How Dobler & Sons Gains 4 Days of Productivity Every Month with ZAG’s Managed Services Support
“No company can afford lackluster technical support, because it leads to big delays and poor productivity.
With ZAG, you get faster support and fewer callbacks, and make significant time savings across your business.”
— Jacob Dobler, Controller with responsibility for IT, Dobler & Sons
Dobler & Sons produces and transports conventional and organic leafy greens from the field to processing, and then to the final customer. The company recently celebrated 70 years of farming in the Pajaro Valley in California.
Sluggish technical support reduces business productivity
Dobler & Sons has all the ingredients of a highly successful Ag business: a passion for fresh produce and an entrepreneurial spirit that puts product innovation center-field.
But there were improvements that could be made to its IT ecosystem to strengthen its productivity.
On the face of it, Dobler’s technology infrastructure wasn’t overly complex. The company used a virtual server—hosted through a private cloud provider—to connect 45 staff members across nine different sites. Staff ran their critical day-to-day business activities through a connected Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
Struggling with support levels
To keep their systems running smoothly, and people productive, Dobler relied on a Managed Services Provider (MSP) to provide prompt technical support.
Having an MSP was business-critical, because while Dobler’s team knew Ag inside out, they didn’t know IT.
“We’re an Ag company and we don’t have that technical base with our employees,” says Controller Jacob Dobler, who is also responsible for IT. “Nobody’s really able to troubleshoot [technical issues] themselves, so when something’s not working, they need an immediate response from our MSP.
“If they don’t get one, that person in that department is dead in the water.”
So when Jacob began to notice changes in service levels after the MSP was acquired by another business, he knew it was a major problem.
“Instead of giving timely tech support, the company stopped answering our calls. Our staff had to leave voicemails and were out of action for two or three hours waiting for a call back.”
This worrying dip in service highlighted other frustrations. The MSP was primarily reactive to problems after they’d occurred. What Jacob really needed was an expert capable of looking deeper into its IT infrastructure, and more proactively identifying and preventing issues.
With staff out of action for several hours every time they sought IT support, Dobler’s productivity was suffering. They needed to take action before the issue rippled into a bigger business problem: where more resourcing was required to meet their workload—and profitability took a nosedive.
ZAG delivers reliable tech support and proactive business consultancy that secures Dobler for the long term
ZAG Technical Services was on Dobler’s radar as an MSP that worked closely with other fresh produce companies. ZAG understood the nature of Dobler’s business—as well as the need for maximum productivity and uptime.
Migrating to Microsoft Azure
Dobler began its relationship with ZAG by migrating its technology systems to Microsoft Azure. ZAG migrated Dobler from its previous provider’s private cloud over to public cloud computing platform Microsoft Azure—and implemented Azure Virtual Desktop.
This immediately added more protection for Dobler’s data and enhanced their security, while giving them the control and flexibility over their environment that they needed to make additional changes.
Meeting Dobler’s IT needs with a Managed Services plan
Dobler decided that ZAG’s Managed User Support agreement was the ideal fit for the organization to meet their need for fast and flawless technical support. This includes:
- Day-to-day support for the company’s 45 users across its complete technology infrastructure.
- Remote monitoring and management, which preemptively identifies and fixes issues before they become bigger problems.
To ensure a high level of personal service from day one, ZAG gathered information about the company’s people, systems, and locations.
“ZAG had a good system for collecting as much information as possible about each user, so they don’t get blindsided when people call in,” says Jacob. “When a person calls in, the support team at ZAG has a lot of background information and isn’t wasting time starting from scratch each time.”
With ZAG onboard, Jacob noticed an immediate improvement in service levels.
“Our calls were answered immediately,” says Jacob. “And because ZAG’s support team understands our specific challenges, particularly how our ERP translates into the Azure environment, they don’t have to do lots of research first—they can get straight onto fixing our issues.”
Proactive security consultancy adds business value
An unexpected business benefit for Jacob was the ongoing security consultancy provided by ZAG.
Dobler’s dedicated ZAG Account Manager focused on securing Dobler’s business, one step at a time. They worked through every gap in Dobler’s armor, and guided them on how to cost-effectively resolve issues.
“ZAG does a lot of proactive consultancy work and presents us with ways to address security risks before they become potentially larger threats,” says Jacob. “ZAG has shone a light on all the security aspects we need to deal with.”
Thanks to ZAG’s proactive approach to securing Dobler’s business, they have:
- Implemented multi-factor authentication (MFA) and a stronger password policy. This adds more layers of security and increases business resilience.
- Conducted a security review of the email system. ZAG took care of settings that had been neglected and ensured Dobler was safe from scams and phishing.
- Implemented Datto SaaS protection for Office365. This was a cost-effective way to protect data in the Cloud. It backs up everything related to Office365, making it fast and simple to restore.
- Cleaned up Dobler’s network drive. ZAG disposed of unnecessary information and ensured users can find the information they need to more effectively conduct business.
Dobler is also working with ZAG to mature their operations and better control backups in Microsoft Azure. By doing so, they can quickly recover to full velocity if they ever fall victim to a security breach.
As a result of this operational maturity and forward-thinking planning, Dobler is better prepared in the event of an outage or incident to keep their business operations going.
Of all the work implemented by ZAG, Jacob particularly appreciates having Dobler’s systems monitored remotely.
“I don’t have to worry about vulnerabilities, because ZAG takes care of it in the background,” says Jacob. “When there’s a vulnerability, they send us an email and say they’re taking care of it. Which is a weight off everyone’s shoulders.”
4 days of staff resources recovered every month
Harnessing the power of ZAG’s Managed User Support—and its ongoing security consultancy—has improved business outcomes for Dobler & Sons.
Before ZAG, Dobler’s staff were out of action for two hours every time they made a support request.
Now, those delays have all but disappeared.
This is a big deal for the business. If every user makes just one call a month, 90 hours of previously wasted resources are now back in the business!
That’s almost 4 days of lost productivity recovered every single month.
“With faster support and fewer callbacks, we’re making significant time savings across the business,” says Jacob. “No business can afford to have big delays in their day, with wasted time and wasted productivity—and ZAG has reduced that.”
The business is more productive and secure. And without having IT challenges on their plate, Jacob and his team can concentrate on revenue-focused priorities.
“The biggest benefit of partnering with ZAG is that I’m not distracted by IT and can stay on other priorities,” says Jacob. “ZAG has really advanced us in the tech department, and it’s a relief to have them abreast of what’s happening in the background.”
Jacob recommends ZAG’s managed services to other agricultural businesses looking to relieve IT headaches, improve productivity, and grow with confidence.
“ZAG were on top of things from the get-go,” says Jacob. “Our experience has been good and working with them has been smooth and efficient. It’s great to have one less thing to consider during your day, because you know that ZAG has it all in hand.”
Customer: Dobler & Sons
Customer size: Privately held
Region: California, United States
Industry: Agriculture/Fresh Produce
Partner: ZAG Technical Services