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STOCK Plzeň – Božkov is a leader, not just on the Czech market

The company has been producing traditional spirits and liqueur bitters for over 85 years. During that time it has brought global brands under its wings and become the exclusive distributor for some 40 of them.


SAP did not meet business needs and hampered development

The software STOCK used was only meeting their accounting needs. When it came to registering tangible assets and monitoring their life cycle, the company hit limits. The legacy solution did not offer pragmatic and responsive options and hampered the dynamic needs of the IT department.

The company, having bought a computer, found that even before it could be registered in SAP it had already moved elsewhere, bypassing the requisite registration.

“During COVID, that was a big problem, people needed to switch to
home-working quickly. We handed out equipment and lost track of what was where,” comments Country IT Director Aleš Kamarád.

Transition from SAP to ALVAO Asset Management

STOCK started looking for a modern solution that would meet business needs and make the property records more transparent. ALVAO impressed the company not only with its functionality, but also the price. And that’s why the company opted for our product.

“The ALVAO policy is set up sensibly. We can log literally anything in Asset Management – a desk, a chair or a peripheral, and the licenses are tied to the computers,” is how Aleš Kamarád sees ALVAO.

The implementation of Asset Management was preceded by a thorough analysis 

According to the ITIL 4 governing principle – 'Start where you are', we began by analyzing the Excel files used by STOCK alongside SAP for asset registration.

We cleaned the data and together with the client defined which data were no longer needed – e.g. because ALVAO detects some of them automatically, as per the current state, in real time.

Before importing the remaining data we mapped them to properties according to pre-prepared templates in Asset Management.

An autonomous agent scanned the company and uploaded the data to Asset Management

Meanwhile, distributed Autonomous Agents – a feature of Asset Management – provided us with data from the first mass scan across the company. This completed the records of computers and laptops with up-to-date information about hardware and software. We very quickly got the company to a state where all data goes into ALVAO and a clearly structured object tree helps IT in everyday work.

The tree structure clearly records assets in different locations

“We chose the Asset Management organizational structure to be based around locating assets specifically, down to the floor and the room. For one simple reason. As with hospitals, not all premises and spaces, i.e. the related facilities managed by IT, are accessible to everyone,” comments Jiří Janků, Solution Architect at ALVAO.

Asset Management helps throughout the company

Shortly after its deployment, ALVAO was also taken up by the Accounting department. STOCK wants to record more than just all the tangible assets in Asset Management.

Web-based inventorization in ALVAO saves time 

Assets are registered per user, and IT doesn’t have to spend weeks doing physical inventorization. Data sheets are simply sent out electronically. Employees click on which assets they possess, and the company’s inventorization is complete. Moreover, transferring assets from one employee to another takes no more than a few seconds.

The time IT staff spend taking physical inventory has reduced by 80%. And the accuracy is many times higher.

Budgets founded on hard data get approved by management without dubiousness

All devices now have a registered lifecycle. The technician is able to plan HW renewal accurately. Previously, IT either didn’t have an overview of how much equipment would be needed in the next fiscal year, or budgeting took too long and occupied half the department. Now the technicians just open ALVAO, select the data they need to know and immediately find out the answers.  

“I am now able to justify why I’ll need 1/3 more money this year than last, in order to refresh the hardware. Management receives investment proposals backed by ALVAO figures,” is how Aleš Kamarád rates ALVAO.

Other ALVAO products deployed at STOCK

After implementing Asset Management, and inspired by the simplicity and efficiency of ALVAO, the company turned its attention to clunky IT management, which had been based on a bulky and needlessly complex helpdesk package.

Users hadn’t even been trained to use the software, which made any hope of success futile. The software had no status-change notifications for a given request. There was no online user front-end and the overall solution of requests was inefficient.

“The second package from ALVAO – Service Desk was exactly what I was looking for. It can handle all the basic needs of a company of our size, has a simple and effective self-service web portal and features the automated raising of requests,” is how Aleš Kamarád reflects on choosing ALVAO.

Service Desk acts as a single point of contact for all company requests 

The whole implementation was focused on a clear goal – to introduce a Single Point of Contact, integrating all IT asset records from Asset Management. We develop our products as a comprehensive solution, because they work best together – in line with ITSM – and this is exactly what STOCK wanted to benefit from.

Users fell in love with ALVAO almost immediately 

We develop ALVAO from the perspective of Microsoft product integration – so the look-and-feel is much the same as MS Office.

“User uptake was incredibly smooth. Once they found out that something like this existed, many took the initiative to follow the ALVAO route proactively. They saw that it was a faster and more viable way to get help from IT,” is how Aleš Kamarád specifies the ALVAO induction period.

“The ALVAO environment feels natural. It doesn’t have 3 million buttons that get used once every 5 years. The tool has just exactly what I need. Finding your way around the basics is easy. You can’t lose your way in Service Desk,” comments Aleš Kamarád.

How STOCK uses Service Desk 

The IT department has a single point of contact where users report requests. Technicians don’t spend time talking on the phone or dealing with lots of user emails. ALVAO deployment has seen much improved organization of work in the IT department, and the company began to live up to agreed SLAs.

Requests from production are no longer getting lost 

If any incident arises in production, the staff raise a request in the Service Desk, and it goes to the solvers. ALVAO has also coped with shift working. Users can get to see a request raised by others, so there are no duplicate tickets and there is no need to leave notes anywhere.

Automated employee onboarding is more efficient 

Robust Service Desk processes encompasses staff joining and leaving. Thanks to ALVAO, the HR manager no longer has to worry about overlooking something and can delegate all related tasks involving other departments from one session.

We trained the IT department 

Technicians are able to administer the solution themselves and are not reliant on our help, which is nevertheless available to them at any time. The service catalogue, from which users select applications, was covered by a ready-made solution, but we still trained the STOCK Plzeň IT department to be completely and self-sufficiently in charge of using the Service Desk.

Reporting and analysis 

Records of tickets and incidents are now much more detailed, more accurate, and even at the basic level of reporting the company has managed to identify several problems they were previously unaware of.

STOCK began using data from Power BI for their decision-making 

Technicians can now make informed decisions based on the quantities and profiles of ALVAO requests. Operational and managerial reports are available in Microsoft Power BI and connected to Service Desk.

'Taking stock' of cooperation 

Several months of effort and dozens of hours worked have brought the solution to its current level. Users benefit from the Service Desk on a daily basis and certainly don’t miss bygone times and procedures. The IT department has its workload well-organized and the asset records are 100% accurate and efficient. Thanks to ALVAO, the annual inventorization of assets is done much quicker than before.

“We found a lot of project/organizational bottlenecks and weaknesses that were slowing down the whole process, yet which we’d had no inkling of. This was one of the first benefits I saw after deploying ALVAO,” is how Aleš Kamarád sums up our cooperation.

Start managing IT and asset records effectively. Get inspired by STOCK Plzeň – Božkov 

Has the STOCK Plzeň – Božkov case study inspired you to consider making similar changes? Do you want to empower your department and company? Contact our consultants to arrange a complimentary meeting or ask for more details about our products – Service Desk & Asset Management.