Ready Pac Case Study
Ready Pac seals in savings of $17,800 a month with ShoreTel
Legacy phone system goes stale
When Ready Pac’s aging phone system started to drop customer calls, executives turned to modern IP-based alternatives.
Need to pick a modern, IP-based communications system
The convenience of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables in ready-to-serve packaging has kept Ready Pac at the forefront of the produce supply industry, and led to the company’s significant growth. After two recent company acquisitions, Ready Pac executives decided to replace the company’s ailing Avaya PBX system with a modern IP-based communications system that integrates communications and simplifies system management with a single point of administration and maintenance.
“The old system was dropping up to 10 calls a day, including customer calls, and effective repairs were becoming impossible,” explains Jim Lyle, communications administrator at Ready Pac. “It was actually three separate Avaya systems that would not integrate, so every time we called someone at another office, there was a charge and a lot of numbers to remember to dial. We wanted a reliable system that made communications easier.”
Lyle investigated the option of upgrading the Avaya systems, and also evaluated systems from Cisco and ShoreTel. “Our three main criteria for comparison were cost, reliability, and ease of management,” says Lyle. “ShoreTel’s low total cost of ownership clearly demonstrated that ShoreTel was the best investment to meet our requirements.
We also saw how we could achieve 100 percent redundancy at an acceptable price point with ShoreTel switches, and ShoreTel’s management interface beat the competition hands down for ease and user-friendliness.”
ShoreTel propagates $17,800 a month in savings
After agreeing with Lyle’s evaluation, Ready Pac executives gave the green light to install a ShoreTel UC system, and the company began deployment across four company sites.
Communications among offices is now easy and cost-effective. “As a result of the ShoreTel implementation, Ready Pac is now saving almost $17,800 a month in phone bill charges alone. We’ve also been able to change our phone lines over to a different service provider, giving us more leverage to keep costs down,” explains Lyle.
While much of Ready Pac’s call savings is due to ShoreTel’s least-cost call routing feature, the Ready Pac sales team is also saving on mobile phone calls since they can listen to messages as .wav email files, rather than having to call into the corporate voicemail system. The high level of mobility through features such as Office Anywhere and Find Me also helps ensure that the sales team and other staff are accessible to customers and high-priority callers, adapting communications to the way they work.
All staff at Ready Pac is using ShoreTel Communicator, which integrates with Microsoft Outlook to make it easy to look up contacts—even personal numbers—and dial with just one click. As a result, Ready Pac’s staff is more accessible than previously, which has improved responsiveness and overall customer service.
Advanced call features in ShoreTel Communicator include powerful workgroup features that enable groups to effectively manage certain types of calls, regardless of location. Lyle has established three workgroups, one for the customer service group, another for a group that handles orders, and the third for the IT help desk.
“OUR THREE MAIN CRITERIA FOR COMPARISON WERE COST, RELIABILITY, AND EASE OF MANAGEMENT. SHORETEL’S LOW TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED THAT SHORETEL WAS THE BEST INVESTMENT TO MEET OUR REQUIREMENTS.”
Jim Lyle, Communications Administrator
“We have configured one of the buttons on the ShoreTel IP Phone so that any agent in the group can pick up a call if they hear a call ringing unanswered,” Lyle says. “This feature helps improve customer service by ensuring that calls are picked up quickly. In the evenings, our service person uses Office Anywhere with his mobile phone to pick up any calls.”
Communications improve freshness
Lyle has established distribution groups for daily voice message notifications. Since salad has a short shelf life, ensuring quick delivery is crucial, and communications are a key part of keeping the goods moving quickly throughout the distribution chain.
He has also set up an IT outage line so users quickly become aware of any computer downtime. This outage line also provides an option to locate a person in case of an emergency, or leave a message. “If no one answers, the call is forwarded to two managers, and if they don’t answer, it goes to the IT director, which pretty much guarantees that the caller will receive a response within an hour,” says Lyle.
IT has a field day with ShoreTel system management
Another important cost saving for Ready Pac is through the use of the ShoreTel Converged Conferencing solution. “Our business requires using audio and Web conferencing services extensively, and ShoreTel Converged Conferencing enabled us to bring conferencing services in-house and eliminate having to pay for third-party services and WebEx accounts,” says Lyle.
As Ready Pac continues to harvest a growing market share in the produce industry, reliable communications is key to processing orders, ensuring timely distribution, building relationships, and staying innovative. Ready Pac has been able to implement a highly available system because of ShoreTel’s distributed architecture, using redundant switches to ensure reliability without adding complexity and increasing support costs.
“The ShoreTel UC system is extremely reliable— no more dropped calls and endless support calls,” explains Lyle. “Our entire IT department is comprised of myself, plus 14 people, and we have not needed to add anyone or undergo extensive training to support and maintain the system.” ShoreTel’s proven ease of management enables an in-house team to easily add phones and sites. After the initial four-site deployment, Ready Pac has expanded the system to another site, without incurring major costs or delays. “It’s so easy to drop or add a switch at a site that we were able to set up a nine-phone office with one switch in less than a day,” Lyle adds. “ShoreTel truly has proven to be the pick of the crop.”
“THE SHORETEL UC SYSTEM IS EXTREMELY RELIABLE— NO MORE DROPPED CALLS AND ENDLESS SUPPORT CALLS. OUR ENTIRE IT DEPARTMENT IS COMPRISED OF MYSELF, PLUS 14 PEOPLE, AND WE HAVE NOT NEEDED TO ADD ANYONE OR UNDERGO EXTENSIVE TRAINING TO SUPPORT AND MAINTAIN THE SYSTEM.”
Replace three separate, aging PBX systems with a modern, feature-rich IP-based communications solution that consolidates all locations on one, easy-to-manage, reliable, and cost-effective system.
ShoreTel provided Ready Pac with ShoreTel Voice Switches and ShoreTel IP Phones and 50 analog lines.
- Cost savings of $17,800 a month
- Streamlined communications
- High level of redundancy
- Reduced need for third-party support