Bernard Matthews Founded
Turkeys Farmed Annually in the UK

Business Impact

With the new hardware in place, Bernard Matthews is enjoying reduced operational and maintenance costs, improved performance and support for the latest release of the IBM i operating system.

Meridian is now providing ongoing assistance to Bernard Matthews, helping with any issues that arise and offering general support.

Meridian were impressive from the start.

Kevin Packard

Application Services Team Leader

The Challenges

Farming over seven million turkeys each year, Bernard Matthews has grown from humble beginnings in 1950 to become the UK’s leading turkey provider.

To support the core systems that ensure the business’ continued success, Bernard Matthews relied on its two IBM POWER5 servers. However, after nearly 15 years of smooth operation, the maintenance costs of these aging servers were becoming prohibitively expensive.

How Meridian Helped

Bernard Matthews was already working with a number of potential vendors to help with the infrastructure upgrade, but soon became frustrated with the slow progress and dissatisfied with the proposals on offer. Casting its net wider, the turkey producer decided to engage Meridian.

Meridian subsequently worked with Bernard Matthews to replace one of the POWER5 units with a POWER7 server. After the success of this initial project, Bernard Matthews did not hesitate to engage Meridian IT again two years later in replacing the other POWER5 with a POWER8 server.

Both new servers now run the business’ core financial, manufacturing, payroll, labelling and integration systems in IBM i partitions, with the POWER8 handling production and the POWER7 for high availability. The POWER8 server was also configured with additional memory, enabling Bernard Matthews to add a Linux partition that would run its IBM Cognos environment.

When we first installed the POWER7 server, certain batch jobs were running about 50% faster than on the old POWER5 machine. We were so surprised that we had to check whether it was working properly because we didn’t expect the processes to finish so quickly! And the POWER8 is even faster, more than 40% quicker than the POWER7.

Kevin Packard

Application Services Team Leader

Case Study