Case Studies

Summit Handling Systems Embraces IP for Multi-State Inter-Branch Communications

New iPECS communication system paves the way for improved flexibility to quickly deploy time and money saving applications

 

Summit-Handling-SystemsSummit Handling Systems, headquartered in North Haven, Connecticut, provides affordable materials handling solutions, including lift trucks and big trucks, for large and small companies throughout the United States. For over 50 years, Summit has met customer’s needs for equipment through convenient leasing, rental and purchase options. Summit’s certified technicians, extensive parts inventory and dedicated fleet of vehicles allows them to provide on-site maintenance and delivery quickly – reducing costly downtime. Summit maintains office locations in Connecticut, Hudson Valley, NYC/Long Island and western Massachusetts.

 

Challenge

Implement a multi-location networked environment while reducing communications costs and adding mobility solutions.

Solution

Implementation of iPECS pure IP Telephony platform with IP7000 IP desktop phones, Phontage soft client, PathFinder IP and WebPhone.

Benefits Achieved

  • Achieved $2,400/month cost savings using IP
  • Improved customer service
  • Cohesive network projects unified corporate image and extends system functionality to all employees

Challenge

With a 15 year old telecommunication system that had served the business well, Summit Handling was thriving and opening new office locations throughout several states. As Summit’s business grew, so did the challenges associated with building a cohesive communications network that would tie all five office locations together, project a unified corporate image and reduce equipment and transport costs. Any solution implemented would have to complement the company’s core values of providing superior products that are dependable, durable and affordable while delivering exceptional customer service.

Summit’s business dynamics were evolving to include a larger number of remote employees working at home, employees at dispersed locations across multiple states and mobile workers. With a new location opening, a closer evaluation of its voice and data communications needs determined the existing phone system was too outdated to support Summit’s plans for adopting newer IP technologies. Migrating communications to a Voice over IP (VoIP) network would provide a single transport for all voice and data as well as deliver increased flexibility for this dispersed working environment, higher productivity, better customer service and increased cost savings.

Solution

Impressed by the integrity and service rendered from Data-Tel, a Bridgeport, CT-based telecommunications company, Summit turned to Data-Tel to recommend and install a new system. “We wanted an infrastructure that we could easily manage and maintain with ability to grow and add new applications as our company evolves,” said Paul Weymann, vice president for Summit Handling Systems. “We have been a customer of Data-Tel since 1997. Data-Tel always goes above and beyond what is expected. I also like that they are a full-service company who can lead and deliver an entire network.”

“The iPECS solution has given us the flexibility to adapt our communications based on our business needs – quickly and affordably. Using the IP backbone has improved the service we offer our customers and given our employees a seamless, mobile work environment. Financially, the cost savings with this system and IP will offer us a quick payback period, making the decision that much simpler.”

Paul Weymann

Vice President

Summit Handling Systems

Data-Tel designed Summit’s new voice network based on the pure IP communications system, iPECS from Presence Management. The iPECS platform is a fully distributed IP system that is highly scalable to 1000 ports in a single system allowing IP endpoints or phones to be deployed anywhere over an IP network while also providing network access via traditional T1/ISDN trunks, network survivability and automated disaster recovery. It also fits the demand and budgetary constraints of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The iPECS was installed to link all of Summit’s geographically dispersed locations with their remote/mobile workers. A single iPECS system with approximately 50 IP7000 desktop phones was installed at the North Haven headquarters. The WAN or wide area network is used to interconnect 20 remote phones in branch offices located in Elmford NY, Commack NY and Agawan MA. The branch locations currently take advantage of low cost PRI out dialing and no charge calls inter-office via VoIP. Existing local branch phone numbers were transferred to the main site using SIP technology to deliver no cost outbound dialing and eliminate the need to remote call forward the local branch numbers to the main site. This will result in eliminating local dial tone fees, remote call forward fees, multiple path fees and long distance fees associated with forwarding from the branches to the main headquarters.

Administration and maintenance is all Web-based making it easy to train internal staff to take care of simple tasks such as relocating phones from the main North Haven system. Regardless of where an employee is physically located within the network, they all have access to all the same features and functions as employees located in the main North Haven facility. For after hours and as a backup in the daytime, Summit utilizes the iPECS inherent auto attendant capability to assure incoming calls are routed to intended parties quickly and efficiently.

Mobility for Remote Workers and On-The-Go Employees

With employees in and out of the office, iPECS extends the main communication system features and functions to mobile workers, thus delivering superior customer service to all callers at anytime. Customer response times have increased dramatically as well as employee productivity.

The IP7000 desktop phones are located in the North Haven facility, but can also be used at remote locations such as an employee’s home. There is no additional programming; it is simply plugged into the residential or remote office wall jack.

If an employee is on the road or in the shop, phone extensions are programmed to simultaneously ring the employee’s cell phone. If the call to the cell phone needs to be transferred internally, the employee hits the * key to transfer to another extension. The ability to continue answering colleague and customer calls improves customer service and productivity. With integrated voice mail, employees are immediately notified on desktop or cell phones that a message has been left.

Additionally, iPECS gives Summit’s traveling and remote employees the ability to use their PC for voice communications wherever there is a broadband connection. Using the iPECS Phontage soft client with their PC, they can place and receive secure, high quality voice communications like all other users on the system. Phontage is a multi-media tool that uses a PC, PDA or Symbian Smartphone-based application to provide the operation of a multi-button desktop phone utilizing communications-enabled PC devices. All features available in a desktop phone are available to the Phontage user and can also be linked so both the user’s desktop and Phontage both ring when the extension is called. Using Phontage, the remote user can see the state of all callers on their iPECS system (on/off hook), dial calls using their OutlookTM contact base, share their desktop, video conferencing and IMS, as well as other presence and call management applications.

Business Results

  • Installation of feature-rich communication system that inter-connects office locations across multiple states and remote/mobile workers on a single unified platform
  • Improved employee motivation and productivity
  • Improved communication among remotely dispersed workforce
  • Approximately $2,400/month recurring cost savings on long distance and migration to SIP trunking
  • Flexibility to grow and add applications to iPECS system based on company growth and business needs
  • Improved call handling at home or office results in enhanced customer service
  • Ability to quickly and easily make moves, adds and changes via web-based maintenance and administration