wnDirect: delivering 70% infrastructure savings with Google Compute Engine

About wnDirect

Founded in 2011, wnDirect is a global e-commerce parcels company with processing centres in the UK, the US, Germany, France, China and Australia.

Industries: Other
Location: United Kingdom
Products: Compute Engine

By choosing Google Cloud Platform, international parcel delivery company wnDirect built a stable, reliable global platform, at less that a third of the price of its previous infrastructure solution.

Google Cloud Platform Results

  • Reduces infrastructure costs by 70% with intelligent pricing on Google Compute Engine
  • Simplifies server management and cost tracking with a user-friendly portal
  • Provides excellent stability to minimise the risk of costly system outages

Cuts infrastructure costs by 70%

By integrating with local mail and carrier services, international parcel carrier wnDirect has seen annual growth in line with international eCommerce. Every package the company receives is scanned, labelled and placed in pre-reserved space on one of around 25 passenger planes every day. Any system outages would cause parcels to miss their flights and incur fines from airlines, so the company keeps service costs low by prioritising stability as well as savings.

“Our previous cloud provider required separate contracts for its different datacenters and caused system outages that lasted for hours,” says Ed Turner, Chief Information Officer at wnDirect. “We decided to replace it and looked at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Rackspace and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Rackspace was an expensive solution and AWS was more expensive than we thought it would be. We went to speak to Google and had a fantastic relationship from the first meeting. Google brought in two people, one technical, one an account manager, and both of them understood exactly what we were looking for. We were especially happy with the pricing. With Google Cloud Platform, the price is the price, no matter how big you are.”

"Google’s free usage limits and pay-as-you-go pricing create considerable savings compared to our previous cloud provider, which imposed memory costs and charged us whether we were using it or not.”

Ed Turner, Chief Information Officer, wnDirect

Increasing cost-efficiency

International parcel carriers depend on global logistics platforms to keep costs down and deliver value to their customers. wnDirect has secured a market share in low-cost international deliveries by integrating with local carriers and mail services and booking cargo space on passenger flights. Because its business activity is unequally distributed across time zones, wnDirect experiences significant daily fluctuations in data volumes and processing needs. That’s why the company looked to manage its services on a global cloud solution that saves on costs by scaling to match demand.

To do that, wnDirect chose Google Cloud Platform. GCP’s straightforward administrative tools and user-friendly portal mean wnDirect can keep track of server performance and ongoing cost reports from a mobile app. Google Compute Engine spins up new VMs in seconds when required, and only bills wnDirect for the VMs it uses thanks to GCP’s pay-as-you-go pricing. When queries arise about GCP, the company takes its questions to the responsive Google support team. Crucially, the new platform has shown resilience and reliability, with zero outages or downtime to date.

"Google Cloud Platform has reduced our infrastructure costs by over two thirds, so I can spend the IT budget in other areas that add value to our business,” says Ed. “Google’s free usage limits and pay-as-you-go pricing create considerable savings compared to our previous cloud provider, which imposed memory costs and charged us whether we were using it or not. UK working hours comprise around 90% of our volume, so although our colleagues in the US and China experience peak volumes at other times, there are times every day when certain VMS are not used. On our old solution we would still have to pay for them. On GCP, we don’t.”

“Our future is international e-commerce. Our core UK business only makes up about 3% of that market, so 97% is still out there. The fantastic systems we’ve built on Google Cloud Platform will make growth easy.”

Ed Turner, Chief Information Officer, wnDirect

Preparing for growth

wnDirect’s GCP infrastructure has freed up resources for a fresh development drive. One of the newest members of the multinational DPD group, the company is building its team internally to innovate new products both for its own business and for the group at large.

“Our future is international e-commerce,” says Ed. “Our core UK business only makes up about 3% of that market, so 97% is still out there. We already have a lot of bids out with some of the largest e-Commerce around. We don’t know what the future holds, but one thing is for sure: the fantastic systems we’ve built on GCP will make growth easy.”

About wnDirect

Founded in 2011, wnDirect is a global e-commerce parcels company with processing centres in the UK, the US, Germany, France, China and Australia.

Industries: Other
Location: United Kingdom
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