A.W. Stiles Contractors Testimonial

Company Website: www.awscontractorsinc.com

Located in: McMinville, TN (main office), Smyrna, TN, Cookeville, TN, Murfreesboro, TN

Customer since: April 2018

Solutions Implemented: Managed virtual private cloud, GPU enabled VDI

Applications: SOLIDWORKS, PDM

A.W. Stiles Contractors is the aftermarket specialist for the hardwood industry. With over 45 full time employees, the A.W. Stiles designs, builds, and services lumber kilns all over the United States. They can provide a turnkey project for all of your lumber drying needs. From things as simple as coating kilns, to complete rebuilds, to building some brand-new kilns. With nearly 40 years of experience, A.W. Stiles Contractors has gained the trust and respect of the lumber industry. Long term and repeated customers are only obtained by quality work, knowledge, and ability to complete the project.

EpiGrid asked Controls Engineer, Glenn Thompson from A.W. Stiles about his experience with the EpiGrid solution. Here's what he had to say:

What problem needed to be solved that led you to EpiGrid originally?

"We didn't have or want an IT staff or the investment in specialty hardware. In addition, we initially did not have access to a high bandwidth internet connection."

Why did you select EpiGrid for your hosting solution?

"In addition to the original pain of not wanting an IT staff, the entire office beyond the technical team runs Macs. To further complicate things, our main office and fabrication facility is way out in the country with limited bandwidth options. We needed a solution to support our remote contractor and interns that lived in surrounding cities. EpiGrid was the only vendor and solution we found that could support our various IT challenges and engineering platforms."

Did the EpiGrid solution address your critical needs?

"We use paid college interns to create and detail our shop drawings for our fabrication shop. Their universities are at least an hour travel time away from the office, and their class schedules made it impossible to coordinate onsite time. 24x7 Cloud access to our PDM system and Virtual Workstations (VDI) allowed them to work on their schedule and on their own laptops. It didn’t matter to us if shop drawings were checked in at 4 am (apparently prime college work hours), as long as they're ready at 6 am for review to our fab shop when they start the day. When we held onsite design “rundown” meetings, we were still able to use the VDI to access Solidworks and PDM despite our limited bandwidth. Finally, since our lumber Kilns are assembled all over the country, it has been valuable to have remote access to the SOLIDWORKS models on the job site to investigate and address the inevitable issue and change orders."

How did the EpiGrid solution change or improve your work process?

"The bandwidth issue at the main office has since been addressed, but the workflow that developed (remote engineering, intern usage, etc,) as a result of the EpiGrid solution has been a keeper."

Most recently how have you benefited from the EpiGrid solution during the COVID-19 crisis?

"Covid-19 has been a non-issue for A.W. Stiles in terms of our SOLIDWORKS workflow. We've essentially been unaffected - other than a storage of toilet paper..."

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