Regaining 100+ Man-Hours a Month
At the beginning of 2015, Allen Rubber & Tire was ready to expand again. As is often the case with growing companies, their IT demands began to outpace the ability of their old server to keep up. Across their 3 existing sites, a single on-site central server was tasked with all their IT management needs.
Founded in 1932, Allen Rubber & Tire sells tires to auto service shops as well as operates its own retail service centers and conducts online sales for unique vintage tires. They have 40+ employees who need access to their specialized tire sales and inventory management software. Scattered across multiple locations, you can imagine the strain such use can put on an aging server. It also stresses the IT maintenance capacities of their team. And, like many companies, Allen was not really big enough to need a dedicated IT expert on staff, so the managers shared responsibility for fixing the server when it crashed.
And boy was it beginning to crash . . . a lot. Data freezes and lockouts became increasingly common. Not only did this interfere with everyone’s productivity, it also caused the leadership to drop everything to fix the problem.
Finally, when Allen was ready to open its fourth location, they determined “No More!” Managing Partner Phil McConnon said “We’re not going to take this antiquated system with us.” And so the search for a better IT solution began.
As Allen evaluated its options, CTN Solutions rose to the top of the IT vendor list. According to McConnon, CTN’s ability to understand their company’s business needs, not just their IT needs, was pivotal. With CTN, McConnon felt he was adding an IT partner who would genuinely involve itself in his company’s success, speak plainly and not in tech jargon, and be able to grow as his company grew. And so their relationship began.
CTN assessed the multi-site IT needs of Allen Rubber. Their solution was to develop a customized cloud-based IT platform. By moving everything to the cloud, Allen no longer had to buy any server equipment nor did they have to worry about having an IT person on staff. Now CTN became their IT “staff” person, always ready to solve a problem, answer a question, or consult on a smart way to accommodate growth.
Beyond going to a cloud solution, CTN also set up a new interface to the shared special tire management software. Now everyone on Allen’s team could access it more easily and via any type of device – PC, windows laptop, MAC, iPad, cell phone, tablets, whatever. Previously, only one device type could access the software. Workers had been hamstrung when new technology came out that they wanted to adopt. But not anymore.
CTN also arranged a much larger capacity cable connection with Allen’s internet service provider, which increased speed and capacity. And CTN installed WiFi nodes on the ceiling of the new location, improving efficiency (because of the way the radio waves travel) and saving floor space. Before turning over the new system, CTN tested every access point to ensure it’d work smoothly when Allen logged on and began work. And it did.
Today, the IT headaches are history and Allen’s team has regained many, many hours of monthly productivity previously wasted by crashes and reboots. Now they can concentrate on growing their business and serving customers.
If your company has outgrown its server and IT capacity, call Account Services at (610) 828-5500 to see how CTN could help you regain your lost productivity.
When we contact CTN, they pinpoint the problem and reach out to our software vendors to resolve the issue.
Our company has about 50 computer users. CTN never wastes any time in helping us decide our next move. They stay current with our software needs, and always seek out alternatives during our decision making process. Each user can contact CTN individually with IT concerns. The entire support team at CTN has the ability to communicate with our employees at every level of computer knowledge. When we contact CTN, they pinpoint the problem and reach out to our software vendors to resolve the issue. CTN Has gently pushed us into upgrading outdated software and hardware. We have increased productivity and made our organization much more competitive in our market. We are no longer constantly down, hanging by the phone waiting for IT support to respond to daily support calls. We are no longer reacting to our IT needs. The proactive approach CTN has taken to push us forward allows us to do what we do best. Speaking on behalf of all the employees of Central Metals, we appreciate all that CTN has done to make IT trouble free.
The amazing thing, and probably the best aspect of the service, is that CTN removed me from day to day IT tasks and has made my job a lot easier.
Law firms tend to be a little behind in adopting new technology. A lot of lawyers are not at the technical level of their colleagues in the corporate world. We need a patient IT service provider, and CTN Solutions exceeds our expectations. Our firm handles workers compensation, social security, disability and personal injury cases. CTN can service all of our needs. They take care of our internet and software. CTN is very service oriented. The amazing thing, and probably the best aspect of the service, is that CTN removed me from day to day IT tasks and has made my job a lot easier. I was always the IT contact person. Now our 30 employees talk directly to CTN’s help desk. As a result, I’ve gained valuable time on the job. CTN is committed to helping my employees and teaching them, so we are learning in addition to getting IT service.
Once a month, a CTN technician arrives in-house. He or she is ours for 8 hours that day to do whatever is needed, from server cleanup to building 8 new computers.
CTN Solutions is very good and intuitive. They are people people. They are in tune with our staff. When you call them up, they never make you feel like you don’t know what you’re talking about. They built their company up like we have. We’ve contracted them for over 10 years. We love their two tier help system. Our minor problems are handled with Tier 1 service reps, and major problems are sent to CTN’s Tier 2 platform. Having CTN is like having an insurance policy. We’re responsible for structural engineering on a lot of major projects, including The Revel, The Borgata, Sugarhouse, and Taj Mahal casinos in Philadelphia and Atlantic City, as well as the residential high rises Symphony House and 1706 Rittenhouse Square in downtown Philadelphia. We did work on all of the new buildings for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Drexel University’s new dorms. Once a month, a CTN technician arrives in-house. He or she is ours for 8 hours that day to do whatever is needed, from server cleanup to building 8 new computers. Right now I’ve got 18 projects on my timesheet. Our models are quite large, so transfer and backup is a huge feat. I used to take home two tapes every night to a safe. Now CTN backs everything up to both a safe data site and another site. Because of CTN, being Director of IT here is a minimal part of my responsibilities.
Curing ‘Multi-File Chaos’
Constructure Management Inc launched in 2009 with just two guys and their computers. Today, they have 30+ employees and provide building construction management services nationwide. That awesome growth came with an IT challenge however. When a company is very young, it’s not too hard to track a project and keep everyone up-to-date on your end. After all, it’s just a few projects and everyone knows what the other guy is doing. But, once your company catches that wave and big growth sets in, you hire new people, you take on more and more work, and you’re visiting client sites more frequently. Project control issues grow exponentially. And that’s what happened at Constructure. Once they passed 15 employees, they found themselves with a slew of tech issues causing BIG headaches – Too many people with access and too little access control People downloading project files and not replacing them to the central file server Multiple versions of the same project plans floating around Old and new versions of the same software trying to operate together on one project Legal issues with compliance and security crept in No one had the time – or ability – to manage IT upgrades and expansion properly, so it didn’t happen In-house server maintenance suffered and outages/downtime cascaded, ticking off both clients and team members Constructure was losing money, wasting time, frustrating customers, and getting distracted from growing its business. So they reached out to CTN Solutions. CTN met with the Constructure team and assessed their needs. They established a single, centralized, cloud-based file server. No hardware investment by Constructure and no need to hire a dedicated IT employee. In addition, CTN installed enterprise-based software solutions on the server. That meant all Constructure team members now used a common software platform that is always up-to-date. And they can access it directly from any client site located anywhere in the US. Plus, with the security and permissions protocols CTN put in place, Constructure team members no longer accidentally erase files or forget to re-save them to the central server. No more lost time or missing files or redundant work! Constructure’s productivity has boomed, their costs decreased, and their ability to serve their customer in real-time improved. With the IT systems established and managed by CTN Solutions in place, Constructure now invests its time, money and talent in growing sales and serving customers.
Workflow productivity is up significantly, jobs are no longer backlogged, and the whole team is much more efficient.
HR Plus was ready to grow. But to do so, they had to solve an IT problem. HR Plus provides background, drug, and occupational health screening to hiring organizations. Their steady growth was accompanied by challenges serving their customers – it was taking too long to process jobs, IT maintenance work was occupying way too much team time, and they realized they needed a new way to prioritize service requests. After careful consideration, HR Plus chose CTN Solutions to help them solve their IT problems. CTN performed a full 360-degree needs assessment and identified 3 key areas requiring help: software architecture, workflow management, and staffing needs identification. First up was the software architecture. The CTN team re-built it to be stable, robust, and scalable to support growth. Next, they addressed the internal IT workflow processes. HR Plus’ existing Weak Matrix Environment and loosely followed Waterfall Methodology was the target. Over the next few months, HR Plus experienced an “Agile Transformation.” CTN consultants taught the HR Plus team the “Agile” methodology, and they soon started realizing the benefits of a more collaborative environment with internal stakeholders as well as higher customer satisfaction. CTN also helped HR Plus create a “Business Impact Committee.” With the aid of a newly developed quantitative model to assess cost and return, this Committee now had a new and better way to prioritize IT job tickets. It allowed HR Plus to increase stakeholder buy-in and satisfaction as well as deliver a faster ROI on the time invested. Also, CTN helped HR Plus identify the types of IT workers needed to support continued efforts. The recommendation led to 5 new IT roles within the company. CTN assisted with the staffing of these new roles, and the new unit is well-positioned to ensure HR Plus can care for its clients effectively going forward. In working with HR Plus, CTN provided more than software insight, they brought system and process engineering principles to bear, and they shared their “people smarts,” too. CTN showed they’re more than IT experts; they’re business growth advisors. With CTN Solutions’ help, the new HR Plus IT department is now set to be an integral part of the company’s future success.