Brake Supply Co., Inc., a division of Koch Enterprises, Inc. began in 1947 as a repair shop for automotive brakes. Over the years, Brake Supply developed expertise rebuilding heavy duty off road powertain components and hydraulic cylinders. Today the company’s exchange inventory is valued at over $30 million, allowing customers to keep their equipment up and running with minimal down time. Brake Supply has operations across the U.S. and Canada, with its headquarters and main operations in Evansville, Indiana, where they operate the largest non-OEM rebuild center in the world.
What Brake Supply Wanted
Why Break Supply Went Google
In 2005, Brake Supply replaced a POP3 server and adopted Microsoft Exchange as their email platform. After experiencing a hardware crash in 2008, the IT team at Brake Supply restored the company’s data to an HP server running Exchange 2003. Over the years, the amount of data grew, and restoring from the backup method in use became a concern. The head of the team at this time, Director of IT, Alex Copeland, anticipated having to upgrade IT resources again or face the continuous threat of another crash. Alex was also interested in new ways of improving the company’s overall approach to IT and was in the process of doing a lot of competitive analysis of cloud-based and on-premise systems.
After an extensive total cost of ownership analysis comparing on-premise hosted Exchange versus cloud-based Microsoft 365 and Google Apps, Brake Supply selected Google Apps through an agreement with Agosto. Agosto provided Brake Supply with Google Apps as well as change management and support throughout the technology transition.
Alex explored several competitive options before going with Google. He described his experience with Microsoft. “They would have you believe that the easiest path is just to stay on their systems, but in all the white papers and case studies I read from their perspective, they didn’t demonstrate a deficiency with Google – except it just wasn’t Outlook. They didn’t seem forward-thinking and did not show me efficiencies. Their whole pitch was about their enterprise agreement and licenses. They never let me know how it was going to help my business.”
Alex then contacted Google and the discussion revolved around what Google Apps could do for his business, including cost savings estimates and how Google’s collaborative environment could increase productivity and innovation. The values behind the conversation were in line with what Alex was looking for so he accepted an introduction to Agosto. Alex was still worried and had a lot of questions but says as he went through the talks with Google and then Agosto, he was always reassured.
“I am a do-it-yourself kind of guy and we have built most of our infrastructure. I had imagined having to do a lot of work but with this project the value was there for me to actually say to Agosto, ‘just make my life easy, and let’s go Google,’ and that is exactly what has happened.”
Alex was impressed with Agosto’s project management and treatment of change management. Agosto set expectations accurately and training went well; Alex says it was actually entertaining and engaging. A month after training, Alex spoke to a colleague in a particularly change-resistant office, who told him to make sure to let the Agosto trainer’s boss know that he did an excellent job. To hear this from one of his toughest internal customers was really encouraging.
“Another impressive aspect of the transition to Google Apps was the availability of the Agosto sales engineer assigned to our project,” said Alex. “He was always there to help when we had a concern. In other situations, even where we supposedly had 24×7 maintenance, we’d call our provider only to hear them complain about inconvenient timing. With Agosto, we have always had a good support experience.”
The feedback about the Google go-live from Brake Supply’s work force and top management has also been positive. The whole company is working better with Google Apps, replacing antiquated workflows with real-time collaboration using documents, spreadsheets and other Google Apps. The good news about cost savings is exciting, too.
“Over the next five years, Brake Supply should save over a million dollars by using Google Apps, provided the company stands firm to not get stuck combining old technology with more efficient Google tools,” said Alex. “The transition to Google Apps with Agosto is one of the best things that we have ever done in our IT work at Brake Supply since I arrived here 15 years ago.”