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RingCentral delivers customized reports for container and packaging company

Summary
Needed a phone solution that would work easily on day one, scale easily later.
Cloud-based RingCentral enabled easy office expansion and frictionless growth.
Continuing to benefit from RingCentral’s ease of use and cost-effectiveness.
Company profile
Company profile:
SKS Bottle & Packaging supplies a wide variety of glass, plastic, and metal containers, as well as caps and closures to small businesses and large Fortune 500 companies alike.
EMPLOYEES:
About 110 employees
Headquarters:
Watervliet, New York
Website:

SKS Bottle & Packaging provides personal care, cosmetics, perfume, salon and spa, food and beverage, medicinal, and household chemical product packaging both to high-volume clients (such as Seventh Generation) and small businesses. One of the ways SKS helps smaller businesses is by repackaging the products it distributes into kits for low-volume businesses, offered at wholesale prices.

Although the sks-bottle.com website is a major sales channel, phone service and support is also very important to SKS. After years of using on-premise PBX hardware, SKS switched to RingCentral’s cloud-based phone service in search of more flexibility, better reporting, and tighter integration with the custom software SKS uses to run its business.

System administrator Jeffrey Wen says one of the first questions he asked about RingCentral was whether he would be able to get API access. “If that was not possible, we might have had to look in another direction,” Wen states.

With the RingCentral Platform APIs, SKS has been able to improve the responsiveness of its service and support operation and better monitor the performance of service team members.

SKS had been experimenting with RingCentral since 2014, but Wen says it was the desire for customizable reporting that pushed the company to make RingCentral its standard in late 2015. SKS now has 51 extensions, of which about 12–15 are dedicated to customer service.

One of the problems with the old PBX was that it was logistically difficult to manage. If a phone extension needed to be moved to a different location, a staff member would literally have to rewire the building. As the business grew, the rat’s nest of phone cables was becoming more of a burden. Switching to RingCentral meant phones could be plugged in to any internet connection, with extensions reassigned as needed through a web-based control panel. “Everything kind of became easier,” Wen says.

The call statistics with the old system fell short of expectations due to the inadequate reporting of consistently dropped calls. “It provided info we didn’t need, and the information we needed we couldn’t get,” Wen says. “The standard RingCentral reports were an improvement.” Wen saw opportunities to use the API to tailor them more specifically to his company’s needs.

Solution

SKS has, so far, developed two integrations with RingCentral APIs. The first, which went into production in early 2016, uses caller ID to look up customer records for incoming calls. The second, which was still being subjected to testing and tweaks when we spoke with Wen in June 2016, will deliver customized reports for sales and service managers.

Both were programmed in PHP and integrated with the company’s homegrown system for managing customer, order, inventory, and shipping data also written in PHP. Wen says he looked at the RingCentral

software development kit for PHP but ultimately decided he could simplify his code by only including the handful of API call functions he needed, rather than the whole SDK.

For the reports, Wen is mimicking RingCentral’s formatting and styling, for the most part, meaning that the custom reports will look almost identical to the standard reports available through the RingCentral administrative dashboard. The difference is it will be presented in the context of SKS’s own systems for managing its business.

Results

Wen mentioned that automated lookup of customer records by caller ID typically saves service representatives a few minutes per call. Previously, representatives would have to start every conversation by quizzing callers about information that could be used to look up their record. Now, the correct record appears on the screen the minute the phone rings.

Meanwhile, the custom call reports that are currently under development will be used as a measure of worker productivity to ensure everyone is doing their job. If the correct information was not relayed to a customer,

managers can also look up which representative spoke to that customer and retrieve a call recording.

The point of the customization is to give service and sales managers the exact information they need, in the format most meaningful to them. For example, calls per minute statistics will be tailored to the firm’s actual hours of operations, rather than calculated on a 24-hour clock. “Prior to having this integration, the reports were either lacking or we had to make adjustments manually,” Wen says.

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