A hybrid approach brings 12 locations into one unified network for Dixie Plywood and Lumber Company
According to the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce, construction spending is trending up. The first 10 months of 2014 saw more than $800 billion in construction spending, up nearly 6 percent from the same period in 2013. October 2014 spending (seasonally adjusted) was up 1.1 percent from September 2014 and up 3.3 percent from September 2013. New residences and businesses also increase demand for furnishings and trim.
All of that is very good news for companies like Dixie Plywood and Lumber Company, a wholesale distributor of plywood, lumber, building materials and specialty products to lumber dealers, professional craftsmen and architects/building designers. Celebrating 70 years in business, the Savannah, Ga.-based firm has become one of the country’s largest independent distributors of building materials.
There are two primary keys to this kind of success: (1) deep sourcing (Dixie Plywood has relationships with more than 70 major suppliers); and (2) premium communications (a Toshiba customer since 1996).
When your primary business is to connect suppliers and buyers — handling more than 100,000 calls per month — the business phone system has to be right. It has to enable all 250 users to be productive and effective, wherever they are. And since the company’s 12 locations are spread across five states in the hurricane-prone southeast, the phone system also has to provide for survivability.
To meet those needs, Heather Radtke of Speros (www.speros.com) recommended a hybrid solution that integrates cloud-based and on-premises communications from a single vendor. Since the company was already a Toshiba customer and could reuse existing phones with the new system, Toshiba was a natural fit. Dixie’s business phone system now includes:
- Toshiba’s VIPedge® cloud-based business telephone solution
- Toshiba’s IPedge® on-premises IP business telephone systems
- Toshiba’s Call Manager unified communications
- IPMobility, Call Manager Mobile and Follow Me mobility applications
- Unified Messaging for a single inbox for email and voice messages
- Redundancy for disaster recovery
- Enterprise Manager for browser-based remote administration
“Accessibility is essential in our industry,” said Bobby Awtrey, Corporate Director of IT Services for Dixie Plywood. “We stock millions of dollars in inventory for next-day shipping, and we specialize in special orders — everything from the usual to the hard-to-find. Providing the best customer service requires that we have reliable communications at all locations — or from anywhere — all the time.”
Toshiba’s Hybrid Cloud Networking delivers. For example, users can:
- Click from their computers to dial, answer calls, transfer calls, check the status of colleagues before calling them, and send instant messages. The blending of voice with text is ideal for communicating (and documenting) complex order details, such as dimensions, engineering specifications, SKUs and prices.
- Collaborate across locations — spread out from San Antonio to Miami to Charlotte — just as easily as with colleagues in the same building. It’s easier than ever to connect with another site that has the specialty product a customer is seeking or transfer customers to the best site for their needs.
- Use their smartphones and tablets as extensions of the Toshiba phone system and have calls follow them wherever they are, even during an outage. Whether staff are around the building, in the warehouse or at a customer’s site, calls get through, along with access to the calling capabilities they have at their desks.
- View, save and share emails, faxes and voice mail in one inbox to save time and avoid missed messages. When customers are calling to make inquiries, faxing POs and plans, and emailing specifications, managing these diverse communications in one place vastly improves efficiency and customer service.
With VIPedge cloud-based communications, the company’s locations across the southeast now connect much like one location — with easy extension-dialing, a user profile that follows you when visiting other locations, and the ability for sites to provide backup for each other, if necessary. During an outage, calls can be automatically redirected to any other phone number, such as a user’s mobile phone or home phone. Business keeps rolling, even when the power isn’t.
“Toshiba’s Hybrid Cloud Telephony solution connects our business telephone solutions together so our employees can communicate more effectively with our customers, dealers and each other,” said Danny Simmons, PC and equipment specialist at Dixie Plywood. “With hybrid cloud and on-premises communications, we’re well positioned as we go into our second 70 years in business.”
Success Story At a Glance
Customer: Dixie Plywood and Lumber Company
Business: Wholesale distributor of plywood, lumber and building supplies
Locations: Headquartered in Savannah, Ga.
12 locations from Texas to Florida to North Carolina
Dealer: Speros (www.speros.com), Savannah, Ga.
Authorized Toshiba Dealer since 1995
Solution: Toshiba’s IPedge cloud-based business telephone solution
Toshiba’s IPedge on-premises IP business phone system
Toshiba’s Call Manager unified communications
Toshiba’s mobility applications
Unified Messaging – Single inbox for email and voice mail
Redundancy for disaster recovery
Remote, browser-based administration
Results: 12 sites brought into one unified network
Improved internal and external communications
Survivability during storms and power outages
For more information, visit: http://www.telecom.toshiba.com/