Respected, Global Brand Uses Experts Exchange to Excel on a Budget

Posted by · December 20, 2013 9:00 am

Fair Trade USA works with farmers around the world, in about 70 countries, to certify their products to be purchased and sold within the US. A Fair Trade Certification signifies to US consumers that the international producers of a good are fairly compensated.

We recently asked the IT Manager of Fair Trade USA, Stephen Wilde, to tell us about his team.

“That’s an interesting question,” said Wilde, “our team consists of me.”

In order to maximize the benefits of his company’s mission for the global community, Fair Trade USA the company strives to keep a “lean” organization. This is how Wilde came to be the sole employee that supports IT operations for a global organization. He manages the network infrastructure, day-to-day desktop support for their home office in Oakland, CA, and remote support for offices throughout the US.

His biggest challenge, most days, is finding quick, accurate solutions to specific problems. With more help tickets than hours in the day, it’s usually a race against the clock. If he relies on search engines to find solutions, he can spend days trying to root out a solution to a difficult issue.

“I could possibly gather information on the web in general in that amount of time,” continued Wilde, “but knowing what is safe to test would take a few more days. Then if any of that information is bad or messes something up, it can take a few more days to fix it. But if I come to Experts Exchange and gather information, I can trust, based on the expert collaboration, that it will work the first time.”

According to Wilde, Experts Exchange is the first resource he checks when he needs consulting on new technologies.

“If you go to Experts Exchange and search for what you need in plain English, you will find very direct answers. For a very complex issue, what would normally take me a couple weeks to work through, I can get resolved in a couple days working back and forth with the Experts.”

And Wilde uses Experts Exchange for professional development as well. Not only does he improve his technology skills each time he has a question answered, but he also uses the site to supplement his training for Cisco certification, instead of wading through convoluted information on Cisco’s websites.

To read more about Fair Trade USA, and how Stephen Wilde saves time and money with Experts Exchange, download the case study, “Fair Trade: Smart It Operations Management On a Budget.”