Getting Vertical

On the Road with Samsung Business Communication Systems

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, IP Communications Magazines  |  November 01, 2010

This article originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY

Premier Transfer & Storage Inc. is always on the move, whether that involves transporting its clients’ household, industrial or office goods; enabling its personnel to relocate to get the job done; or expanding its own business. So flexibility in how the company’s communications system works is of the utmost importance. That’s why the Virginia-based Mayflower transit agency recently adopted an IP-based phone system from Samsung (News - Alert).

Premier did three acquisitions between 2002 and 2009 that allowed it to expand service into new areas of the state. The company began looking for a new communications solution after planning to open an office in Richmond, when it was determined that upgrading the existing telecommunications system and servicing the new office along with its sites in Christiansburg and Salem would be cost prohibitive.

So Premier – which has between 40 and 70 employees, with its staff peaks during the summer months, and operates about 60 vehicles – asked to help it find an alternative.

Specifically, the moving company was looking for a solution that could handle high call volumes during peak times without each location requiring dedicated customer service staff and dispatchers; allow for cost-efficient communication between the three sites; instantly and seamlessly reach warehouse, sales or other personnel that move throughout the facilities and between offices; economize on system training for incoming seasonal staff; and enhance call tracking, monitoring and management capabilities. co-founder David Nuckols (News - Alert) and his team of technicians recommended the installation of a Samsung OfficeServ 7100 system at each location to enable seamless networking within all three sites. Premier agreed, spending an initial $18,000 for all three sites; that’s much less than the company’s previous system, which was $42,000 to serve just two locations.

Now the Premier offices are connected by the Internet, resulting in reduced costs. The fact that it’s an Internet-connected solution means that employees can work at home when it makes sense. And it’s just a much simpler phone system to program, says John Phillips, president of Premier.

“The monthly usage cost savings is easily 20 percent less than our costs were before,” says Phillips. That’s due to long-distance savings, he adds, as the company was able to eliminate its T1 connection as a result.

The move to the OfficeServ system also enhanced productivity and translated to monthly staffing/operational savings of more than $2,000 for Premier. That’s in part because it allowed Premier to centralize customer service. Now it doesn’t need a customer service person at each location. Premier has centralized customer service, billing and dispatch at its Christiansburg office.

Call management also was enhanced with OfficeServ Call. This software was installed to provide PC-based contact tracking and scheduling, on-screen dialing from Microsoft (News - Alert) Outlook contacts, and digital telephone programming. And an e-mail gateway provides office staff with fax-to-e-mail capability for receiving sensitive documents.

Premier has also realized simplified and more cost-efficient training. With the Samsung solution, new or seasonal staff can access online tutorials, eliminating the need for costly live training from service technicians. Sales managers are able to monitor the calls of new staff and take over if the sales person needs help. And a call record feature allows for retention of verbal authorizations and credit card charges.

Another benefit of the new solution is business continuity, as intended parties now get calls faster and, if a carrier service outage occurs at one location, calls can be forwarded to the central dispatch and seamlessly routed back to the location with the outage via VoIP.

Additionally, the Samsung solution and related wireless handsets allow for better staff accessibility at Premier’s various offices and warehouses. Samsung’s OfficeServ Connect function seamlessly transfers dispatch and other calls to the staff cell phones, ringing their desk phones and wireless phones simultaneously, so they’re able to get calls wherever is most convenient.

 “In today’s competitive business environment, advanced, cost-effective communications solutions are a necessity. With the Samsung OfficeServ networked solution, we were able to improve our connectivity, achieve greater staffing flexibility and cut our monthly costs,” says Phillips.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard