Many companies are in a position to be too small to hire a full time IT staff person, but too big to have one person manage all the issues they might have. Add servers and a complicated network to manage, and one business can find themselves losing a lot of productivity and money.
An Architecture firm had about 35 employees, of which over 20 were producers. Their computer hours were around 40% billable if not more during big projects. They had a server which managed everything from logging into resources to managing printing, and from storing all the files to handling email.
They had a part-time person doing some technical tasks like software installations and troubleshooting applications but was primarily an office support role. They would hire IT consultants when needed for any problems they had, or any upgrades they needed.
Growing IT Costs, Shrinking Productivity
This seemed to work ok but there were some losses in downtime. Problems occurred with some regularity since they changed IT providers a couple times, and there was no continuity of service. The IT consultants were usually just asked to fix a single problem, and wouldn’t document the solution or the environment for the client or other IT support staff.
These consultants, because they weren’t asked back to monitor or maintain anything had no real dedication to the client. If they saw some other problem occurring, it would be reported as another opportunity for a service call. Some problems languished and became worse over time. Lost passwords – tough luck. They didn’t keep copies of the passwords resulting in some serious downtime. Worse yet, it might take over a day to fix a critical work-stoppage issue because the consultants were busy or otherwise unable to help when they were so desperately needed.
As if the lost productivity wasn’t cost enough, because these were all emergencies, the consultants needed to charge premium hourly rates. Charging over $150/hr was made even worse when the aforementioned environment documentation was not available, every service call time was nearly doubled because the consultant needed to figure out how something was put together before they could attempt to fix it.
Solution: Managed Services
The firm decided to go with a managed services service plan from Stewart and Son Computer Services. Stewart and Son took over all IT support. We coordinated through a single point of contact at the firm that collects information on the issues employees are having and assigns a priority. We come in, sometimes on less than 4 hours’ notice to get people back to work.
Systems are documented & monitored so there’s no guesswork as to how service is delivered and we are able to cut service times significantly.
Since the firm is now under a managed services agreement, we charge a lower hourly rate in case of emergencies and the downtimes are shorter resulting in more productive billable hours for employees and less IT spend to support critical systems.
If you are interested in seeing how a managed services agreement can help you save money, make systems more secure and keep your employees productive, contact Stewart and Son Computer Services today!
Wade Stewart is the Managing Member of Stewart and Son Computer Services, LLC in University Place, WA and serves as a trusted partner to many local small and medium sized businesses.