Cooperatives, also known as co-ops, are businesses owned by a group of people who are united in their needs and goals. Because co-ops are run by a committee, they often are focused on serving their local community. This sense of shared ownership ensures an eye is kept towards upkeep and safety in each of the retail locations. As with all work, this upkeep and maintenance needs to be logged, tracked, and managed. One client came to us wanting a tool to capture maintenance work as well as allow them to plan future projects. Given our helpdesk and project management software, OneDesk seemed to be a perfect fit.

Our client is a cooperative with multiple retail outlets. Their retail ranges from grocery stores to home centers to gas stations. As is typical of cooperatives, our client has a single administrative group overseeing everything. Like all brick-and-mortar businesses, our client has identified that there is ongoing maintenance work that needs to happen to all of their storefronts. Our client has a single maintenance worker who takes care of various things across their stores, and so they need a way to organize multiple tasks as they are being worked on, as well as track incoming requests. They identified that a ticketing system would likely be the right tool for giving their maintenance manager visibility into the state of tasks. In the case of an audit on occupational health & safety (OH & S), our client would also like to have a complete timeline as to when work started and stopped.

In terms of a ticketing system, OneDesk offers a robust and full-featured solution. With our helpdesk software, our client can start using a ticketing system right away. As work is logged as tickets, they can be assigned out and tracked through a workflow. By default, OneDesk has a simple set of statuses that a ticket moves through as it is worked on, but our client can customize these phases to suit their processes. On top of custom ticket statuses, our client can also create custom fields for their tickets, which can also be required or optional to fill out. This customization refines the information that is included on incoming requests, which can reduce the amount of back and forth in the initial data gathering. OneDesk also offers workflow automations which can move tickets through their workflows automatically based on specific criteria and triggers. For example, maintenance tickets logged for a particular store that reach 100% completion can be set to automatically notify the relevant store managers that the task is finished.

Since our client will be using OneDesk as a ticketing system to track maintenance work, the people requesting work are internal to the business. These are the store managers at each of the retail locations who encounter and notice the maintenance work on a daily basis. Our client noted that it would be ideal if these store managers could log tickets for any maintenance issues they encounter, which could they be reviewed by the maintenance manager. As part of our ticketing system, OneDesk offers a customer portal that perfectly captures our client’s needs. By being granted access to the customer portal, store managers are then able to log tickets themselves. Through the portal, they are able to see any updates to tickets they’ve logged and communicate back and forth with the maintenance team. Having tickets enter the system via one centralized space allows the maintenance manager to easily monitor incoming work.

In the customer portal, the form by which store managers log tickets can be customized to require all the relevant information in order for work to start. Since a lot of maintenance work revolves around equipment and technology, there is a lot of specific information to capture. Requiring this information makes it easy for the maintenance manager to assess incoming requests before prioritizing and assigning them out. Aside from work requests, the customer portal can also be used as a channel for general questions from members of the co-op. Our client noted that their director of member relations often fields incoming queries for information. Similar to work requests logged through the portal, co-op members can also participate in follow-up discussions, and permissions can be extended to allow visibility on all questions no matter who asked them.

Our client was also interested in OneDesk’s project management tooling. A number of maintenance items come in as safety concerns raised during monthly meetings across the co-op, so these can lead to projects. With all co-op members as stakeholders, it is key to track timelines and the status of work so members can be kept in the loop. Along with our feature-rich helpdesk application, OneDesk provides a project management application by default. Similar to the helpdesk, work is captured in tasks rather than tickets, which can then be filled out with all of the relevant details. Tasks can also be assigned and have custom fields attributed to them, which ensures full context is provided. To help track the amount of time spent on work, OneDesk has built-in time tracking as well as fields for estimates. OneDesk offers different views of projects that our client can use to see overall timelines and define dependencies between tasks. These views can be refined with filters and groupings, and then exported as a report. This visibility can then be shared to all managers in the co-op easily.

After the training and demos we’ve done with our client, they’ve highlighted that not everyone in their organization has the same skill-level when working with software. Beyond the standard training, we also have a help guide built into the application as well as blog posts and a knowledge base of common topics. Our team is also available for additional training whenever needed.

For our client, being able to capture and manage their work in software is crucial for how they maintain their stores. With OneDesk’s helpdesk and project management tools, their needs are met on all fronts. From the ability to see every update on a ticket to managing project status, our client uses OneDesk to manage their immediate concerns as well as their more future-focused projects. By giving our client the tools to organize their work, we empower them to keep to their accountability and achieve high standards.

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