Ryan Pesta

Corporate IT Manager, Auctane

Supernova Award Category: 
Tech Optimization and Modernization
The Organization: 

Auctane is the parent company of several world-class shipping and mailing brands, including ShipStation, Stamps.com, Endicia, Shipsi, and many more. Auctane’s portfolio of products orchestrate the shipping and delivery of billions of orders, packages, and letters around the world. Auctane helps sellers, shippers, and mailers create exceptional delivery experiences for customers around the globe, serving 500 million households annually, 1M+ businesses, and 3BN+ orders annually. 

Within Auctane, the IT organization led the deployment of Tray.io to automate a broad range of IT ops processes.

The Problem: 

Auctane is a rapidly growing acquisitive organization, adding multiple subsidiaries and brands globally. IT at Auctane was a small team that had to manage operations across multiple countries and acquired businesses, with an increasing number of manual processes, such as employee onboarding, change management and offboarding, IT service management, and website changes. It was becoming challenging to scale IT processes to support business growth.

They had a significant number of ITOps scripts to manage numerous IT business processes, all built in Powershell with developers required to maintain, which began to consume a significant amount of resources (and were painful to change). It wasn’t scalable as they added more business units across different geographies, all of which had multiple stacks. 

They were also struggling with multiple point-to-point automation tools that added to the complexity, with no single solution for automation, which created risks and more maintenance overhead.  

Auctane IT’s goals were to get an automation solution that would scale with their growth, ideally, one solution for process automation, such as to automate user provisioning to reduce the pressure on developers, consolidate fragmented tooling, speed delivery velocity of new automations, and reduce code and maintenance

The Solution: 

Auctane deployed the Tray Platform to achieve low-code development velocity, standardization, and centralization. Using Tray.io, the Auctane team has built a vast range of automations, which total 75+ workflows. Automations stretch across a wide range of IT processes, including auto-archiving data for compliance, automating employee/user provisioning/change management and de-provisioning, web development, service management, and ticketing across apps like Salesforce, Zendesk, Jira, and Okta.  

Further leveraging Tray to rapidly roll out new automations, including for SecOps alerting and events, HR process automations, data loss prevention integrations, and a centralized IT service desk across their subsidiaries. 

The Results: 

Auctane has seen a 30% IT team productivity boost by using Tray, with key results around self-service automation development (using low-code rather than requiring developers), the increased delivery velocity of new automations, faster and more efficient change management, as well as a reduced business risk.

  • Quantified in the Solutions section, Auctane has managed to avoid having to hire an additional automation engineer, who would otherwise have to script automations – a significant FTE saving. 
  • Sunsetted and consolidated multiple existing point solutions, enabling a hard cost reduction in overall subscription costs. 
  • Freed up IT time in tactical tasks. With Auctane’s growth and M&A activity, IT was spending a lot of time on user provisioning, user change management, and de-provisioning, Auctane has been able to automate these tasks, freeing up substantial time to focus on more strategic activities.
  • Development velocity. As Auctane’s team is looking to deploy more automations across the automation, using Tray, they’ve seen the development of many automations being 3X faster, enabling the team to be much more agile with business needs.

Overall, Auctane estimates a 30% IT productivity improvement using Tray, including:

  • Reduced costs: By adopting Tray, Auctane estimates avoided $130,000 in annual subscription and infrastructure costs by consolidating tools and platforms. They also eliminated the need for hiring an additional automation engineer, enabling them to do more with less.
  • Automated onboarding and offboarding: Since implementing Tray.io, Auctane has managed onboarding and offboarding for 50 people per month due to multiple acquisitions and mergers. Automation with Tray saved their team over 20 hours per month and their help desk and operations teams 10 hours per month. Additionally, manual scripting was eliminated, saving another 20 work hours per month.
  • Simplified development: The Tray Platform provided Auctane with various tools to empower its engineers. Tray's callable workflows and modular approach accelerated development by 3X for many workflows versus using script/code.
The Technology: 

Auctane is using Tray.io as its standard low-code platform for automation and integration across their corporate and their businesses and provides them with centralization and standardization across 75+ workflows. Tray provides them with the connectivity they need to automate business processes across their stack, all using API-first integration. Using composable design to enable software development principles in their low-code development, to maximize modularity, reuse and maintainability,

Disruptive Factor: 

Tray has been a key enabler so that Auctane’s IT organization can scale with business growth using low-code automation. Auctane has added a large number of acquired businesses, including ShipStation, Stamps.com, Packlink, ShipEngine, Metapack, Endicia, ShippingEasy, ShipWorks, GlobalPost, Shipsi, and Tray has provided, enabling their IT organization to meet spiraling business demands quickly, efficiently, and delivered hard cost savings to the business.

Auctane estimates a 30% IT productivity boost and has freed its organization from tactical tasks like employee provisioning so the team can focus on delivering more strategic value to the business. Tray has enabled them to avoid growing the IT organization commensurately with business growth.

More details from Ryan here from a webinar: https://youtu.be/dMXdje8EQ-I  

Shining Moment: 

One of the marquee results has been automating onboarding and offboarding, from being manual and script-heavy to automated,  saving 40+ hours per month amid huge headcount change due to M&A -- 50+ employee changes/mont - ultimately saving IT an FTE. It's enabled Auctane's IT function to become much more focused on being a revenue-enabler, supporting the business, versus being bogged down in operational activities, all while keeping headcount under control .

About Auctane

Auctane is the parent company to several world-class shipping and mailing brands, including ShipStation, Stamps.com, Endicia, Shipsi and more. Auctane’s portfolio of products orchestrate the shipping and delivery of billions of orders, packages, and letters around the world. Auctane helps sellers, shippers, and mailers create exceptional delivery experiences for customers around the globe.