Egan Company is an approximately 800-person, 68-year old manufacturing and construction company in Minnesota. Egan’s large projects include work on the Central Corridor Light Rail, connecting St. Paul and Minneapolis downtowns, the biggest construction project in the history of the state.
What Egan Company Wanted
About a year ago, Egan CIO Jim Nonn was looking for a solution to provide his organization with technology to help connect job sites with the company’s main office, as well as with the tools and parts at warehouses and his executive team members.
Jim explored his options and heard more negatives than positives about Microsoft Windows laptops, which seemed too slow, expensive, quickly outdated and liable to malfunction and need replacement when used in the field.
“I’ve heard stories from other construction firms that Monday mornings were like the movie Groundhog Day,” said Jim, “With the IT team tackling the same four-foot high stack of malware-infected laptops over and over while work ground to a halt. I didn’t want to experience that.”
After surveying the market, Jim decided to move Egan’s 140-person foreman staff to Chromebooks. His hope was that the lightweight, easy and instant on and off devices would provide quick access to the business apps that the Egan team uses everyday. He sought a reseller that could help facilitate the transaction and ease the transition, and approached Agosto.
“Agosto helped us source the Chromebooks and eased our transition to the technology. I couldn’t be happier.”
“Chromebooks also integrate well with Google Apps,” said Jim, “Which we use to run our business in the field. Our workers love Chromebooks because they aren’t afraid to use them on the job. If one does get damaged, we can swap it out for another one in a matter of minutes, with zero time wasted or data lost. Also, we’ve saved so much in moving forward with Chromebooks instead of Windows laptops – about $200 per machine.”
Rolling out Chromebooks to Egan’s staff was extremely easy. With just two people and an intern in the IT support department, Jim asked his intern to manage the deployment process. “I figured he’d only get so far, then my IT guys would have to jump in,” said Jim, “But he did it all on his own. If I would have rolled out the same number of Windows laptops, I would have had to hire additional staff just to manage that. And with Chromebooks, we haven’t been plagued with ongoing support requests.”
Working with Chromebooks in the world of manufacturing and construction means that some days are rougher than others on the equipment. “It’s no big deal, though,” said Jim. “When one of these gets run over or destroyed, no work is lost and it’s as simple as replacing a phone formy staff.”
The enormous scale of the light rail project really brings to light how valuable the Chromebooks have become to Egan’s organization, too. “At Egan, we take pride in the fact that we’re building something that so many Minnesotans will use,” said Jim. “The light rail will bring people together that didn’t have an easy way to connect previously. I like to think Chromebooks have done the same for Egan.”