Retail Success Story: Partnership with Computer One
21-01-2015. A major Australian fashion brand owner needed a fresh approach to its IT Support, so it approached Computer One in mid-2015.
What was the problem?
Internal research had shown that the company’s IT team was stretched with the volume of low-level help issues it resolved on an everyday basis. Strategically important projects were being delayed because important engineering resources were consumed simply maintaining business-as-usual conditions for the 1,000+ stores in the chain.
The company had a choice: either beef up the internal IT team and increase managerial workload or partner with a managed IT services provider to free up internal resources without adding new team members.
Decision-time…the Pros and Cons
Sending workloads out-of-house was a new venture for the company and the idea met with some initial resistance. There was a perception that outsourcing could not be as good as help delivered from internal resources and that an external consultancy would struggle to understand the company’s needs as well as internal staff did.
On the flipside, the ability to scale without hiring and training, to try without obligation to continue and the wealth of experience that Computer One has in supporting retail operations were all strong reasons to proceed.
In the end, a 3-month trial was commenced in August 2015.
How did the programme roll out?
As with every Managed Services project, the first task was to capture commonly-held (but unwritten) system knowledge. This information became the property of the client as we created it and will help mitigate the risk of system failure in the event that key staff members depart the organisation.
At the same time we integrated our internal help desk system with the software in use by the client’s team by programming a bridge between them. Now the client has visibility into the tickets that we are working on at any time.
When we were ready to commence taking support calls, we switched the system over and became the first port of call for store and head office support requests.
What results are we achieving?
The client is getting the results they wanted.
- Improved response times and an improved overall experience the company has with IT Support
- Better Flexibility and accountability
- Increased Coverage of business hours across time zones
- Captured unwritten knowledge and defined processes
- Kaizen – Continual improvement
- Free up time for internal IT to complete projects that improve the business
We are steadily conquering the root causes of support issues and moved from 50% resolution at the first point of contact to 80% in the first 6 weeks. Our goal was to consistently ensure that 90% of issues are resolved at the first level of contact and we hit that mark very comfortably.
Average time to resolve issues decreased by 77% inside 7 weeks of starting the project. That is despite the volume of help requests increasing by more than 50% over our initial expectations as the client’s staff have come to know and trust our service. They’re abandoning their workarounds and coming to us for actual, permanent fixes for their issues.
Anecdotal evidence received from the staff we’re supporting is also very positive. They appreciate the responsiveness and the ownership of issues that we bring as well as the fact that our team does not have other issues that compete for attention – we are able to focus completely on resolving their problem when they call or raise an issue.
We’re looking forward to continuing to work with them as part of a seamless IT support service team.