Cincinnati-based Neptune Equipment Company has served the water utility industry for three generations. The family-owned company provides water meter replacement, meter testing and reading, GPS, fire hydrants, and other services. Through its Field and Technical Service Divisions, Neptune supports customers during the entire life of their products.
“Asset management is critical for us. If one piece is missing, it can be $1,500 to replace it.”
Neptune has hundreds of technical assets and customer products. Whether equipment is part of Neptune’s inventory, in the shop temporarily for repair, or leased out at customer sites, Neptune needs to keep detailed records on the location of its assets. Excel spreadsheets just weren’t doing the job effectively.
“Asset management is critical for us. If one piece is missing, it can be $1,500 to replace it,” said Leigh Kalbli, Technical Services Manager.
Moreover, Neptune needed a more effective way of managing help desk and customer support issues, especially as the company increased its field support for software and equipment across Ohio and Kentucky. Kalbli envisioned an online portal where customers could log and track their support issues, as well as tap into a knowledge base for help.
Familiar with Issuetrak from a previous position, Kalbli evaluated the software solution along with several other options. After a thorough review, he chose Issuetrak once again.
“I looked at other systems and they didn’t have the capabilities we wanted, or I wasn’t comfortable implementing them with our network or using them with day-to-day operations,” Kalbli said.
Issuetrak could address all three of the company’s pressing needs: asset tracking, customer support, and help desk issues.
“Issuetrak wasn’t in our budget, but knowing its capabilities from past experience, I convinced management that it was well worth it,” Kalbli said.
Kalbli configured Issuetrak with 25 different asset types and entered all assets into the system. Every piece of equipment that belongs to the company—laptops, printers, firewalls, and customer products—is tracked closely in Issuetrak. Assets are tied either to Neptune or one of 178 customer organizations, and linked to a customer site supervisor.
With all three functions combined in one place, employees and customers log into a portal to see the status of their requests, as well as assets that are assigned to them, eliminating any confusion and reducing phone calls for sales reps and the IT team. Neptune also ties assets to tickets and can see recurring problems that may indicate it’s time for an upgrade.
For all customer fields, Kalbli configured the software to notify the associated salesperson automatically, keeping reps aware of anything going on with their customers.
For the first time, Neptune can now report on a central repository of data. This helps the team track software and hardware maintenance expiration dates, repair and replacement needs, trends in customer support and help desk issues, and the location of assets. Kalbli created and automated a number of custom reports. With that insight, employees throughout the company can take actions such as contacting customers well ahead of renewal time.
“Looking back at issues, we’re able to determine how we are spending our time and know where we need to focus our efforts,” Kalbli said.
The company plans to add Issuetrak’s Surveys module to automate customer support surveys in the future.
Issuetrak gives Neptune Equipment Company a wealth of information about its technical issues and assets. Customers and employees benefit from the company’s more organized support workflow, automatic notifications, and ability to track their own tickets online. Both of the organization's technical team members can reference the status of issues at all times, eliminating confusion when one is out of the office.
Neptune also now has more actionable business insight. The company knows its total asset value and exactly what’s out in the field. Equipment accountability helps prevent thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment from going missing each year.
Sales reps can also use Issuetrak to ahead of upcoming customer events like renewals or budget planning, helping secure sales.
“Issuetrak is working well for us,” Kalbli said. “It’s greatly improved our ability to address issues and track our assets. At this point, management is very happy with the purchase and we’re looking into ways we can expand its use.”