Success Story

Blue Bird Corp: Centralizes Operations with Universal Automation Center

Blue Bird enhances workflow visibility and improves performance with a centralized command center.

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Background

Blue Bird Corporation offers a complete line of Type A, C and D school buses in a variety of options and configurations. Since 1927, Blue Bird Corporation has continuously set industry standards with its innovative design and manufacturing capabilities. Additionally, Blue Bird provides comprehensive financial solutions through Blue Bird Capital Services.

Blue Bird maintains four core values: safety, quality, durability and serviceability. These priorities help protect every child, driver, service technician and school district that Blue Bird’s buses serve. More than a business, this work is Blue Bird’s heritage.

Today, Blue Bird has more than 1,500 employees across North America, and its global presence has spread to more than 60 countries through sales in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

Challenges

Blue Bird realized that, over time, it had lost control of the many scheduled tasks that were being performed on its servers. As new servers were brought online and provisioned as needed, the organization had no central authority to ensure tasks were being run to completion.

Individual developers would look after tasks for a period of time after they were set up, but they would eventually become busy with other projects or lose access to production servers. With no formal notification system in place, Blue Bird’s IT group only became aware of task failures when they caused problems in production.

To eliminate these challenges, Blue Bird sought a single solution for the enterprise that would give their IT group absolute control and help prevent problems in production environments.

“Universal Automation Center’s real-time alerts allow us time to decide on the best course of action and resolve the problem in a timely manner, rather than jumping to a solution that may not be ideal. I highly recommend their solutions to other organizations looking for a modern, simple way to automate their business.”

FRANK BURKHARDT
Application and Database Administrator, Blue Bird Corporation

Solution

Blue Bird reviewed several automation vendors and narrowed those providers down to the finalists that met their strict criteria. Ultimately, Blue Bird chose the Universal Automation Center (UAC) from Stonebranch because it was the most adaptable, least disruptive solution, while also providing the most functionality. Furthermore, Stonebranch’s support was deemed superior to the competition.

With the UAC, end-users’ daily tasks became much easier, as they could now see where they were in a jobstream or application by looking at a workflow and their fully customizable reports.

Blue Bird’s implementation of UAC went extremely well. “It was one of the very best rollouts I have been involved with. A Stonebranch workload automation expert was on-site and got us up and running with a test and production server,” says Frank Burkhardt, Application and Database Administrator for Blue Bird.

“Stonebranch worked with us to install the agents on a few UNIX, Linux, and Windows systems,” Mr. Burkhardt continues. “Then they helped us migrate tasks from each to the Stonebranch ecosystem. They did not simply do them for me, but sat with us and offered excellent advice on the best way to implement the task. This knowledge transfer was invaluable.”

“It was one of the very best rollouts I have been involved with. This knowledge transfer was invaluable.”

FRANK BURKHARDT
Application and Database Administrator, Blue Bird Corporation

Results

With the UAC, Blue Bird’s IT group is now alerted about any issues or failures with scheduled tasks the moment they occur. This enables the team to be proactive, rather than reacting to problems in production.

Business users are now fully self-sufficient. “Universal Automation Center’s real-time alerts allow us time to decide on the best course of action to resolve the problem in a timely manner, rather than jumping to a solution that may not be ideal”, Mr. Burkhardt says.

Mr. Burkhardt speaks highly of his experience with Stonebranch. “Our tasks now run more efficiently without inaccurate error reports. It has been an absolute pleasure working with Stonebranch and I highly recommend their solutions to other organizations looking for a modern, simple way to automate their business.”

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