

LCI was responsible for operating system support once applications were migrated to corporate.  Support process was simplified and standardized once sites were migrated, resulting in significantly more uptime.

Post-migration, 3M was so pleased with the results that LCI was asked to take over application support along with server support, freeing up application personnel to focus on creating the application software that would eventually replace the legacy software.