Here at Upward, we strive to bring our customers exceptional service and technology solutions. That can range by working on large projects such as migrating a company from a defunct 2008 Exchange Server to a new cloud-based email solution such as Office 365. Or smaller everyday tasks such as speeding up a slow computer, or installing a new printer. In everything we do, we want to make sure we’re delivering the best results to our clients.
One of the most common IT Solutions we provide is the purchasing, building, and configuring of a new work station. Basically, this means that from point of sale, all the way to delivery, we can take care of the whole package and bring your company a brand new, fully customized computer at a great rate and complete with all the latest technology. Now to do this, we ask for a lead time of two weeks to fully realize the process. To some of our customers, this seems like maybe too long of a wait, but there are good reasons that we ask for this time frame and why coming to us for your new computer is better than heading to a big box store.
Here are the reasons we ask for a two week lead time:
1.) The right Specifications.
When we are ordering a new workstation for a customer we always make sure to take our time to order the right equipment at the right price. This means our Inside Sales Manager, Brett Mustard has to be extra meticulous in matching the proper system requirements, soliciting the best vendor, and packaging it all so that it arrives in time.
Also with this, Brett has to get with our technical team to confirm that the new computer is going to meet the user’s needs in terms of applications and external equipment. Sometimes this means the addition of memory or a better hard drive like an SSD (Solid State Drive). This can often times make the ordering and purchasing process longer.
But as you can see, this is all for the benefit of the customer. We want to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck if you’re purchasing new technology.
We always want to account for a buffer day or two when it comes to shipping. While UPS and FedEx have become far more sophisticated in terms of tracking, they aren’t perfect. If they say a shipment is arriving on a Wednesday, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be Wednesday morning and we can unpack the computer and start working on it then. Wednesday can also mean end of day. We don’t like to over promise and under deliver on any of the projects we work on so we keep a shipping buffer in our planning process.
We are actively working on decreasing the amount of time it takes an Upward Technician to build a new workstation but with our current set of tools, we estimate a computer build can take anywhere from 6-12 hours depending on the machine. And here’s why: from out of the box a tech must: reformat the current hard drive, run hardware diagnostics to make sure all systems are running efficiently, install the desired operating system, install the hardware and software enabling drivers, configure the PC with new hardware, install our protection and monitoring services (anti-virus and malware as well as our Kaseya agent) and then onto installing customer-specific software. This does not include many updates and patches that also go along with OS, driver, and application installations. It’s a painstaking process, but we follow a strict build checklist that assures that the PC is being built correctly.
4.) Quality Control.
Every PC that goes out of our door has to go through Quality Control. Twice. First, the tech does a call with the end user (or the end user’s supervisor if it is a new user) to make sure that we are installing and configuring the correct applications for them and to double check about any requests and/or concerns. Also, once that call has been made and the Tech has signed off on the build, a supervising tech will then go through the checklist and make sure that all steps have been followed on the actual workstation. If something doesn’t look right, we will hold the deployment.
If you can believe (most of our regular clients will not be surprised), Upward is busy. And we’re happy about that. We take pride in the fact that we come to work every day ready to provide technology solutions to our customers. But as I will admit (as Operations Manager) in order to keep ahead of the game we have to adhere to a very tight schedule here. Which usually means, that projects such as deployments are officially put in the schedule two weeks in advance. A.) so we can have the time to do all the steps above but also B.) because currently, the demand for our services is high. And we plan on keeping it that way!
We hope that this explanation is helpful and that our lead time is so we can make sure the best product can be delivered to our customers and their employees. Questions? Want to talk more about our processes and how we implement projects so we can provide you with the best IT in Portland? Contact Upward today!