It might seem counter-intuitive to think that manufacturing companies want to modernize how they track their work, but in a world where manufacturing powers commerce and trade, it’s clear that manufacturers need to keep up with the times. Automation drives the efficiency of manufacturing, and there is no exception when it comes to managing this work. For manufacturers, who tend to have a lot of employees, it makes sense to automate the administrative aspects of managing their staff. In many cases, this is the “raison d’etre” for their IT teams who work behind the scenes to ensure operations are smooth and that teams are supported wherever possible. Seeking a solution to track projects and support tickets, one client came to us wondering if OneDesk’s offerings would meet their needs.

Our client is the director of IT at a manufacturing company of several hundred employees, the majority of which are factory workers. Their workforce also includes computer users that their IT team supports on a regular basis. In addition to supporting these computer users with issues ranging from networks going down to hardware failures, the IT also works on developing new software to automate current, manual processes. From the creation of new websites to reporting software, this team is focused on serving their co-workers on other teams with tooling and technical support.

While the IT team’s main focus might be to support their co-workers, they also need to build the tools that will help them service requests better in the future. This can be a variety of projects, including the creation of new internal websites, to automating the system for ordering new parts. Using OneDesk’s project management tool, it becomes simple to track and break down this work. In OneDesk, each project is a set of tasks. Each task represents a piece of work that needs to be done, and on the ticket all of the requirements and background information are laid out. These tasks can also be assigned out and have time estimated and logged against them. At either the project or task level, our client can use a set of default views to get metrics and insight into the progress of multiple projects or sets of tasks. These views can allow the user to view and generate dependencies between tasks, and help inform them when projects are estimated to finish. With powerful filtering and grouping tools, our client can also set up custom views that contain information tailored to their needs. These views can then be exported and used as reports to help the team surface metrics and stats to the rest of the organization.

As the IT team provides support for a variety of issues, it’s crucial that our client has a robust IT helpdesk to service their needs. Along with its project management software, OneDesk is known for its helpdesk tool that ties cleanly into the customer portal. Similar to the project management tool, our helpdesk tracks work items through tickets. These tickets contain all of the details of the work that needs to be done, with customizable fields to capture all relevant data. Our client can also customize the workflow through which tickets move, similar to how project tasks move through their own workflows. These workflow transitions can be automated based on whatever criteria our client sets up. For example, when new support tickets are triaged into a particular state, an automation can post a comment on the ticket to let the ticket logger know that work has begun.

Working hand-in-hand with the helpdesk tool, OneDesk’s customer portal makes it trivial for users to log support issues. With the ability to support an unlimited number of users at any price-point, the customer portal is an easy way for our client’s employees to log support issues directly into OneDesk. As the company grows, the customer portal scales with them so there are no concerns around pricing as more and more staff use the portal. The customer portal is fully configurable, from its look and feel, to the data required in its input forms. By having users log tickets directly into OneDesk, our client can ensure that all requests are going to the same place.

Alternatively, OneDesk also supports the creation of support tickets via e-mail. For folks who still prefer communications through e-mail, this allows them that freedom while still keeping the team’s work tracked in one unified place. Any public comments on tickets can also be sent to users following the ticket as an e-mail, so users who prefer e-mail are not left in the dark.

OneDesk also includes a mobile app that our client was curious about. Because most of the employees are factory workers, they don’t necessarily need to track or log support requests themselves, but likely would raise their concerns to their manager. Our client called out one particular role at the company that needs to be active on the factory floor, but also needs to be able to refer to and update the work items assigned to them. Without being bogged down by a computer or laptop, the person in this role can use OneDesk on their phone and interact with work items while being on the move. The mobile application gives our client the best of both worlds.

Whether on the factory floor troubleshooting user issues or at a computer building the next internal tool, our client relies on OneDesk to organize their work, both support- and project-based. With the ability to take OneDesk with them wherever they go, our client’s IT team can move fluidly between support and project work as priorities shift and change. There are very few limits to what our client can accomplish in OneDesk to keep their work organized and flowing through the different phases. It is even possible to integrate other products with OneDesk using Zapier, which only further streamlines workflows. For an industry that is so focused on automation for innovation, it is critical that managing their work sees the same efficiencies.

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