Sinclair International

The World’s Leading Fresh-Produce Labeler Switched to RingCentral – Saving Costs and Improving Workflows
Sinclair International logo
Our on-prem phone system was a nightmare. It was so complicated that we needed to submit a ticket for every little thing. But RingCentral is so intuitive that our employees now manage their own phone service and rarely need our help. And when we do have questions, RingCentral’s Support Team is one of the best I’ve ever encountered.

Ian Hamilton

Global IT Manager

The company that literally invented individual-fruit labeling

Before Sinclair was founded, branding for fresh produce was limited to the boxes carrying the fruits and vegetables. The individual items themselves carried no labels. So, Sinclair’s founding team filed for patents and developed the first food-safe labeling systems for individual pieces of produce.
Sinclair was started in 1982 in the UK, and is now owned by American firm, Gulftech. The two main hubs of their global network are located in Fresno and Norwich where the high-speed label-making machines are assembled and provided to customers to form part of the total labelling solution. The main product - fresh produce labels, are made in 10 locations around the world and Sinclair also have numerous other offices globally for agents to provide localised sales, support and servicing.

The search for a more flexible, intuitive telephony solution

Sinclair is one of several food-related businesses that share a corporate parent, agricultural investment firm Gulftech. A few years ago, the firm tasked Sinclair’s IT team to provide technology services to all the firm’s subsidiaries.
“Our parent company wanted to standardise the IT communications environment across all the businesses in its portfolio,” explains Ian Hamilton, Sinclair’s Global IT Manager. “Because we’re a global organisation, as are several of Gultech’s other subsidiaries, that meant finding a global cloud telephony solution.”
Given the challenges Ian and his team were facing with Sinclair’s legacy phone system, they were thrilled to be on the hunt for a new solution. “Our on-prem system was 35 years old, dependent entirely on desk phones and telecom carrier relationships, and a complete pain to use.”
And just as Ian’s team began researching the cloud communications industry, COVID struck.

The pandemic underscores the need for mobile communications

“In those early days, we had to send our office staff home, which meant business phones were ringing and there was no one to answer,” Ian explains. So the IT team accelerated its search for a cloud solution.
“RingCentral proved the best partner really from day one. The sales team was the most responsive of any vendor we reached out to. The implementation team made the rollout incredibly smooth—probably the most seamless technology implementation I’ve ever seen. And our experience with the RingCentral support team has been consistently brilliant.”
Our North American offices were paying extremely high rates for phone calls, especially for international dialing. Since we eliminated those carrier agreements and moved those offices onto our RingCentral environment, we’re saving about £20,000 a year.

Ian Hamilton

Global IT Manager
Norwich, UK

Improving operations with RingCentral’s softphone and mobile app

As Ian points out, Sinclair’s employees immediately began experiencing the benefits of an anywhere, any-device business phone solution. “Because RingCentral is internet-based, our business communications follow us anywhere we need them to. Whether our employees are in an office, at home, or traveling, they can still have their business lines and stay productive.”
From an administrative perspective, Ian explains, RingCentral also significantly improved the company’s operations. “We could never master our old on-prem system. Even routine changes like adding or changing users required submitting a ticket to the provider… and waiting. With RingCentral, we can do it all ourselves, easily, from anywhere. If I need to replace someone on our reception call queue with another employee, I can do it online in seconds.” When support is needed, Ian was impressed with the speed of response, “RingCentral’s support is so responsive that at times I’ve found it shocking. I remember going online, logging a ticket, and literally having someone calling me as I was closing out of the system. I answered that call by saying, ‘Wow. Really? Already?’”

Tracking success metrics with RingCentral’s reporting and analytics

Ian also notes that he uses RingCentral’s reporting dashboard to monitor the customer support team’s call answer times and other service metrics.
“The reporting platform is great for making sure we’re not missing calls or taking too long to answer, which is extremely important to our business because we’re a highly service-oriented organisation. I also appreciate that I can pop into the reporting dashboard anytime, and within a few minutes have all the data I need.”

Cutting international calling costs considerably

Finally, Ian explains, Sinclair’s multiple North American locations are enjoying significant cost savings since migrating from their legacy telecom contracts to the company’s global RingCentral platform.
“Our North American offices were paying extremely high rates for phone calls, especially for international dialing,” he says. “Since we eliminated those carrier agreements and moved those offices onto our RingCentral environment, we’re saving about £20,000 a year.”
RingCentral was the ideal telephony solution, and it came along for us at precisely the right time. We were in the middle of COVID, where our employees couldn’t access their desk phones, and suddenly we transitioned to this intuitive cloud solution that lets everybody make and take business calls on their laptops and smartphones. It really kept us connected and productive at a time when we might have had serious operational problems without it.

Ian Hamilton

Global IT Manager