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Case Study

Faster Help Desk Ticket Resolution Times, Enhanced Asset Tracking and Accountability

How Jacksonville City Schools uses Frontline Inventory & Help Desk Management to track assets, provide an easy-to-use way to submit help desk tickets, and make sound purchasing decisions.

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Frontline Inventory & Help Desk Management


Inefficient processes for handling device repair requests

Technology assets tracked on an outdated laptop rather than a web-based system

Cluttered inventory records that included old items no longer in use


Easy-to-use help desk ticket submissions, with a user-friendly portal for tracking ticket history and status, leading to faster ticket resolution times

Easy reporting and better visibility into asset assignee, location, funding source, and service history

Enhanced tracking and accountability, allowing for better decision-making and fiscal responsibility, as well as easier audits

Shawn Hudgins leads the Technology Department in Jacksonville City Schools, about an hour and a half west of Atlanta, Georgia. One of the few growing school districts in the area, Jacksonville City Schools is a fully 1:1 district. Pre-K through 2nd grade students pick up their iPads from a cart in the morning, and grades 3-6 retrieve Chromebooks. Students in grades 7-12 are also assigned Chromebooks, which they take home and keep throughout their school careers.

When Shawn arrived in the district in 2018, the department had no ticketing system to manage device repair requests. The department listed technology assets on an old computer that sat in a drawer. “It wasn’t server-based, it wasn’t web-based,” says Shawn. “It was just on this laptop running Windows XP.” Inventory was not actively maintained and still listed devices disposed of a decade earlier.

Shawn immediately began looking for a system to manage inventory and track service tickets.

In Search of a System

At first, Shawn tried several products that were designed for tracking books or furniture, with little success. “I spent a lot of time making it work for technology because that’s not what it was really designed for,” he says.

Then, at a regional meeting for school technology officials, Shawn came across Frontline Inventory & Help Desk Management, a solution with products for managing technology assets and tracking tickets and service requests. Better yet, the two integrated with one another. Shawn thought, “I’ve been looking for a system that integrates the help desk side and inventory. If that’s what this will do, if the pricing is right, this may be the solution.”

He was immediately struck by how easy the system is to use. “Getting it set up, it was easy. It was just user-friendly and easy to get that stuff in there.”

That was in 2020, and the Technology Department in Jacksonville City Schools has not looked back.

“I don’t know that I could run an IT department now without Frontline. I just wouldn’t do it, because the integration piece and the way those two systems work together…to me, it’s a top-notch system to do what I needed it to do.”

Shawn Hudgins
– Director of Technology


Streamlined Device Distribution

When the district orders new devices, they always come through the Technology Department to be added to the inventory in Frontline. Each device is tagged and can then be checked out. Each year, all 7th graders line up in the library to receive their Chromebooks. “We just scan asset tag and check it out to them. We have it integrated with [our student information system] so that the student accounts are automatically fed in. We do not have to worry about that, they are just there,” Shawn says.

“We use a Bluetooth scanner, and you just scan the tag. It could not be any easier to check a device out or take it back in. It is just a super simple system to use.”

Shawn Hudgins
– Director of Technology

Easier Ticket Submission

Students and staff now have an easy way to submit tickets when they need help with a device. The technology staff’s email signatures all contain a link to submit tickets, and student helpers at the high school work with the Technology Department to assign tickets to the right personnel. Shawn describes the process for users: “The experience is phenomenal because it’s so easy.” Students and staff access a portal where they can see their ticketing history and the status of any open tickets. “It guides them through. We built out the portal to where you click what the problem is. It’s just a series of clicks, and then the ticket is generated for them, so it’s super simple for them.”

Faster Ticket Resolution Times

Shawn says his team uses Frontline to speed up their response times. “It has really helped streamline what we do in the IT department. We’ve been able to get our ticketing times under a day to resolve an issue.”

Integration with Asset Management

Each device, whether it is an iPad, a Chromebook, a projector, or any of the myriad other assets in the district, has a unique asset tag. Whenever a user submits a help desk ticket, Frontline attaches that information to the asset’s record in Asset Management. From the Help Desk side, the team can see the device, who it is assigned to, and its history, which allows the Technology Department to identify devices that have frequently needed repair.

“Because of that integration, we can take problem devices out of circulation and not have to repair them repeatedly. We are able to say, ‘This thing has come in three times now for the same or a similar issue. Let’s just sit that one aside, get them a new device.'” This frees the team from spending too much time on the same device — but they would never be able to identify which devices are an issue without Frontline. “I have 1,600 Chromebooks and another 300-400 iPads in these classrooms. We cannot keep track of that without this system. So being able to get them out, we’re not dealing with the same issue on the same device over and over again.”

Just as importantly, the team can now see when certain students are responsible for repeatedly damaging devices and work with principals to address it. “I am able to take the information out of the ticketing system and take it to the principals and say, ‘Look, this is a discipline issue. Can you deal with this? They keep damaging this device.’ And the principals are really good to work with us. When we give them that data, there’s no question.”

Accountability and Audits

Like many districts, Jacksonville City Schools makes use of federal dollars like Title I and ESSER funds to purchase technology, and they need to demonstrate that the devices purchased with those funds are being used as intended. Because the district uses Frontline to track purchase orders and funding sources for each device, Shawn can easily show them the data when auditors visit the district and ask to see asset inventory records. “When they want to see something, it is simple to go into the system, find that device, tell them where it is, go to the school with them, and walk directly to where I said. ‘There’s that device, it matches that asset tag and here’s the whole chain of events that got it to that cart.'”

“That kind of accountability is huge,” Shawn says. He can quickly print a PDF showing every dollar spent, every asset purchased, and where each asset is being used. “We have one auditor who comes in every year, and one of the things he wants to see is inventory. During the first year we had this system, he sat down with me, and I showed him all of it. Every subsequent year, he just walks in and says, ‘Do you still use Frontline?’ I say, ‘Yes, sir.’ He goes, ‘We’re good.’”

“We have one auditor who comes in every year, and one of the things he wants to see is inventory. During the first year we had this system, he sat down with me, and I showed him all of it. Every subsequent year, he just walks in and says, ‘Do you still use Frontline?’ I say, ‘Yes, sir.’ He goes, ‘We’re good.’”

Shawn Hudgins
– Director of Technology

Better Purchasing Decisions

Purchasing one Chromebook is one thing; purchasing one thousand Chromebooks is quite another. Shawn described the time when ESSER funds enabled Jacksonville City Schools to purchase new Chromebooks for every student in grades 3-12. Shawn says that a report in Frontline helped him make the case to the Finance Department. “We were able to run the reports out the Frontline system and I was able to sit down with the Chief School Financial Officer and say, ‘Here are all the grade levels that have devices that are older than three years right now. This is why I want to spend this ESSER money on these things.’” Shawn displayed a graph showing which devices would need to be replaced within three years. “‘We can either do it now extra money, or we know within the next three years you are going to have to spend local money to buy these things.’ And it made the decision really easy for the CSFO.”

Balancing School Needs with Financial Constraints

“By having a system that I can put inventory and the help desk together, I’m able to really balance the needs of the system.”

When Shawn sits down with the Technology Committee at the high school to talk through their requests and review the school’s needs, the data he pulls from Frontline is invaluable. He can quickly show what was purchased in prior years or explain that a certain number of teachers still need iPads, or that a certain number of classrooms still need devices. “When we’re building out plans at a school level, having that inventory and that level of detail to show them where they’ve spent money in the past helps make that budget come alive for them,” Shawn says. And because the schools can see where money has been spent and where they need to allocate additional funds to meet the needs of students and staff, they tend to request technology that is truly needed. “We can direct that spending and make that spending impactful in the classroom, not just buy junk that doesn’t really have a purpose just to spend the money.”

“It really lays a foundation for fiscal responsibility and accountability.”

Shawn Hudgins
– Director of Technology

For Shawn, the real value of using Frontline Inventory & Help Desk Management extends far beyond managing assets and tracking help desk tickets. “It really lays a foundation for fiscal responsibility and accountability,” he explains. “I am accountable to the superintendent and the community that we are spending those dollars appropriately, and that our classrooms and our students are getting the full benefit of our Technology Department. Using these systems to track that and show that we are being fiscally responsible and accountable with those dollars and that our students and teachers and staff are getting the best bang for the buck is really important.”