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Ford Motor Company

Outsourcing User Support

Ford Motor Company is the Russian representative office of the American multinational automaker Ford.

Departments automation
Automotive industry

The challenge

In early 2002, a factory for Ford Focus production was launched in Russia.

The factory implemented information technologies in most production processes. The IT Department of the plant provided technological operations and office activities for employees. The entire manufacturing business depended on the reliability and stability of IT operations.

The growing demand for manufactured cars allowed the plant to introduce a second and a third work shifts. The number of IT users at the factory was continually increasing. Their support needed a lot of effort and resources from the IT Department. Therefore, it was necessary to provide full support to users within existing limited resources.

To enable a quick response to new emerging business needs and to support the current activities of the enterprise, the IT department management was looking for new tools to address these issues.

Digital Design was selected for the outsourcing contract. At the time of signing the contract, Digital Design had extensive experience in supporting and maintaining information systems.

The solution

The decision to outsource IT user support has been made.

By outsourcing the HelpDesk, an organization can:

  • reduce the downtime of the IS and the number of failures by organizing the maintenance process more efficiently;
  • increase user satisfaction with IT services;
  • make the IS maintenance process more manageable and transparent for cost accounting;
  • focus the efforts of the company’s IT staff on the tasks of planning and developing information systems;
  • reduce the cost of searching, selecting, and training non-key business professionals;
  • use the experience of solving similar tasks accumulated by an external company.

Digital Design organized the user support service (HelpDesk), built the service process, and prepared documentation. In the beginning, user support processes were designed: this stage is one of the most important as it allows one to perform operations effectively in the future.

The HelpDesk outsourcing contract implied signing the Service Level Agreement (SLA), which allowed monitoring the service’s performance at all stages according to pre-defined criteria and metrics. It included the following parameters:

  • term of the agreement;
  • service time;
  • The territory of service;
  • service objects;
  • types of queries served;
  • response time;
  • metrics for evaluating the quality of service activities;
  • parameters for weekly (monthly) reports on the service’s activities;
  • order of meetings;
  • payments.

The results

Due to the rapid resolution of incidents by HelpDesk specialists, the efficiency of the end-users of the Ford information system in Russia has significantly increased.

Elements of the following processes have been developed according to the principles of the ITIL library:

  • Service Level Management

    • HelpDesk terms of service
  • Incident Management

    • Escalation instructions
    • Priorities of incidents
    • Instructions for production systems
  • Change Management

    • Installation instructions
    • Installation control sheet
  • Configuration Management

    • Inventory instructions

Surveys of the information system users were conducted every six months to monitor the activity of the user support service and assess the quality of its work. The survey evaluated user satisfaction with the service, response time, competence and level of knowledge of the service staff, politeness, and clarity of answers.

Every week, the service employees, together with representatives of the Ford IT Department, held scheduled meetings to determine the service’s tasks for the next week and discuss the results of the past week. An extended meeting of representatives of the Ford Motor company and Digital Design was held every month to review the results of the HelpDesk service.

When working with Ford Digital Design adhered to the following principles:

  • Digital Design performs internal control and is responsible for the quality of the service;
  • Digital Design manages staff by coordinating their actions with the customer;
  • Digital Design develops the technology of work execution;
  • All the functions performed are clearly defined.

Used Technologies and Solutions