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When a fire broke out at SHS Handling Solutions’ headquarters, the e-commerce company expected to lose everything as their on-site server melted in flames. But firefighters rescued the server – and Flywheel’s disaster recovery experts got the company up and running on a new site the very same day.

The Client

SHS Handling Solutions is a materials handling and workplace product supplier based in Brackley, Northamptonshire.

The Situation

The e-commerce company sells goods and manages its maintenance service nationwide from a single headquarters in the midlands with a server on-site.

The Challenge

Heroic firefighters rescued the company server from a conflagration at the company headquarters by cutting all the cables. The company needed full disaster recovery support so it could get back up and running as soon as possible.

An e-commerce company with one national headquarters

SHS Handling Solutions is a materials handling and workplace product supplier based in Brackley, Northamptonshire and serving customers throughout the UK. Their products range from pallet trucks and forklifts to trolleys, dray equipment and bin tippers.

Yarl Dunn, managing director of SHS, was excited to move the company into its new site in spring 2022. As an e-commerce company, SHS sells hundreds of products through its company website, and manages fulfilment as well as customer product servicing details through the company server held on site.

The emergency: the whole company HQ goes up in flames

On Saturday 16th July, Yarl Dunn of SHS sent a WhatsApp message to his account manager at Flywheel, Mark Littlewood-Smart. It was only 7.24 a.m. but Mark woke up with a start as he read that the new site had caught fire overnight and the fire brigade were, at that moment, trying to save the company’s server.

Mark called his colleagues at Flywheel into action, while the heroic fire fighters managed to cut all cables in to the cabinet and get it out of the building, thus preserving the physical server.

Luckily the lease on the old building had not yet expired, so Yarl was able to have the server moved back to the company’s old premises and plugged in.

Flywheel’s disaster recovery solution the same day

Working at the old site, the Flywheel team spent Saturday morning reconnecting the rescued server. They reconfigured the company’s network and got all services back online by Saturday afternoon.

Flywheel spent most of the rest of the weekend setting up Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections, so that all the company’s employees could access the server remotely when the work week resumed and work from home if necessary.

Finally, Flywheel went to the site first thing Monday to ensure everyone was working properly and to tidy up any loose ends.

Our ongoing disaster recovery support to relocate the company to a new site

Flywheel is now in the process of finalising SHS’s relocation to another new site, which will be completed in September 2022.

When companies suffer a disaster like the one SHS went through, 40% of them never resume working and go into liquidation, according to Companies House and the Association of British Insurers.

All in all, with the help of the quick-thinking fire brigade, Flywheel IT Services managed to minimise the impact to SHS to the extent that they opened on Monday morning with hardly a blip in their ongoing activities.

A worker operates a yellow forklift loading pallets for disaster recovery in an industrial warehouse.

About Flywheel’s Disaster Recovery (DR) Planning and Support Services

Disaster Recovery (DR) plans set out your organisation’s method of regaining access and functionality to its IT infrastructure after unplanned events like a fire, flood, power cut, cyber attack or pandemic.

When setting out your disaster recovery plan, Flywheel can advise you on what needs protecting, which data needs to be backed up and which operations need to be duplicated off-site.

We measure your risk

We audit your infrastructure and your needs, including your server requirements, your data, what you use it for and when. We also assess if your servers are vulnerable and whether you operate in a disaster-prone area.

We set disaster recovery goals

This includes clarifying your Disaster Recovery Time Objective, in other words how quickly systems should be up and running after an incident, and your Recovery Point Objective, which is the minimum of data you must not lose in a disaster. We define what needs to be up and running immediately and what can wait. For example, an e-commerce company may need their website up and running as a priority whilst operational systems may be more important to a manufacturer.

We allocate a Disaster Recovery (DR) team

This means setting up a working group to study which disaster recovery plan structure will prove most effective, selecting vendors and budgets for the different options. There is always a play-off between safety and budget, so we will help you make an informed choice.

Activate and update

We monitor constantly and stay ahead of possible risks such as evolving cyber threats. We will keep on schedule with your backups, and a copy of your disaster recovery plan will be stored safely off-site. A disaster recovery plan does not stand still. We will regularly test for new vulnerabilities and other risks.

Let’s get started!

About Us

Flywheel IT Services has teams of highly qualified and experienced IT engineers and consultants around the UK.

For over 20 years we have partnered with businesses, schools and major construction companies to provide IT services and to guide and support their IT projects, tech strategies and day-to-day operations.

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