Zoro launched in 2011 with just 20 employees in a Chicago-area warehouse, and has since transformed into a prime case study for how to scale a business. Today, they have three offices, sixteen times as many employees as in year one, and added nearly 75 roles in 2018 alone.As is the case in any rapid organizational growth, leadership must accommodate the needs of all those employees, which means committing to a service management strategy. When Chris Sanchez joined the team as supervisor of end user support, one of his first tasks was to find a tool that could support Zoro’s service management goals.“I knew we needed an ITSM platform right away,” said Sanchez. “The immediate need was for IT tickets — we were only using emails when I arrived — but I also knew down the line that we needed the full ITIL suite to really scale the employee experience at Zoro.”Sanchez had already done most of his homework. He was ITIL-certified, and a regular attendee at Pink Elephant’s IT Service Management conference, but still needed to evaluate the specific options for tools.“We looked at all the major players: Samanage, ServiceNow, FreshService, and ManageEngine,” said Sanchez. “The Samanage product aligns with ITIL and does everything we need, and they didn’t pawn us off to a reseller like some other vendors. Nathan Riley did our demo, and he showed us solutions for our short-term needs as well as a long-term vision for really mature processes.”The experience with the Samanage team convinced Sanchez that he had found the right platform for Zoro’s ITSM and ITAM needs.
Implementing an ITSM Foundation
Zoro is still a young company, and it’s adding new employees quickly, so Sanchez saw an opportunity to create a culture for employee service and strong end user support.“I have a ton of goals for how this is going to look down the line, but ultimately it comes back to supporting our employees,” said Sanchez. “The key with our implementation is that we were able to roll out incident management and a knowledge base, which are big impact items for our people.”Immediately, Zoro successfully improved its service delivery with incident management and some workflows in the service catalog. They started taking tickets via email and service portal, with a goal of driving portal adoption among their employees to open the door for more mature service delivery. “It was such an improvement right away,” explained Sanchez. “People didn’t realize how many tickets we took because we used to have a shared mailbox, phone support, and drive-by incidents. Now we have visibility in one place.”Sanchez took advantage of Zoro’s company-wide “all hands” meetings to explain the switch from the old processes to Samanage. He communicated the benefits to the entire company as well as the advantages to submitting requests through the service portal.“If you want to build a culture, you need to show people the value,” said Sanchez. “When you actually demonstrate the before and after, they can see it’s a better experience for the user, and I can show them that nothing will fall through the cracks on our end.”
Benefits and Future Goals
The first indication of success came directly from Zoro employees.“For our first 270 tickets, we had a 40% response rate to our CSAT surveys,” said Sanchez. “Not only is that an unusually high response rate, but employees are 100% satisfied over the last month.”In talking with some of his internal customers, Sanchez said the visibility into the status of tickets was an immediate benefit from the employee perspective. It was the first time most of them had ever been able to track their tickets and requests.“It also helps me because I can leverage the data from tickets to make informed decisions,” explained Sanchez. “It will help me forecast hires for different locations. It will allow us to help our parent company with some of their services because we can move more quickly.”Next on the list, Zoro will roll out a complete offering of services through the service catalog as well as an employee-facing knowledge base. This will cut down the number of tickets in two ways: First, the service catalog will give employees a form for their request and an automated workflow on the back end. Second, the knowledge base can drive self-service from the same portal where employees would submit a ticket in the first place.“My last role was as a knowledge manager, so I understand the impact it can have,” said Sanchez. “I love that we can put our most popular articles on the portal home page, and Samanage gives us multiple avenues to connect people to solutions.”“From my first demo with the team, I could see that our visions align,” he added. “We’re loving it so far, and we’re excited to keep growing the impact of Samanage.”
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