Wells Enterprises

When one of the Largest Ice Cream Makers in the United States Researched Business Communications Solutions for their employees, RingCentral Topped Their List
Wells Enterprises logo
With employees all over the country, RingCentral makes it easy to stay connected and make everyone feel part of the team.

Mike Kooistra

Director of Technology, Wells Enterprises

The country’s most successful family-owned ice cream maker

You might not be familiar with their corporate name, but you’ve probably enjoyed their products. Wells Enterprises is the maker of some of the most popular ice cream brands ever—including Blue Bunny®, Bomb Pop®, Blue Ribbon Classics, and Halo Top®.
The company began in 1913 with a single delivery wagon and in the century since, Wells has proven their humble approach could lead to incredible success. The company has become the largest privately held, family-owned ice cream manufacturer in the US, and their Iowa-based production facility is the largest ice cream manufacturing plant in the world. 
As the organization grew to meet ever-increasing demand, Wells added production, sales, and corporate support locations around the country—eventually reaching 4,000 employees. But for a company built on a culture of family and close-knit teams, keeping this growing staff connected became more difficult as the Wells Enterprises family stretched across the United States.
Complicating matters even more: The company’s on-prem phone system was becoming taxed beyond its limits, and the quality of the system’s calls—between coworkers and externally with customers and partners—was becoming unreliable.

Losing their taste for a failing phone system

“Our old system was technically IP-based, and it required us to manage on-prem hardware and software,” recalls Mike Kooistra, the company’s Director of Technology. “We could tell the system was nearing the end of its days because our employees were regularly experiencing poor call quality and lots of dropped calls.”
Their vendor suggested that Wells switch to their latest cloud-based platform it offered. But when Mike and his IT team tried out that solution for themselves, they were unimpressed. “We found it clumsy and difficult to use, even for IT professionals,” he says.
So, Wells decided it was time to find a better business communications solution.
We’ve gotten so much value from the Webinar add-on to RingCentral. It’s the first tool we’ve ever had that can connect 1,400 of us in a single meeting.

Mike Kooistra

Director of Technology, Wells Enterprises
Le Mars, Iowa

The intuitive, unified solution they were looking for

Mike’s team took a methodical approach to researching cloud-communications solutions, starting with consulting the company’s research partner. “We’re a Gartner client, and we put a lot of trust in their experts’ advice,” he says. “The fact that RingCentral has a leadership spot in the Gartner Magic Quadrant put it on our shortlist.”
But they also investigated a few other large cloud-communications providers. “What we found is the other solutions were disjointed, pieced together. With RingCentral, we saw a clean, unified platform for everything we needed: voice, call center, video conference, team messaging, everything.”

A painless company-wide migration to the new platform

Mike’s team found the RingCentral solution so user-friendly, in fact, that they decided to roll it out company-wide all at once—rather than onboarding small groups at a time. “Because the platform was so intuitive, we could tell it wasn’t going to require a lot of in-depth training.”
They were correct. As Mike explains: “We told all of our employees that they now had access to RingCentral, sent out some basic training and onboarding information, and let them know we’d be turning off the old system within 60 days. The whole company moved onto RingCentral without any real issues. I couldn’t have asked for a smoother transition.”

Lowering phone costs immediately

One of the first benefits Wells experienced with their new communications solution was immediate cost-savings and return on investment on both traditional long-distance and 800 calls.
“A lot of our ‘internal’ calls between locations in different states were billed at long-distance rates,” says Mike. “Now that we’re all on the same RingCentral platform, those are truly internal calls, and that’s helping us reduce our overall communication costs.”

Improving teamwork and productivity… even through COVID

But Wells Enterprises truly discovered the wisdom of their move to RingCentral a few months later, when the lockdowns forced most of the company’s corporate staff home. “Because we had this communications solution already set up, it was easy for us to say, ‘If you don’t need to be in the office, go ahead and work from home,’” says Mike.
The company leveraged many aspects of their RingCentral environment—the desktop and mobile apps, the phone system, audio and video conferencing, webinar capabilities, team messaging—to make sure that during the quarantine everyone remained accessible to customers and connected to their colleagues.
“With the video calls, in particular, I think we actually improved teamwork and team cohesion,” Mike explains. “Having the ability to start up a video call with anyone, or any group of coworkers, makes it very easy for us to continue feeling like a close team even though everyone is at home.”
It doesn’t matter where we’re based or whether we have an office to come to every day. We now have the tools for rich team communication anywhere. I can’t imagine how we would’ve gotten through the lockdowns without RingCentral.

Mike Kooistra

Director of Technology, Wells Enterprises

Dream jobs in dream locations

With more than 5 million users and over 6,000 employees, RingCentral offers incredible opportunities across the globe.