We all come to rely on manufacturers. Every one of us has our preferred computer manufacturer, firewall manufacturer, VPN, and so on. In my case, I love 1E products, I have for 10 plus years. We already had Nomad (best money ever spent), and NightWatchman, and I had been looking at 1E Shopping for years.
A couple of years ago, at the environmental firm where I work in the U.S., we decided to create a few “imaging depots” to help us service our users for desktop and laptop delivery. The idea behind these depots was that local staff would build and distribute machines to users across the company.
From a user perspective, the depots were a huge success. When a user got a computer, it came everything that user needed or requested pre-installed, thanks to a detailed setup process.
This process represented customer service at its best, but is wasn’t sustainable at all. In fact, from a business perspective, the depots were a disaster. When you’re providing that much customer service using just a few personnel, things are likely to back up, and they did. One of the problems was around storage: machines came from the manufacturer, were unboxed by the depot tech, and stored safely. Since each computer typically came along with more than one monitor, plus accessories, that meant that if 150 computers were ordered, over 300 boxes arrived. Maintaining such a large quantity of equipment at a non-warehouse location wasn’t possible. The depots became time consuming and costly and we needed a way out quickly.
The solution we came up with was this: we would ship the computers directly from the manufacturer to the user, and provide the user with a self-service process to complete the build of their own computer. This process would make the user responsible for ordering their computer through 1E Shopping and setting it up on arrival. Upon connecting the computer to the domain, the user would be able to request the software they need, with all approvals automatically handled and the software is automatically installed on the user’s computer. The final part of the sequence would involve the user running a program to move their data from an existing computer to their new computer
Thanks to 1E, we were able to establish this end-to-end automated process without impacting the quality of service experienced by the end user. Here’s how we did it.