Case Study: Golden State Foods

“Netreo is the first and only tool we’ve found that provides robust network management capabilities for every component in our complex, heterogeneous systems environment. Dollar for dollar, Netreo runs circles around all the other performance management solutions we considered.”

— Mike Bourque, Technical Services Manager
Golden State Foods

Netreo Simplifies Network Security and Monitoring at Golden State Foods

Business Need

Founded in 1947, Golden State Foods (GSF) has processed and distributed replenishable supplies to McDonald’s Corporation since it opened its first restaurants in the 1950s. In 1967, GSF became one of the primary providers to McDonald’s and a source of many of its best known products, including the Big Mac™ special sauce. Since then, Golden State has helped launch McDonald’s into the global market and has become a one-stop shop for nearly everything in the McDonald’s supply chain. With three million pounds of beef per week to process and deliver, and 2,500 employees scattered throughout the world, GSF has a very complex, heterogeneous network environment and supply chain model. Successful management of the entire operation is directly related to the smooth operation of its diverse IT infrastructure.

“McDonald’s has a time-sensitive supply chain and a critical public reputation to maintain, and we help them deliver on both,” said Mike Bourque, Technical Services Manager for GSF. “Our success impacts their success and the ultimate satisfaction of everyone who dines at McDonald’s.”

IT Need

GSF operates 15 sites. Just two years ago, comprehensive network management for their extensive, diverse systems environment seemed impossible. Today Bourque is able to manage it all with just twelve IT staff members: six at headquarters and six at remote sites. GSF can utilize such a small Help Desk team because Netreo has increased the level of assistance and skills that the Help Desk provides.

“Most of our staff hasn’t had much training with Netreo. It’s intuitive enough that people pick it up immediately. All of our IT personnel have figured out how to perform basic analyses when an alert is sounded. With that information, they open up a service ticket. That gets the ball rolling right away and ensures that we get the problem fixed as soon as humanly possible.”

From a single dashboard, Netreo alerts everyone at GSF when there is a potential failure or when a threshold is being reached, so that it can be resolved before it locks up a system or causes other systems to fail. Messages are delivered directly to the IT teams’ mobile phones. And because security is integrated into the Netreo architecture, GSF is now reaping the benefits of an integrated fault, performance and security status reporting solution across an entire enterprise network.

“Netreo identifies possible vulnerabilities and ranks them from high to low priority and tells you how to fix them,” he said. “Using most other products, you have to research and test the solution, which can take hours, even days.”

Netreo Solution

Netreo’s products help GSF increase system availability and reliability. “The dashboard monitors everything, everywhere,” Bourque explained. “If someone working early in the morning on the East Coast sees something going wrong on the West Coast, they can take proactive measures before the West Coast staff has even arrived at work for the day.”

Netreo has made dramatic differences in the lives of GSF’s IT and Help Desk personnel. By relieving them of routine “babysitting” chores, Netreo’s products have enabled the GSF Technical Services staff to complete all their IT projects this year.

“We actually reached about 125 percent of our business goals. A large part of this is due to being able to leverage all our existing resources to the max,” Bourque said. “We can also use trend reports to support our recommendations to our executive committees regarding upgrades and increased bandwidth.”

Benefits to Golden State Foods

  • Monitors and collects network management information from fifteen sites in a single dashboard
  • Trend analysis reports pinpoint issues such as latencies and bottlenecks in the system
  • System managers in earlier time zones can identify possible issues in later time zones — including viruses or worms — and can start the problem resolution process as soon as an issue is discovered
  • Trend results can be used to validate budget requests for additional resources
  • Multiple individuals receive real-time messages when a server or other device/service is not functioning. If the first on-call person is not available, the problem is escalated to the next person

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