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Quality Distribution Inc. saves money and increases productivity by going Google

Posted by Cliff Dixon, Vice President of Information Technology, Quality Distribution Inc.

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Cliff Dixon, Vice President of Information Technology, Quality Distribution Inc. (NASDAQ: QLTY), North America’s largest bulk transportation company headquartered in Tampa, Florida. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Quality Distribution, Inc. (QDI) provides safe, efficient and responsible bulk transportation services across the country. What started as a small trucking operation hauling lime and milk in 1913 has grown to more than 125 small offices, many franchises, and 3,000 truck drivers across North America. With multiple offices and employees scattered throughout the United States, having a reliable technology solution is imperative to ensure that we’re providing the best service to our clients.

For years we used traditional PCs company-wide in a Microsoft Exchange environment, which did not foster easy collaboration, communication or access to applications – and employees felt the pain. In 2011, after a pilot session with the IT department, QDI rolled out Google Apps company-wide with the help of Cloud Sherpas. In just a few months, I knew going Google was the right move for QDI. It allowed employees to connect to all of our locations and all of our drivers from anywhere without intensive IT support, and Google Apps was less than half the cost of Microsoft Exchange.

Around the time we deployed Google Apps, our computers started to slow down and break due to age. We refurbished older computers, but their value was minimal since they couldn’t run newer versions of the Windows operating system. In 2010, we started looking into purchasing new devices, including Linux and Chrome OS devices. Ultimately, we decided to move forward with Google Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, deploying 500 devices across 125 locations in the last year.

With Chrome devices, we can spend less time worrying about hardware, and software security patches, and more time focused on optimizing the user experience of our systems. Not only are the devices easy to manage from an IT perspective, but we also expect to save $500,000 on hardware alone over the next five years. As part of our move to Chromebooks, we also web-enabled some of our existing Windows-based apps using HTML5-based virtualization software from Ericom, making them easier to maintain.

Going Google has helped QDI improve collaboration, save money and eliminate IT headaches. Most importantly, our employees are more productive with easy-to-use technology. We’re looking forward to continued growth and providing the best service to our clients with help from Google.