Kingspan is the global leader in high performance insulation and building envelope solutions. Founded in 1965 as a small engineering and contracting business in Kingscourt, Ireland, it has grown into a €4.4 billion company with over 13,000 employees globally. The Kingspan brand is synonymous with insulation panels, however it is involved in many other aspects of energy conservation in construction. Matching its commitment to sustainability, the company has committed itself to achieving 100% net-zero energy usage across the entire business and manufacturing processes by 2020.
Operationally the company is structured into five different divisions, with each division responsible for their own IT provision. Peter Gifford, Divisional Service Delivery Manager, is responsible for delivering a reliable IT service to 2,500 users across 60 sites within the Kingspan Insulation division. While headquartered in Herefordshire, Peter serves users around the world, from the UK to the Nordics and Dubai.
Historically, when it came to ITSM, the divisions were all on the same platform. However, using a shared platform proved to be difficult, since each division had different priorities. This resulted in different approaches to change management, different SLAs, etc. Kingspan Insulation therefore made the decision to look for a new solution for the division specifically.
Given the buoyancy of the ITSM market, Peter initially felt spoilt for choice. “Narrowing down the list of contenders was difficult at first. After some consultation with Gartner, we narrowed it down to a list of 8 solutions, with a good mix of the better-known, established brands and some newer solutions. Cherwell’s Service Management platform had also been recommended via a former colleague, so we were keen to include it on the list.”
After meeting with eight potential solutions providers, participating in demos and visiting some customer sites, Peter invited three companies to tender, ultimately choosing Cherwell Service Management as their new ITSM platform.
“Cherwell felt like a good fit from the start. They were the right size to feel that you still mattered as a customer. Cherwell could be a partner to us, and not simply an arms-length supplier. This really mattered to us,” commented Peter.
Part of the Cherwell journey for Kingspan was moving the division onto ITIL processes. With eleven of the most commonly used ITIL processes built directly into the Cherwell platform, this was a fairly painless process for the company.
While Kingspan’s primary role for Cherwell was to have a cutting edge, responsive service desk and ticket handling for its 2,500 IT users, they also leveraged it for IT Asset Management. By feeding data from Microsoft Active Directory, Cherwell and Lansweeper into Power BI (for software and hardware assets respectively) Peter’s team is now able to conduct regular reconciliations of the IT estate quickly and easily.
Cherwell has also helped the service desk to be much more proactive. Peter explains, “Cherwell allows us to proactively manage the estate by conducting daily audits. Every morning we fire up Cherwell to build our exception list. We can see immediately which machines are not receiving virus updates, Windows updates etc. and address them before more serious issues develop. As a result of this proactive approach, the majority of the inbound issues we deal with are now mostly priority 4s, whereas previously they would mostly be priority 2s. This has transformed our typical workday.”
"As a division we wanted greater autonomy. We were compromising too much, so we needed to find and manage our own ITSM platform." - Mike Leeding - IT Quality Specialist
Peter was particularly impressed by the way Cherwell allows his team to make changes to the system themselves. “In contrast to many of the other solutions we looked at, we know we’re not running up a bill when we configure the system because we can do it ourselves, simply and easily via the codeless, drag-and-drop interface. This was a real benefit to us and a top reason for choosing the Cherwell platform in the first place.”
Kingspan was also able to develop a new Service Desk portal which utilises the Cherwell API, this won the Best Portal Design Award at Cherwell’s 2019 Annual Conference. The portal has embedded live chat functionality, e-commerce functions and statistical dashboard displays, providing users with a clean, modern way of accessing IT support. With the addition of live notifications, users don’t need to find a specific area to get an update on what is happening with their ticket, as all updates are sent straight to their notification area, available on all pages.
Looking to the future, and buoyed by the recent award win for its Service Desk portal, the Kingspan Insulation division is keen to build on its use of Cherwell beyond the Service Desk, as it looks to expand and integrate Cherwell into the company’s change management processes.
- Cherwell’s detailed and intuitive dashboards help Kingspan’s service desk stay on top of its workflow, keep the company moving and be more responsive to user requests; “Cherwell’s dashboards were, quite simply, better than anything else on the market at the time,” comments Peter.
- The concurrent, inclusive licensing model means Kingspan does not overpay for licenses that are not used. This also means that portal users, manager approvals, password resets, and other automations and integrations do not require additional licenses.
- ITIL processes allow Kingspan to introduce common process standards and toolsets for the Service Desk globally, reducing confusion and needless inefficiency for both users and the IT department alike.
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