Norpac Case Study
ShoreTel ‘s VoIP solution enhances NORPAC Foods customer responsiveness and employee productivity
Antiquated PBX becomes unreliable
NORPAC had antiquated PBX Systems at its three major locations, as well as multiple key systems. The systems were more than end-of-life, and an upgrade was not an option because the switches themselves were becoming unreliable.
VoIP system that was easy to use and manage
Struggling with a failing PBX system, NORPAC established a task force, including network administrators, engineers, and purchasing managers, to evaluate traditional PBX and new Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions to replace the PBX systems. After thoroughly evaluating alternative solutions, speaking with customer references, and finally seeing demonstrations of various products, the group made its decision quickly, choosing ShoreTel for its robust feature set, the simplicity of the product design and implementation, and reliability.
“I was familiar with ShoreTel prior to the evaluation, and our network administrator felt that the VoIP technology needed further investigation,” says Jim Stromvig, IT manager for NORPAC, who was assigned to the task force. “After we had completed our research, the task force came to a collective conclusion very quickly. We all felt the ShoreTel IP solution was what we wanted.”
ShoreTel packs the right set of VoIP for NORPAC
ShoreTel provided NORPAC with equipment for the entire deployment. The deployment at the first of the three offices took one weekend day after necessary wiring changes were made, and the other two offices were cut over to ShoreTel the following weekends. The total cutover took only two weeks. ShoreTel equipment installed includes ShoreTel Voice Switches and a number of ShoreTel IP Phones. The solution integrated seamlessly, including connectivity to two PBX switches at other NORPAC facilities.
NORPAC has been able to use a number of analog phones until it is ready to deploy more IP phones. “NORPAC is very careful when it spends money, and a new phone system had been a topic for discussion for some time,” says Stromvig. “A new phone system has company-wide exposure and failure was not an option. That’s why we went with ShoreTel. The ShoreTel architecture was developed for IP technology—it wasn’t retrofitted for IP as some of the other offerings we looked at. ShoreTel has helped us improve customer service and office productivity. It has to support mission-critical traffic between all of our offices.”
Increased productivity, enhanced service
The ShoreTel system provides integrated messaging, such as directory dialing, contact screen pop, and calendar integration. ShoreTel Communicator gives NORPAC employees the equivalent of a desktop PBX—a powerful, all-purpose tool for managing voice communications. With it, NORPAC employees can quickly browse contacts and make calls from local directories, all from the desktop. With the email integration, employees can manage their email and voicemail activity centrally and efficiently.
ShoreTel Communicator’s friendly, graphical interface provides easy access to sophisticated features, including “on-the-fly” conferencing and document sharing; and dynamic, online directories eliminate paper directories that are often outdated. Voicemail messages are stored in the industrystandard WAV Audio for Windows format, allowing users to play them on multimedia PCs, attach them to email messages, or embed them in other documents. The ability of the ShoreTel system to track customer phone calls and export and distribute voicemails as WAV files is helpful in continually monitoring and improving customer service.
“AFTER WE HAD COMPLETED OUR RESEARCH, THE TASK FORCE CAME TO A COLLECTIVE CONCLUSION VERY QUICKLY. WE ALL FELT THE SHORETEL IP SOLUTION WAS WHAT WE WANTED.”
Jim Stromvig, IT Manager
“ShoreTel Communicator is very user-friendly, and our users were able to quickly learn and use the new system,” explains Stromvig. In addition to powerful ShoreTel Communicator, ShoreTel Operator Communicator software provides NORPAC receptionists with key information and control, enabling a significantly higher level of personalized attention for callers.
For example, before even answering an incoming call, a call-routing log displays the caller’s experience within the system to the receptionist or operator. In addition, before transferring the caller any further, the call-transfer screen displays who is available and who is not, avoiding the possibility of sending callers to an extension that is busy. With the complete company at their fingertips as well as knowledge about the calling and called party, NORPAC receptionists can transfer to extensions, cell phones, or even home phones instantly. Mission-critical communications among sales, production scheduling, inventory management, and plant operations are handled quickly and effectively, enhancing customer service and internal operations.
“The bottom line is that ShoreTel enables NORPAC to be more responsive to phone calls,” says Stromvig. “There are fewer missed calls, so customer service is improved, and employees are spending less of their time returning those missed phone calls, giving us improved employee productivity. Every way you look at it, it’s a win-win.”
Ease of Management
NORPAC uses ShoreTel Director, a browser-based management interface that allows NORPAC’s Network Administrator to launch a web browser and gain access to the system from anywhere on the network. Through ShoreTel Director, NORPAC can manage every site, including voicemail, automated attendant, and desktop applications.
To add a new user, it is simply a matter of clicking “add new” and entering the user’s name, which automatically updates the centralized database and every voice switch. Furthermore, once the new user is added, a mailbox is created, the automated attendant dial-by-name and number feature is updated, and online directories are revised. The entire process takes just a few seconds.
“THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT SHORETEL ENABLES NORPAC TO BE MORE RESPONSIVE TO PHONE CALLS. THERE ARE FEWER MISSED CALLS, SO CUSTOMER SERVICE IS IMPROVED, AND EMPLOYEES ARE SPENDING LESS OF THEIR TIME RETURNING THOSE MISSED PHONE CALLS, GIVING US IMPROVED EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY.”
ShoreTel is more user-friendly than expected
The NORPAC task force has continued to survey users and consistently finds that employees at every level and location appreciate and really like the new system. “The ShoreTel system has gained company-wide approval, which was our top priority,” concludes Stromvig. “The system is even more user-friendly than I expected it to be. We’re glad we went with ShoreTel.”
NORPAC needed to replace three antiquated and poorly performing PBX systems with upgraded analog equipment or new VoIP technology.
ShoreTel provided the food-manufacturing leader with a complete VoIP solution, including ShoreTel Voice Switches and ShoreTel IP Phones.
- Improved reliability
- Robust, advanced telephony features
- Improved customer service
- Lower overall cost of ownership