Outdated communications equipment left Port Melbourne-based beef supplier, Cape Grim Beef, stuck in the dark ages.
The old equipment was impacting Cape Grim’s staff ability to communicate in an effective and timely manner with its suppliers and customers. Being able to communicate between branch offices became a larger priority.
To help see an improvement in this area, its long time IT partner, Intellect IT, sought to solve their communication woes through installing new Digium Switchvox 360 IP PBXs in each of Cape Grim’s locations including Port Melbourne, and two processing facilities in Tongala in Victoria and Smithton in Tasmania. It took about three months to see the project through to completion.
The rollout involved more than 70 desk phones across the three locations involving a mix of D50 and D70 IP models as well as 45 Spectralink 7620 industrial DECT cordless extensions added at Tongala and Smithton.
Intellect IT director, Max Soukhomlinov, said working with Cape Grim for many years meant that it understood the business and its challenges.
“They had an ancient phone system in place beforehand and it was pushing about 15 years old. It was still running alright, but it wasn’t keeping up with the company’s needs,” Soukhomlinov said.
“They’re now able to join all the sites in a conference without having to travel and their field staff can now control how they can be reached. For example using the ‘follow me’ function they can be reached wherever they are and they can seamlessly manage that through Switchvox.”
All three sites are now sharing common functions such as global address book and smart call routing. Site receptionists can also now see staff through their computer-based switchboard and effectively manage calls.
At two of the sites, the old phone system was using dedicated, poor quality cabling, but with Switchvox it can be integrated with their existing networking. As a result, it’s easier to deploy handsets across the sites and ensure each site has redundancy.
One of the challenges the company faced was the location of its buildings meant mobile phone coverage was limited, and sometimes two-way radios weren’t reliable, affecting decisions and key people that needed to be reached.
As Cape Grim’s Smithton site manager, Robert Cox, explained it sometimes experienced issues where shipments were held up or it needed to change the production schedule.
“If the facility doesn’t get this message fast enough, it could lead to serious consequences. If we’re changing the production schedule we may also need to apply for permits and paperwork so that we can deliver products to a different destination, for example. Time is of the essence. That’s where the Digium phone systems are so valuable: we can now contact the people we need to speak with right away, making us more responsive and effective,” he said.
Cape Grim Beef managing director, Grant Ryan, saw a demonstration of the product and immediately saw the value in it.
“Staff can now contact each other instantly regardless of location and the calls are free because of the way the system is set up. Employees can communicate with people both inside and outside the organisation more easily using the new solution,” Ryan said. “Conference calls are simple, and contribute to staff productivity. This has improved Cape Grim’s customer service: instead of wasting time trying to contact people, our staff can concentrate on fulfilling the customer’s needs.”