Capital Coated Steel, located in Cardiff, South Wales, is a leading supplier in Processing, warehousing and distribution of pre-coated metals supplying the domestic appliances, roofing, cladding, general engineering markets.
In 2008, Capital undertook a strategic review of it’s IT and telecommunications infrastructure. This review concentrated on: What hardware and software were in use? How old is this equipment? Does it function according to the needs of the users? Do the systems aid or inhibit efficiency? How long before the equipment is outmoded? And importantly – which improvements would represent efficiency gains with benefits that extend to the customer? In recent years, Capital has made a conscious attempt to seriously consider the impact of new technologies and employ them wherever there is a clear business need and business benefit.
This was a far ranging review with impacts in several areas. From this, Capital decided that some of the significant improvements that could be made would be in the area of telecoms development: Firstly through the replacement of an aging digital telephone system with a unified communications system, and secondly to gear Capital’s future telecoms strategy around the provision of a telecoms network operating at three locations.
There have been undoubted benefits to this change in strategic direction, not least of which are the cost savings as a result of Capital’s ability to organise meetings via conference call rather than organising travel and overnight stays, and the improved speed by which a customer can now contact individuals, either via DDI or voice message. Call flow management is also now greatly enhanced.
One of the benefits of this Cisco unified communications system, is the ease with which Capital can add functionality and integrate its use with its PC systems. This has a dual benefit- simple configuration can be carried out internally and the switches used by the UC system also carry the rest of the IT traffic (reducing IT costs by doubling up on use). The robust nature of this equipment delivers confidence, and the telecom downtime has been reduced. The functionality provided by this provision has resulted in productivity gains, improved configuration of call flows, remote user access and enhanced customer experience.
Planning for the future, the UC system offers the foundation for integrating all Capital sites onto one system, delivered over MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) and administered centrally with the associated cost savings. It will also allow Capital the opportunity to explore newer technologies such as video conferencing and telephone message management through the use of recording tools.
Axonex have been central to the development and support of our unified communications systems and have been exemplary in every aspect of it, offering help and advice on even the most peripheral of telecoms issues. It is our desire to continue this development in these technologies in tandem with Axonex and – at the very least – future prepare our IT and telecom systems for the next chapter in our business history
Simon Nurse, Head of Operations.