Nickles Bakery Adds Cloud Power to Its Recipe for Success

Nickles Bakery Logo

At a Glance

  • Aging hardware that was increasingly unreliable and difficult to repair
  • Daily multi-state bakery operations that requiredata sharing across facilities and with customers
  • Small IT staff serving hundreds of employees in more than 20 locations

  • Transitioned from on-site iSeries server to the cloud during one of the bakery’s biggest holiday weekends of the year
  • Always-available expertise from Racksquared and the willingness to investigate and solve any challenge
  • Access to newer, faster technology, as well as system upgrades andbackups

With Racksquared’s support, the bakery has the right ingredients in place to cook up fresh baked goods for grocery stores, restaurants, and more.

Baking interruption

Nickles Bakery has been baking in Ohio for more than a century. With three bakeries in Ohio and 20 distribution centers in the state, as well as in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Nickles makes sure the region has plenty of breads, buns, rolls, pastries, andother baked goods.

In 2021, Nickles was busy preparing to fill grocery store shelves with buns for Fourth of July barbecues and cookouts when the motherboard of its IBM Power server failed unexpectedly. With a support contract in place, they were not immediately concerned, but it soon became apparent that supply chain issues would prevent them from making a quick repair.

The bakery was suddenly scrambling. The mainframe held Nickles’ entire electronic reporting system, which did everything from tracking orders and calculating the amount of dough needed, to setting pricing and replenishing ingredients. Without it, Nickles was trying to figure out how much it should be baking for one of its biggest weekends of the year.

“We were going to each of the branches and grabbing the order file that would have normally been transmitted to the mainframe, and then picking apart the data manually to figure out production,” said Nicholas Klintworth, Nickles’ IT Manager.

“With Racksquared, we can pick up the phone and talk to a Windows expert, talk to an iSeries expert, talk to a desktop expert — whatever expert we need.”

- Eric Sexton, Cost Accountant,
  Nickles Bakery

Racksquared ready to roll

Meanwhile, the Nickles’ team recognized that with the repair timeframe uncertain, they had to find another solution fast. Some quick online research located a possible cloud solution in Racksquared, just two hours down the road in Columbus. Nickles called on a Friday afternoon (July 2) and found that Racksquared was ready to rise to the occasion.

“We actually physically drove the mainframe to Racksquared’s location so that they could get the information off of it and start rebuilding our entire system,” said Eric Sexton, Cost Accountant at Nickles. “It was the start of the holiday weekend, and it was all hands on deck. Everybody was just flying back and forth to get the server up and running.”

Eric recalled that Racksquared recognized the urgency of the situation and jumped straight into the work — even before any discussion about contracts and price. Racksquared’s first priority was to get Nickles’ business back online. In less than 36 hours, a new system had been built and configured. Their data was recovered to the new system, and they were back up and running.

In a pinch and around the clock

While Nickles found Racksquared in a pinch, Racksquared offers this level of service, expertise, and reliability every day. Nickles is now benefiting from Racksquared’s newer and faster technology, with the move from Nickles’ own on-site server to a cloud hosted server. Racksquared also handles operating system upgrades and keeps things current with the latest updates. And when it comes to backups, Racksquared is on top of that too, using 3-2-1 best practice.

“We don’t worry about the future of our system or how we are going to support it anymore,” said Nick.

For example, Nickles has a programmer who’s due to retire next year, and they’re starting to work with Racksquared to plan how they can fill the gaps he leaves. This is especially important since this kind of programming expertise can be hard to find. With Racksquared providing hardware, monitoring, and expertise, Nickles’ small IT staff is better equipped to support the hundreds of people working in its facilities.

“Early on, Racksquared drove up and met with us in person, and that’s pretty rare nowadays. It really means a lot,” said Eric.

A few weeks after the Fourth of July weekend, the bakery experienced another hardware failure — this time with its Windows file server. The bakery called another cloud backup provider it had been using to recover their data, but was told that it didn’t have the correct operating system to recover their data. This time, Nickles turned to its newest team member — Racksquared. Now their Windows file server is in the Racksquared cloud and the bakery keeps on cooking.

Learn how Racksquared could be the newest ingredient in your organization’s success.

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