Case Study of a Packaging and Box Manufacturer in Maine

The client is a packaging and boxing distributor in Maine with over 100 employees and 55 PC users spread over three sites. They had been with their current managed service provider (MSP) for over 20 years, but to show them the PCG difference, we offered them a free network and risk assessment.

At first, they just wanted to compare our prices with what they were currently paying, but after several meetings, they began to see the value of our services and realized that cost alone was not the defining reason to switch. This case study examines how our services helped their company, but due to the sensitive nature of these details, we have not included the client’s name.

Background

To get a sense of the clients’ needs, we asked what part of their IT needed to be improved, and they cited the following issues:

  • Slow responses to user tickets
  • Excessive tech turnover
  • A lock of a technology plan and roadmap
  • No ownership of their network from the MSP

We knew the PCG team could address these challenges, and in the summer of 2019, they hired us to be their managed IT services provider.

Strategy/Tactics

To ensure that the shift from the old MSP to PCG would not affect the IT processes that were already in place, we worked closely with the client’s current MSP for the needed documentation and to create a cutover date. We also drafted a detailed roadmap so the client would know what to expect.

Initial Challenges

During the onboarding process, we worked on the following challenges.

1. Documentation

Documentation is the most vital component of a successful network, and it is critical for providing user support, assessing vendor information, and expediting user/service requests.

2. User Training

To ensure users could optimize the upgraded IT environment, we provided training for help desk processes, security protocols, and MS Teams.

3. Onsite Engineer in Command of the Network

We provided an onsite engineer who took ownership of the network and helped us get a better understanding of the clients’ needs.

Once these three elements were in place, we invested 60 to 90 days to get to know the client’s workflows and their corporate culture. During that time, we assessed where they needed IT changes and upgrades so they could become more efficient and productive.

VCIO Strategy Meeting

Then, we sat down with ownership for a virtual chief information officer (VCIO) meeting — this is an IT strategy review where we have a high-level discussion to determine the next steps.

In that meeting, we talked about their business goals, current issues, and what keeps them up at night. We also covered their IT needs, and we created a plan and a budget to help manage their current growth and faculty expansions. Together, we identified the following action items:

  • Replacing aging switches that were at the end of their life with no support
  • Improving the wireless in both buildings — they had several forklifts with Panasonic toughbooks that needed to be connected to wireless all the time to access their line-of-business software
  • Adding 24/7 IT support
  • Reviewing and strengthening cybersecurity
  • Creating ongoing security awareness training (SAT) with phishing campaigns
  • Implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • Creating continuous endpoint monitoring with Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
  • Establishing technology and security to support a remote workforce
  • Training for MS Teams, One Drive and security protocols

We also added a dedicated client success manager to act as a liaison between their staff and our team. The client success manager helps with tickets, escalation, IT requirements, vendor liaison, orders, and project management assistance as well as other issues.

Managed IT Services to Help With Ongoing Challenges

As we worked with this client, we supported their ongoing challenges. When they sold a building and needed to quickly move into a new facility, we ensured everything was ready to go in 60 days. We used Ekahau to do a wireless assessment of the facility and determine the best spots for the access points. Then, we ran wiring, added racks, put in patch panels, performed test/tone, and moved all the wires. We also deployed six meraki WAPS wireless access points and a 48-port meraki POE switch.

When COVID hit, demand for their product soared, and their business was up by 30%. To help them meet the increased demand, we scaled our services, and we provided an onsite engineer for a full day each week. We also established security support and services when the company needed to send some workers home.

Outcomes

As this client’s managed service provider, we put the following into place:

  • Access to an ACE helpdesk that responds to IT support requests in under 2 minutes
  • 24/7 support for a remote workforce during COVID
  • Cyber security stack to mitigate risks and improve the company’s security posture
  • Conversion to MS 365
  • One Drive and MS Teams training to improve collaboration

This client switched from its long-time MSP to PCG because they saw our value. They knew the PCG team could bring more to the table with our technical resources and processes as well as our VCIO role for vision, IT planning, budgeting, and advisory council.

What improvements could we bring to your organization? Whether you have an MSP, an internal IT team, or a mixture of both, contact us today and learn about the PCG difference.