Redwood City, California
IT Service Management, Integrations, IT Asset Management
Automating the Service Experience Through Integrations and Data Consolidation
DPR Construction is a unique technical builder with a passion for results. Ranked in the top 50 general contractors in the country since 1997, it is a national commercial contractor and construction manager that has grown with their customers by delivering measurably more value to their organizations. Whether it’s a multimillion-dollar technical facility or a conference room renovation, they execute every project to the customers’ goals in mind.
“The reason it’s so great is because it’s 100 percent customizable. Samanage gives us the box, and we can add all our own flavors.”- Shantel Krishnan, Business Analyst
Consolidating Service and Asset Data
In the last four years, DPR has increased its offices across the country by more than 50 percent. Today, they have 29 offices and as many as 200 active job sites at a given time. That’s a lot of employees in a lot of different places, which means there are assets and service requests coming from everywhere. Margarethe Pfeffer, IT Transformation and Service Management Manager at DPR Construction, recognized the need to pull service management and IT asset management into one system.
“At one point, we had a subsidiary managing inventory on their own. We had our vendor doing some of it, and a financial system handling another piece,” explained Pfeffer. “Nothing was talking to each other. There was too much opportunity for data corruption, and we relied on someone typing everything into a spreadsheet to move data between solutions.”
It was time to find a solution to consolidate service and inventory data. DPR considered a few different solutions before choosing Samanage.
“We had looked at ServiceNow five years earlier and were not impressed. I brought them back because it had been five years, but they were asking $100,000 a year with a crazy long implementation phase,” said Pfeffer. “We thought that we could get up and running quickly with Samanage.”
In the end, it wasn’t just about moving the inventory into one system. She realized that there was a greater opportunity to start interfacing with other technology solutions that DPR used.
“The fact is, computers make less mistakes than humans,” said Pfeffer. “With Samanage, we found that we can make it talk to the other tools we use at DPR. This makes it easier on our people, which means we’ll get more data consistency and accuracy.”
Matching the Service Desk with DPR Culture
Obviously, price and functionality were major factors in the evaluation, but Pfeffer and her team also wanted to choose a partner that shared DPR’s mentality for business success.
“We have four core values in our company that we all live and breathe,” explained Pfeffer. “The first two are integrity and uniqueness, which, being a builder, you better have both. The last two are very different than other companies. Enjoyment, which I feel Samanage shares. The last one is ever-forward. We want our employees to take initiative, and we don’t want bureaucracy in their way. We see that both in the Samanage culture and in the development of the application.”
The DPR leadership team is always looking for ways to empower employees. That applies in the big picture, in terms of career opportunity, but it also applies in day-to-day enablement in the workplace. That’s where the service desk fits in, and it’s one of the reasons that makes Samanage a great fit.
“We see in the Samanage office that there’s no red tape, and you can walk in and see Nerf gun wars, which is something you might see at DPR,” said Pfeffer. “Factoring that culture aspect into our decision has paid off, because the application has grown with us. Even when something is not a core offering of the solution, especially with inventory management, Samanage has helped us create the interfaces to achieve our needs.”
Automating Workflows with Integrations
Felix Rodriguez works in IT and Services for DPR, and he explained how the onboarding process incorporates data from different tools.
“When we hire a new employee, it creates these tasks automatically in the workflow, and it’s integrated with all of the tools we use to organize data on our employees,” said Rodriguez. “Although a hiring or offboarding is a human resources event, the new hire needs software licenses or needs to be added to certain groups, and this all happens in IT. This workflow moves seamlessly from Workday into Samanage and spawns off tickets for the people that need to have it.”
This Workday integration with Samanage has allowed DPR to use data from both tools to create a complete view of an employee’s role and the resources they’ll need to excel.
“It really helped us with the linkage of the data,” added Pfeffer. “Wherever that employee is assigned in Workday totally flows into Samanage. I can see where the computer is supposed to be, and where the licenses and applications are.”
DPR leases all of its computers to ensure employees are constantly working with the latest updates in technology and to eliminate the e-waste that comes from owning and repurposing thousands of computers. Prior to Samanage, it was difficult to track all of the moving parts.
“We probably had about 3,000 computers at that time, but we couldn’t have told you where they were,” said Pfeffer. “We had no clue if computers were missing. We were just paying the bills, with very little insight into what we should owe.”
Shantel Krishnan is a Business Analyst at DPR, and she uses a Samanage integration with the leasing vendor to help track every IT asset, however they are distributed among DPR employees at different sites.
“We have a script that shares the serial numbers,” explained Krishnan. “That’s a prime identifier for the asset, so we always know where it is. We can also marry the user’s site and department to the asset, which gives us a very clear picture of how we use every computer.”
Pfeffer added that when DPR offboards an employee, the workflow will deactivate the user in Workday, but it will also remove the user from individual assets within Samanage, moving them to an “on-hold” inventory group, and ensuring DPR can locate any available IT asset in its inventory.
One more unique integration that DPR is building is with FedEx — yes, they’re even able to automate shipping labels.
“One of our biggest pain points is being able to track the status of an asset’s life cycle,” said Krishnan. “Obviously, we know when it was introduced to DPR, but what about when we send it back?”
DPR is close to launching an integration to create FedEx shipping labels out of all that asset data, and it will actually report back to Samanage on the status of the returned IT asset.
“Once it’s delivered and signed for by FedEx, it will report back to Samanage that the returned asset has been delivered,” said Krishnan. “That means from the time we receive it to the time it’s returned, I won’t ever have to touch the status of a computer within Samanage. Everything will happen through the integration. Plus, we know we can never be charged for a computer that we returned.”
As time goes on, Krishnan said she will continue to integrate Samanage into the tools DPR uses.
“The reason it’s so great is because it’s 100 percent customizable. Samanage gives us the box, and we can add all our own flavors.”