Able Distributors Case Study

February 13th, 2018
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BELIEVE IT OR NOT, SOMETIMES THERE’S SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH GROWTH, TOO QUICKLY.

That’s the story here with Able Distributors, the largest independent HVACR distributor in Chicago. It all started in 1980 when former merchant marine engineer Andrew Bleier decided to start his own business. Fast-forward to today, and the company has four branches in Chicago’s Northside, Southside, North Shore suburbs, and McHenry County.

ABOUT THE CASE
While more locations might mean more business, over time, Able’s growth became severely limited by an infrastructure that acted like more of a maze than an IT system. Not to mention, for a company that thrived on sales and communication, the unreliable connections between offices and warehouses were insufficient to suit Able’s needs. The sales associates and managers could never easily relay critical information from office to office, protocols were all over the place, and offsite connections from the field were completely out of the question. But let’s dive into some of Able’s more specific problems, shall we?

PROBLEM 1 – COMMUNICATION
The individual branch sites at Able lacked a single system to communicate or notify each other of updates or changes— and not being able to contact a co-worker across town when they hold the key to finish up your day’s work is always a blood boiler, right?

THE SOLUTION 
By switching Able to our cloud-based system, Nerdio gave the client easy access, and made data sharing so simple that Able’s team didn’t even have to think about it anymore. All business locations are now connected, all the time. Not too shabby.

PROBLEM 2 – SECURITY
Able’s operating systems were more like a patchwork quilt instead of an IT program, which left the client dangerously vulnerable to hacking, information loss, and countless other reasons for shutdown. And we all know that’s a stress migraine just waiting to happen.

THE SOLUTION 
As part of the transition to Nerdio’s cloud solution, we phased in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure that made software use uniform. Uniform use means that there’s only one way in and one way out— and you bet that Nerdio sealed those paths with federal level security. It is our specialty, after all.

 

PROBLEM 3 – INFORMATION ACCESS
Critical data was frequently lost by branches and sales when the main office was experiencing problems. Simply put, if one went down, they took the whole boat with them — and nobody likes jumping ship.

THE SOLUTION 
If there’s a life raft, use it! Because of Nerdio’s cloud based storage, all of Able’s essential data is now housed off-site, while still accessible by all authorized personnel in their network. Off-site storage means less risk, more security, and less headaches, because Nerdio does it all. Not to mention way less hardware in the process, which in turn means less risk, more security, and less money.

 

PROBLEM 4 – MAINTENANCE & UPGRADING
Because the hardware and software varied at each location, Able’s IT professional spent most of their time fixing different problems at each business. Once again, that meant more money and more time troubleshooting instead of moving forward.

THE SOLUTION 
All client servers and hard drives were eventually moved to a secure Nerdio facility where they could be easily maintained and upgraded. Most of the time these upgrades and issues were solved even before they made it to the office— and problems that you never see are the best kind of problems, don’t you think? We’re just going to keep the boat metaphor going here— for Able, it was smooth sailing at last.

After venting about IT hassles for years, Able finally made the call to Adar, and we’re so glad they did. Our cloud based solution, Nerdio, left them simplified, streamlined, and ABLE (sorry, you knew it was coming) to keep their eyes on the future— not their IT bills.

Download the full case study  Able Distributors Case Study