Richmond Systems drives IT support efficiency at FGA Capital

Project background
FGA Capital UK Limited 
is a motor vehicle finance specialist created as a joint venture between Fiat Group Automobiles and Crédit Agricole, the French banking group.  Slough-based FGA Capital is made of three business strands: retail finance, dealer wholesale and contract hire, with the service desk supporting a mixture of field and office-based staff.  The team supports a range of bespoke marketing and finance tools and programmes, which in turn help the business provide quality services to Fiat and Alfa Romeo customers.  It has used IT support software technology from Richmond Systems since 2004.

In 2011, an insourcing project was undertaken to create a Retail Finance Service Centre which was historically an outsourced service. Moiz Sheikh, ICT Manager for FGA Capital: “We immediately moved from a 9-5, Monday to Friday operation, to becoming an 0800-1900, six days per week centre, doubling our customer numbers and increasing the number of incidents to 200-250 each week.”

With the primary objective of quickly resolving IT incidents to restore customers to productivity, the expansion of the service centre saw the recruitment of additional front line staff.  Dave Accastello, Helpdesk Team Leader, also joined at this time to ensure the service delivery continued uninterrupted.  “With such a big project, which was focused on creating an efficient service, expectations regarding the quality of support went through the roof,” explains Accastello.

As well as drafting in extra people, FGA Capital decided to review its service desk technology to gauge its suitability for meeting the heightened expectations.  “We were using Richmond Systems as our service desk software provider before the creation of the retail service centre, but we used it as an opportunity to review how we use the software,” says Moiz Sheikh.

“Richmond ServiceDesk has been well received by both support and IT teams, it runs smoothly and gives us a fresh overview of our day-to-day operations”

Project rollout
The team discovered that Richmond was indeed suitable for its requirements, offering tight integration between processes, and a single view of each incident and resolution, regardless of who opened and actioned each ticket.

Moiz Sheikh also says that the relationship his team have with Richmond is also crucial for the longevity of their agreement.  “We have a good relationship with our account manager Phil, he is knowledgeable about the product and our business, the consistency of working with the same person is valuable to us.”

Upgrading to Richmond ServiceDesk
This consistency has also helped cement the relationship further, with FGA Capital upgrading to Richmond ServiceDesk, the web-based IT support platform which was released late in 2013. “We always like to run the latest version, we have 16 licences and so the automatic upgrades immediately save us time and effort.”

After addressing a few teething issues, mostly associated with the FGA Capital environment, the team quickly saw benefits from using Richmond ServiceDesk.  “Once we got used to the upgrade, we realised that the previous Richmond system felt cluttered and clunky.  Richmond ServiceDesk has been well received by both support and IT teams, it runs smoothly and gives us a fresh overview of our day-to-day operations,” says Accastello.

As well as managing and resolving incidents, Richmond ServiceDesk is used to track defects to releases, change and asset management and supporting vendor relationships as Accastello explains. “We have all our vendor contacts in there and by making sure we enter all details, we have a central point to keep track of these relationships.”

“Richmond ServiceDesk is an all-encompassing solution, so it saves money because the whole team works from it.”

The software is also responsible for saving the team from repetitive tasks.  “One of the biggest assets of Richmond ServiceDesk is that it monitors the group mailbox, logging tickets without anyone having to manually enter, assigning a category and adding the incident to the queue,” says Accastello. Not only does this allow IT support staff to spend more time on complex issues as opposed to entering data, it improves accuracy of data added by eliminating the possibility of human error.

Ongoing, because Richmond ServiceDesk has been built specifically with mobile devices in mind, it will also help IT support to keep up with current and future trends.  “We are currently rolling out iPads and iPhones through the business, so the technology will help us support and use these devices.”

Sheikh summarises the experience of using Richmond ServiceDesk by referencing its abilities to manage crucial IT processes end-to-end.  “All our processes interlink, we can convert changes to requests, and it centralises everything into a single view.  Richmond ServiceDesk is an all encompassing solution, so it saves money because the whole team works from it.”

Eric Wright