Soft Drink Bottler Finds the Perfect Formula for IT Communications
“Your platform just handled 15,000+ concurrent calls!”
A family-owned business started in 1937, Weinstein Beverage is an independent Pepsi distributor serving North Central Washington. Although the company has grown to become a major soft-drink bottler, with several large facilities across the state of Washington, Weinstein Beverage continues to support many local organizations, events, and festivals. The company has been nominated Pepsi Bottler of the Year three times and was named Bottler of the Year by Beverage Industry magazine.
From soda making to shelf, it takes a lot of coordination to get beverages into your local market.
If you’ve ever spent any time in the large geographic territory of Washington State, chances are the sodas, energy drinks, or bottled water you enjoyed came from Weinstein Beverage Company.
An award-winning independent Pepsi Cola distributor, Weinstein Beverage has been bottling and delivering beverages throughout North Central Washington for more than 80 years. The company has become so successful, that it has expanded its operations to three facilities across the state and increased its staff to more than 120 people.
But if you ask its employees, they’ll tell you Weinstein Beverage isn’t in the drink business—the company is in the relationship business.
Founded during the height of The Great Depression, Weinstein Beverage built its business and reputation slowly and deliberately, by supporting local events, spending time with local business owners, and earning the community’s trust. Even today, as one of the largest independent distributors in the state, the company’s primary focus is still building relationships with the people of the communities it serves.
Which is why Weinstein Beverage simply couldn’t continue to operate with its legacy phone infrastructure.
“The PBX system failed on a regular basis, more than once a month. This knocked out phone service to all three locations.”
“Thanks to RingCentral, we now have multiple points of coverage for our customer support lines.”
“The old service was so expensive, we gave phones only to about 25% of the staff. Because we’re saving so much with RingCentral, we’re now able to bring 100% of the company into the system.”
Aging PBX phone system was fizzing out
As part of their relationship-first strategy, Weinstein Beverage’s senior management team has always wanted to make sure every phone call is answered by a person — not an automated phone menu.
Whether a call is from a customer placing a beverage order, or a service request for one of the vending machines the company sells through its sister company, Eastern Cascade Distributing, Weinstein Beverage strives to give every caller the immediate service they deserve — and never make them wait for someone to listen to their voicemail and respond later.
Unfortunately, the company’s legacy phone infrastructure was neither reliable nor sophisticated enough to allow for this high level of customer service. This problem only got worse as the company added locations and employees.
Frequent outages of the companywide PBX system were creating sales and support problems, because they left the entire staff without the ability to communicate through their business phone numbers.
Moreover, the system itself was proprietary and not intuitive. That meant Weinstein Beverage had hired third-party IT consultants to come in and handle additional programming for custom services, system upgrades, and troubleshooting issues.
Also, because the legacy system didn’t allow for a shared call queue or the ability to reach employees out in the field, customers calling in with sales and support needs often had to leave a voicemail and wait for a call back.
A toast to RingCentral’s cloud communications solution
When they rolled out RingCentral’s unified cloud communications solution to all of the company’s locations, Weinstein Beverage finally had a phone system capable of meeting its high standards for customer service.
Because the solution is cloud-based and fully redundant, Weinstein Beverage no longer has to worry about downtime. “Outages aren’t an issue anymore,” says IT Director Aaron Floyd. “Just knowing person A can always easily get a hold of person B,even if they’re out in the field,has absolutely helped our business.”
The company also now has an efficient way to quickly and reliably connect customers with the support help they need. Using call queues, Weinstein Beverage can have several support techs on call to handle questions or service requests—for help with one of the company’s vending machines, for example—and the reps can even receive these calls on their personal phones when they’re away from the office.
The move to cloud communications also generated a benefit the company hadn’t been counting on. The beverage-distribution industry is seasonal, and demand tends to spike starting in late spring as the temperature rises. During this time, Weinstein Beverage staffs up by hiring seasonal employees for jobs like loading beverages onto trucks and stocking store shelves. Now, when those temporary workers move on, the company can reassign those RingCentral numbers to new employees in just a few clicks.
Additionally, replacing the company’s legacy phone services with RingCentral MVP is also resulting in considerable cost savings. The company no longer needs to pay for third-party IT experts to service and troubleshoot its PBX system. The accounts payable team has reduced its telecom billing from six different providers down to just one.
And, as Aaron points out, the company has enjoyed an even bigger benefit as a result of this cost savings.
No visibility into customer service efficiency
Lack of efficient call routing was just one issues FPS faced with their phone system. The old phone system didn’t not have robust mechanisms for tracking and analyzing call data. That meant the support team had to spend too much time gathering important details like call volume, the average number of calls an agent could handle each day, and at what times of day or days of the week call traffic was likely to spike or decrease.
- Went from experiencing a company-wide phone outage more than once a month, to experiencing none with RingCentral.
- Consolidated their telecom billing from 6 providers down to 1.
- Increased the percentage of employees integrated into the company’s business phone system from about 25% to nearly 100%.