MIQ Logistics’ service delivery team is responsible for implementing and managing the company’s service desk, defining and rolling out its telecommunication strategy, and supporting the company’s client onboarding processes and systems. This federated IT organization spread across North America, the U.K., Hong Kong, and Peru ensures that tools and systems that align with their corporate strategy are rolled out globally.
“Over the years, our service desk got so customized that we ended up with a ‘jenga tower’ that we were afraid to make any changes to for fear of breaking something.”
Director of Service Delivery
Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, MIQ Logistics is a $500 million global logistics company. It specializes in international freight forwarding, customs brokerage, transportation management, truckload services, and dedicated warehouse and fulfillment services in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Along with a global network of partners, it provides services in and between more than 80 countries supported by over 2,000 in-country logistics professionals.
MIQ Logistics had previously developed two separate incident management systems—one using BMC FootPrints and the other using TeamTrack, the predecessor to the process management technology that powers Micro Focus SBM. Max Perez, Director of Service Delivery for MIQ Logistics, said, “Over the years, our service desk got so customized that we ended up with a ‘jenga tower’ that we were afraid to make any changes to for fear of breaking something. We learned to adjust to how the system worked even though certain form fields, for instance, didn’t make sense for a particular service line.” The end result was a spaghetti code-based system that was difficult to maintain and hard to use.
MIQ Logistics also recognized that they did not have a way to collect all incidents at a central location and then quickly route them to the right individuals based on the nature of the requests. “Our users were frustrated as they didn’t know where to go to request a particular service. We were flooded with questions—do I send an email or call someone to request help? Multiple entry points into our support organization was resulting in a negative perception of the help desk,” said Mr. Perez.
“We had developed specialized desks that dealt with specialized products. For instance, the transportation management system group had its own specialized Tier 2 queue and the iSeries for the AS400 product has its own specialized support queue. The service desk agents focused on the typical break-fix issues, rather than applications. So when a user sent in a specialized request, the service desk agents were forced to ask them to re-key information into a different application, which frustrated them further.” MIQ Logistics decided to invest in a centralized system that would improve their customer experience as it would make the migration of service requests to the right queues transparent to the users of the system. “We began reaching out to our customers to let them know that we were changing things and that they shouldn’t be afraid to reach out and engage with us.”
MIQ Logistics began looking for solutions that would help them create a single point of contact for all service requests. The idea of portal with a service catalog appealed to the team. Mr. Perez also saw the service desk consolidation initiative as an opportunity to evaluate tools that would help them take a phased approach to adopting ITIL best practices. As the company had specialized service desks in place that didn’t all follow a standard process of tiered escalations—from level one through to level three—they needed a solution that would let them flexibly configure processes to match the way they handled escalations.
MIQ Logistics compared ServiceNow, LanDesk, and other IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions against the incumbents and found that Service Manager provided them with the functionality that they needed at an attractive price. The team began with exploring the capabilities of Micro Focus SBM and configuring it to meet their specific needs in April of 2012. A few months later, MIQ Logistics had the request center and the incident management modules ready for prime time. At one point during the configuration the team had a setback due to a change in direction and had to re-adjust some flows. “It was necessary to accommodate specific, previously overlooked workflow requirements,” said Mr. Perez. Shortly after, they began the process of populating the knowledge base with articles.
ServicePoint, the rebranded request center, will serve as the single point of entry for all service requests over time. The team recognizes that their customers will continue to use email to send in requests but their plan is to boost adoption by selling the advantages of going to the portal—instant access to the status of requests, ready access to knowledge base articles that eliminates the need to wait for a response, a view of all the available services— through end user training sessions via WebEx.
“We’ve kept the entry stream very simple. We ask users to enter two to three things—the severity, the priority level—before they describe a problem,” said Mr. Perez. The team has developed documentation for end user training and plans to publish tips and “did you know” features and advertise the rollout of new services to maintain interest and draw people into ServicePoint. “If we demonstrate the value and show how easy it is use to the portal, they will come,” he added. The Service Delivery team at MIQ Logistics is now eager to demonstrate the breadth of services that they have to offer and is now building out the service catalog. The team also plans to demonstrate the power of leveraging the underlying process management platform to automate other workflows within other departments and add these as services to the catalog.
The service desk technicians underwent training in small groups and also helped with user acceptance testing prior to the initial rollout.
The team is focused on incorporating the feedback from the rollout of the incident management module. The initial goal is to eliminate BMC FootPrints and use SBM as the single solution for service management.
In Phase II, MIQ Logistics plans to use the problem and change management capabilities. The team is taking a fresh look at their IT processes and considering which processes get rolled into the service request center and providing role-based access to these services. Business-centric processes and services such as those related to project management are also likely to be added to the service portal in the future.