Edmonton-based Finning (Canada), a division of Finning International Inc., the world's largest Caterpillar equipment dealer, sells, rents and services Caterpillar equipment and engines in British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and a portion of Nunavut.
With roughly 3,400 end users working in 60 Canadian locations, Finning was struggling to track its servers, PCs, printers and other IT assets, especially those situated in service shops and shared by multiple staff. This was problematic for equipment servicing, upgrading or end-of-lease returns. They also lacked full service and technical-support histories for their assets.
"We were finding it virtually impossible to physically track the movement of machines," said Pattie Chorney, IT Infrastructure Manager, Finning (Canada). "We were relying on users to do this for us, but this produced mixed results at best."
Finning was experiencing similar challenges with procurement. Their rudimentary end-user requisition process had no intelligence or tracking capabilities, so they relied on their hardware services partner to provide reports on the status of purchase orders and deployments.
"We simply didn't have the level of control over these activities we wanted," said Chorney.
Finning subscribed to Compugen's web-based Emerge, a fully hosted application. Finning had previously contracted Compugen to provide procurement and maintenance services for all its IT equipment; the Procurement Manager and Asset Manager modules of Emerge would be used by Finning IT staff and end users in conjunction with information provided by Compugen's Service Desk to help manage and track these activities. Finning's standard suites of hardware and software were pre-populated in Emerge so that authorized Finning staff could easily order from a menu.
"We worked closely with the Compugen Emerge team to provide them the information they needed to configure the system for us," said Heather Davidson, Asset Coordinator at Finning. "This was a good experience because the Compugen people were very helpful."
Finning policy requires that changes to asset location or assignment be reported by management, and periodic scans of the network allow independent verification of the location of equipment.
"By comparing the results of the network scans with an inventory report from Emerge, and reconciling any differences, we are now much better able to keep track of IT assets," said Chorney.
Emerge has given Finning much better control of its IT assets. Staff can see machines at various stages of the procurement cycle, for example, track orders placed by users, query Emerge to confirm request and approval processes and track service histories for all equipment.
"If we experience recurring issues with a particular machine, Emerge lets us quickly see how many other machines of that type we have and where they are located, in case the situation calls for a preventive maintenance action," said Chorney.
The Emerge asset repository also includes location information critical to end-of-lease returns. Procurement and lease return history helps budgeting for new equipment, software deployments and license compliance.
"Our IT equipment needs are always changing, and the visibility that Emerge provides helps us develop a much better understanding of those needs," said Chorney.