From Help Desk to Facilities, Aztec Shops Provides Faster Service to Staff
With 650 to 1,000 customers to support depending on the time of year, the information technology (IT) department at Aztec Shops could no longer get by managing requests with Excel spreadsheets – especially during seasonal spikes. Aztec Shops, the nonprofit auxiliary of San Diego State University, provides all dining, concessions, catering, retail operations and other service functions at the busy school of more than 30,000 students.
Aztec’s help desk must support all technology systems that power the company’s campus services, from desktops to nearly 200 servers. In the past, the help desk processed about 100 requests a day through the phone, email or from face-to-face (hallway) encounters. Without an issue tracking system, the team had no way to ensure it resolved a request and did so in a timely manner. Plus, it lacked reporting to understand the volume and nature of issues.
The IT team initially considered building a help desk solution in house, but realized it lacked the time and resources to devote to the project. Instead, IT director Jahan Jamshidi followed up on a peer’s recommendation to look at Issuetrak software.
“A colleague mentioned they use Issuetrak and love it. We liked the fact that everything was very much customizable for our needs and that we only need licenses for administrative users.”
Now, the IT team logs and reports on all requests in Issuetrak, taking particular advantage of features like “Next Action” to ensure all the steps in a series are addressed by IT members and even staff outside IT. That’s particularly beneficial for regular events such as audits.
The software also provides a much-needed knowledgebase for IT, helping the team move from binders to a searchable and easily updated database of resolutions. As the help desk became more proficient and efficient with the software, word spread to other Aztec groups with service-oriented functions. In particular, departments such as Graphics and Facilities chose to roll out their own instances of Issuetrak for workflow management. Similar to the help desk, lacking a formal workflow solution, those teams had been using paper, email or programs like FileMaker previously.
The IT staff easily configures and customizes each instance – usually in less than a day – and trains users based on the unique needs of the various departments. Facilities uses it for work orders like key requests or repairs. Graphics logs all requests for flyers, signs, photos, and other materials. Because many of the same requests arise year to year, the “copy” feature saves time by pulling over previous details into a new request.
“Everyone that ends up using Issuetrak loves it,” said Dawn Stoebe, IT project manager.
With reporting, all departments can pull up outstanding issues, understand labor loads, and plan upgrades or training.
Across the various instances, a couple hundred issues run through Issuetrak every day. All requests reside in the software, giving IT and other departments at-a-glance views of their assigned tasks. Instead of 200 or so calls coming in per day, end customers submit issues online right in Issuetrak, letting teams focus on resolutions instead of manning phones. As a result, teams better prioritize and resolve issues faster – and never forget a request.
Beyond ease of use of the software itself, Jamshidi values the support his team receives when any Issuetrak needs arise.
“Issuetrak gets a big A+ for support,” he said. “They go out of their way to help and are really, really good at troubleshooting anything complex. I’m very impressed with their support.”