With its head office and cider mill based in Sandford, Somerset, Thatchers Cider Company has been established for four generations, offering over 118 years of experience in the craft of cider making. Thatchers ethos Is a simple one, utilising the best quality produce and combining it with exceptional craftsmanship. The result of which translates into its premium cider range, which, over the years, has driven its success and constant progression as a company.
With sustained growth as the leading family cider maker in the UK, Thatchers home, Myrtle Farm, has undergone continued expansion since the 1980s to keep up with public demand for its cider. The original cider making and packaging halls and related infrastructure grew organically with buildings added onto the existing network, which were needed to keep up with the company's expansion and to allow cider production to run consistently.
Thatchers success resulted in increasing reliance on connectivity for production, asset monitoring, marketing, sales, and communications. All of which are carried out onsite.
Thatchers reliance on connectivity for manufacturing and company productivity resulted in the need for improvements in its infrastructure to keep up with growth. With plans to expand both the head office, and a main comms room alongside the production facilities, Thatchers looked to redevelop multiple locations to improve productivity.
With old legacy technology based on a Daisy chain wiring scheme, the location's connectivity was bounced from one building to the other through the central offices, each connection reliant on the one before to continue to disseminate connectivity across the site. Due to this approach, its network was at risk of falling over. Thatchers old network was starting to prove itself unreliable with its expansion and with the ensuing redevelopment of multiple buildings, there was a demand to improve the connectivity infrastructure as well.
The added pressure for a robust and scalable network design left Thatchers seeking leading infrastructure and network advice. With the ethos of sourcing locally, Thatchers sought the support of local businesses, and with this, it found Glide.
Initially, Glide's involvement in the project was network design and consultancy to find how all these new builds could be connected across the site to unify the connectivity, supply resilience, and minimise the risk of network outages.
Ian Dorling, Head of IT at Thatchers, said: "Glide’s site wide guarantee attracted us, especially with our growth as we needed an infrastructure that could match it.”
Glide was instrumental with the new network designs and worked together with the architect and contractor team to ensure that the new network requirements were captured in Thatchers new offices, warehouses and production facilities. Similarly, Glide assisted in the design of Thatchers new comms room, the fibre distribution links across the site and the wireless connectivity throughout its new buildings..
Futureproofed for Success
Glide redesigned the distribution network and supplied and installed a resilient single-mode fibre backbone throughout the site to facilitate seamless connectivity whilst futureproofing Thatchers against any future demands.
Cat6A shielded cable was installed throughout the manufacturing facility to protect the connectivity from electrical interference from the manufacturing equipment, and Cat6 cable was installed throughout new offices to supply seamless connectivity for the day-to-day admin and sales.
Glide ensured that connections for BMS (Building Management Systems), Access Control, CCTV and wireless access points were all captured. This ensured that new remote cabinet locations were best positioned and had the correct capacity from day 1 of the connectivity deployment, whilst accounting for any future demands.
Ian continued: “Glide’s workmanship and the high-quality level of components proposed, and used, identified Glide as a company that kept the promises it made, with a do it once, and do it right ethos that matched our’s here at Thatchers.”
The intricate infrastructure planning has provided the Thatchers HQ with a resilient fibre connection that will continue to support the facility. Since the first consultation process, Glide has aided with each of Thatchers new building developments, connecting them to the new comms room while also helping with designs for site-wide network and wireless plans.