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Leading US bookstore chain invests in service desk management system to support over 1000 users across its stores and operations

Half Price Books, a leading US bookstore chain, has invested in Supportworks ITSM, a comprehensive service desk management system from Hornbill Systems. Using Supportworks ITSM the IT team provides both installation and support services to over 1000 staff working in 99 stores across 14 states, as well as head office administration and e-commerce operations. Since implementing the solution the IT team has successfully installed a major new Credit Card processing system across all of its stores to tight deadlines, while also providing support to users, resulting in record period sales for the company.

Hornbill’s system was selected from other candidates also listed as certified PinkVerify™ for its ability to support ITIL best practice and to integrate easily with existing applications used by the service desk.

Bob DuPuy, MIS Director at Half Price Books explains: “The catalyst to implement a service desk solution was the implementation of enterprise-wide software to support our retail operations. We had a rudimentary system to provide support to end users but quickly realised that there was a lot more that we could do to support our users, and ultimately the business.”

“Hornbill’s demonstration of Supportworks ITSM ticked all the boxes,” said DuPuy, “The company was competitive on pricing with good local representation. The Hornbill representative also really impressed us with his knowledge and competence and we quickly saw how user friendly the system was.”

The IT service team at Half Price Books used workflow processes within Supportworks ITSM to successfully rollout its new integrated till point credit and debit card authorisation system to meet the peak Christmas sales period, requiring all stores to be visited by the service team. The service desk also made changes in POS systems to support a new password management scheme, under the new Payment Card Industry (PCI) security requirements. Since the changes were global and every user was affected, the service desk was required to handle new types of service calls in volume, managed using Supportworks.

The IT team has also set out SLAs with Supportworks ITSM. The team has committed to providing set response times to internal departments. In addition, agreed support hours have also been introduced (working with Regional Managers responsible for the stores) and after hours emergency cover for those stores that open until late in the evening.

Half Price Books has planned for 2008 a major rollout of a new Wide Area Network across all of its stores and operations. According to DuPuy, Supportworks ITSM workflow procedures will again be critical to the success of the project, which will be managed and implemented by the IT service team.

Gerry Sweeney, CEO of Hornbill Systems commented, “We are delighted to be working with Half Price Books, they have a unique and successful business model which is first class. Large scale enterprise changes to IT systems require rigorous planning and processes that must be strictly timetabled and managed. Half Price books have executed and managed significant projects across their stores and I am really pleased that Supportworks has been the tool of choice to help them deliver these projects in a timely and cost-effective manner.

“Adopting ITIL best practice has enabled Half Price Books to successfully deploy wide scale IT migrations and upgrades throughout North America with minimum disruption to their business operations.”

Hornbill’s new Dallas office is at 300 East John Carpenter Fwy, Suite 110, Irving TX 75062 USA. The office can be contacted by email at: or tel (1) 972 717 2300.



About Half Price Books

In 1972, the company opened its first store in a converted laundrette in Dallas, Texas. Co-founders Ken Gjemre and Pat Anderson stocked the store with more than 2,000 books from their personal libraries. Half Price Books was created with the idea of offering a great product at a great price. Today, Half Price Books is America's favourite new and used bookstore chain. The company’s simple philosophy continues under the leadership of Sharon Anderson Wright, daughter of Pat Anderson.

Half Price Books has stores in 14 states, with each store carrying a unique variety of new and used books, music, movies and games. The company continues to grow having opened new stores in Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky and Texas within the past year. In 2005, Half Price Books expanded its stores to the Chicago area and now has 3 stores in Chicagoland.

The store buys and sells anything printed or recorded except yesterday's newspaper. Preserving and recycling resources and entertainment of every form is its business.

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About Hornbill Systems
Hornbill Systems delivers market leading Service Management solutions that enable organisations to automate business processes and provide first class customer service. Drawing on a decade of experience, Hornbill has packaged a number of applications designed for rapid deployment within any employee or customer service support environment. Solutions are available for IT Service Management, Facilities, HR/Payroll, as well as a broad range of Business, Consumer and Citizen Response service desks. Hornbill’s foundation product, Supportworks ESP can address the individual requirements of multiple business units, significantly reducing costs by providing a consolidated Service Management solution.

In 2005 Supportworks won the HDI awards for “Best Business use of Support Technology” with Sharp Electronics and a “Support Excellence Award” with Camelot, the UK’s National Lottery.

For more information about Hornbill’s solutions please visit

For Company and editorial information contact:
Ann James
Hornbill Systems
Tel: + 44 (0) 208 582 8223

Andreina West
PR Artistry
Tel: +44 (0) 1491 639500

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