M.W.Partridge & Co Ltd, established in 1823, is a traditional, independent, hardware store trading from the original premises in Hadleigh, Suffolk.
These days, although our main business is still retailing in hardware and home wares to the general public, our customer base is moving from agricultural and engineering to the recently started internet trading department. At ‘Partridges’ you can still buy everything from a single nail or screw right through to lawnmowers, barbecues or water softeners.
We frequently have visitors to our store, both on line and in person, delighting in the old world charm of the shop, which is maintained by our up to date telecommunications and computer systems.
Beyond Telecoms Consulting (BTC) had already been looking after MW Partridge’s (MWP’s) phone lines and call routing for some years so it was a natural choice for MWP to enlist the help of BTC when they were considering replacing their existing phone system.
The reasons for wanting to replace the existing system were several fold. The basic system in itself was still functioning fairly well. However a number of handsets had developed faults, the voice mail had stopped working and because of the age of the system there was a concern going forward that replacement parts would become more and more difficult to source. This was having a knock on effect on the cost and availability of ongoing maintenance contracts.
Also a big driver from a customer service perspective was that there was a need to be able to direct incoming customer calls to the relevant department. The existing system didn’t have this capability, instead incoming calls were ringing in every department simultaneously and callers had to be redirected if they didn’t get through to the desired department straight away.
After discussing their requirements, Beyond Telecoms undertook a project to achieve the following objectives.
a) To research the market and source a phone system with a maintenance contract, at minimal cost, which would meet their existing and future requirements
b) To arrange for a site survey and the subsequent installation of this system.
c) To oversee the installation and facilitate any post installation programming and troubleshooting.
a) A second user Panasonic system was chosen, which met all their requirements whilst at the same time being less costly than a new system.
b) As a result of the ability to automatically direct callers to individual departments, significant staff time has been saved.
c) The new system has restored the voice mail facility previously lost, allowing callers to leave a message should a member of staff not be available.
d) The new system also incorporates remote access capability, which gives the ability for the maintenance company to carry out programming changes and diagnostics without a site visit being required in most cases. This gives a significant improvement in response time and minimises any maintenance charges not covered by the maintenance contract.