Case Study: Spartan Stores
Spartan Stores realizes 30% improved efficiency in its Computer Support Center by returning to Impero Connect
Midwestern grocery supplier and retailer tries a new product, then returns to Impero Connect — the most secure and reliable remote access support solution
With an expensive network of computers spanning its stores and distributors’ sites, Spartan Stores relies on its Computer Support Center to keep information technology operations running smoothly. When a computer is down, time is of the essence in completing the repair.
“Literally every second counts with the staff we have,” said Beddie Thurston, computer support center manager. “Being able to resolve a problem quickly and move on the next is critical.”
A decade ago, the company implemented Impero Connect to manage its remote computer operations. Using remote support capabilities, the Computer Support Center staff was able to address any issues — from repairs to maintenance — by accessing the screen of any of the computers in the company’s and distributors’ stores.
“We were thrilled to get Impero — it was like night and day, going from no support to being able to see users’ computers, controlling the keyboard and mouse,” said Thurston.
After using Impero Connect for eight years, the company experimented with another solution, but found it fell short of the capabilities they had with Impero. “[The other product] was not reliable, was slow at connecting to the PC and didn’t allow us enough control over how the user responded,” explained Thurston. In addition, a new application in the company’s pharmacies was not compatible with the other remote control product. “Our Support Center made a big push to go back to Impero.”
Returning to Impero has been a welcome change for Thurston and her colleagues on the Computer Support Center team. “We love it,” she said. “It’s so reliable — we’re working with a lot of different systems across our stores, and we’re always able to connect right away, within 30 seconds.”
Efficiency is essential, as the busy team responds to approximately 250 calls each day, 60 percent of which require remote access to resolve issues.
Security was another prime consideration for Spartan Stores — to protect company data, ensure safe transactions at points of sale across the stores and to protect patient privacy in their pharmacies. Impero Connect provides industry-leading encryption and security, meeting and exceeding Payment Card Industry (PCI) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards, as well as International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS).
Thurston especially appreciates a Impero feature that allows more than one agent on her team to simultaneously connect to a user’s computer. With half of the Computer Support Center agents working from home, they would otherwise be limited in their ability to collaborate with colleagues.
“That feature is great for both troubleshooting and training and saves us a lot of time. [The other product] couldn’t do that — we had to transfer access from one agent to another, which was not very productive,” she said.
Since returning to the tried-and-true Impero Connect, Spartan Stores has improved efficiency in its Computer Support Center by 30 percent. “The speed is a major advantage. Saving two of three minutes every session really adds up,” said Thurston.
In addition, agents are not seeing the all-too-frequent black screens of the other product when trying to initiate a session. “Impero Connect is much more stable,” she said.
When the Computer Support Center team upgrades software on the thousands of computers they support, they can do so remotely, in short order, with Impero Connect. “It’s all behind the scenes, and it’s seamless to our users,” said Thurston.
The users, she said, are consistently amazed with the level of service the Computer Support Center can provide by accessing their computers remotely. “They don’t have to be technical to explain the problem — we can see it just as well as if we were there. And they’re impressed with the speed of getting their problem fixed. We connect, and away we go.”
“Impero Connect is the talk around the office,” Thurston said. “We’re happy to get it back and are excited about all we can do with it. We love the ease of use — it’s working very well for us.”
About Spartan Stores
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Spartan Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPTN) is the nation eleventh largest grocery distributor with 1.4 million square feet of warehouse, distribution, and office space. The company distributes more than 40,000 corporate and national brand products to approximately 375 independent grocery stores in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, and to 96 corporate-owned stores in Michigan, including Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen’s Markets, D&W Fresh Markets and VG’s Food and Pharmacy.