Industry :

Sports equipment, apparel

Location :

US

Summary

TaylorMade is one of the largest American manufacturers of golf clubs, bags, and accessories. Like many large manufacturing and retail companies, TaylorMade decided to shift much of its environment to the cloud. That decision to consolidate all their ITSM services was stress-tested due to the stay-at-home policies related to the pandemic  Since late 2019, TaylorMade’s IT department experienced a 150% increase in queries. Thanks to Freshworks’ Freshservice, they were able to redirect many of these user queries to the self-service portal, decreasing response time and increasing their employee satisfaction ratings.

 

Converging to the Cloud

TaylorMade had already decided to shift many of the company’s processes to a cloud environment before Covid-19 occurred. Before engaging Freshworks, the company had outdated service management tools and methodologies that were impacting business-as-usual. “I think the value of cloud and the speed to adoption has been radically increased due to the pandemic,” says Ali Chitsaz, Senior Manager of Client Experience at TaylorMade. “We were faced with a choice: make the shift or undoubtedly fall behind.”

When COVID-19 hit, it greatly impacted sports and subsequently sports manufacturers. The PGA started cancelling tournaments in mid-March and it wasn’t until mid-June when they started back up again. On top of that, less than 50% of golf courses were open to playing for more than a month during the height of the pandemic. Entering July, over 98% of U.S. golf courses were open for play. Greg Olbrich, the Senior IT Operations Leader at TaylorMade, recalls the business impact: “Back in April, all national golf retail stores were closed to foot traffic while about 20% of independent and regional retailers were open. That’s only 4% of total off-course golf speciality space open to in-store traffic!.”

Yet the need for IT support has never been more in-demand because of the stay-at-home orders. “Enabling our employees to safely and efficiently continue to work regardless of the environment is our number one priority,” says Ali. “Like everyone, we had to shift gears with little warning. We didn’t have 2-3 months to develop a project plan, we had to properly configure new environments in less than a week. This is where software like Freshservice became instrumental.”

 

 Automating Routine Tasks

The IT department’s mission has always been to minimize downtime and maximize availability,” says Ali. “Automation was one of the driving factors in the selection of Freshservice.” The mission to automate has allowed TaylorMade to be fully prepared for emergencies like

COVID-19. “With Freshservice’s features and modules, we’ve been able to get things up and running quickly. For us to be successful, we had to have numerous workflows and processes in place for our 100 agents.” Below are some of the standout features and modules TaylorMade counts on:

 

  • Workflow Automation: TaylorMade can automate communications for major incidents, locations for requesters, approvals, etc. Back-end tagging makes finding the right articles a breeze. Workflows like password-resets or handing-off queries to a 3rd party have been 100% automated.

  • Project Module: By bringing all IT processes into one place, TaylorMade can increase visibility into a project. Multiple agents can add details, change the status & priority, and loop in appropriate stakeholders so requestors are up-to-date at all times.    

  • Asset Management: The module helps TaylorMade effectively track and manage assets. Agents are better able to manage spikes in tickets by not having to waste time searching for solutions. Requesters can quickly access over 50 user-facing solution articles.  

  • Analytics & Reporting: For TaylorMade, analytics is key. It drives engagement, whether it's an athlete or an employee. The IT department takes full advantage of the Dashboard & Visualization functionality to track different reporting measures, such as SLA and first response, to provide a deep understanding of their performance.

          

Automation is the Name of the Game

Since September, the average response and resolution time per ticket have been cut down by more than half thanks to automation. What’s more impressive, this has been done while the volume of tickets has increased. “Even though our volume has gone up, we’ve been able to resolve tickets quicker and more efficiently,” says Ali. “Back in September, the average number of tickets per month used to sit around 700. That’s now increased to 2400 a month, a nearly 250% increase.” TaylorMade has also further pushed the limits of their department. IT has increased their SLAs when they realized they were exceeding expectations. “Our SLA agreement was hovering around 60%-70% before Freshservice,” says Ali. “Our average now is in the high 90s%.”

Having a cloud infrastructure has encouraged the team to onboard a lot of the processes that they previously have neglected. “We are now routing things much more efficiently than before,” continues Ali. “We’re getting to a point where someone makes a request and our only response to them is ‘it’s done.’”

 

Creating a Comprehensive IT Experience

“We feel very happy that we decided to go with Freshservice,” says Ali. “The process from sales to onboarding was nothing but a great experience. But the standout feature of Freshservice was its ability to do everything in a single tool.”

Another way they’re looking to further automate is through Freshworks’ AI bot, Freddy. “We haven’t turned Freddy on yet, or what we plan on calling Caddy, but we’ve been testing it out,” says Ali. “The functionality is very attractive  and having a centralized location for all employee questions is huge.”

“We feel very happy that we decided to go with Freshservice, the process from sales to onboarding was nothing but a great experience. But the standout feature of Freshservice was its ability to do everything in a single tool.”

Ali Chitsaz

Senior Manager of Client Experience

TaylorMade