Worcestershire telecommunications company Armstrong Bell has forged an alliance with the Midland’s office of a leading global induction furnace manufacturer after replacing its deteriorating telephone system with a dynamic, flexible version that has improved connectivity across its entire site.

The Bromsgrove-based telecoms business won the tender to replace the entire telephone system at Inductotherm, Droitwich, after a competitive three-way pitch.

Inductotherm’s European operations have been based at the Berry Hill Industrial site since 1971 and the company now employs 100 staff.

It was keen to modernise its 25-year-old system because it was unable to find spare parts for its Ericsson telephone; Armstrong Bell impressed the manufacturer with its technical know-how, innovative solutions and approach to identifying its specific needs across the manufacturing site and offices. It also suggested a cost-saving move of removing unused fax lines.

Because the cabling and cabinet were installed in an unsuitable location, Armstrong Bell undertook a survey and liaised with BT OpenReach to move the entire system into the firm’s computer room, which is air conditioned and a better suited environment for the equipment.

Its engineers replaced 60 ageing handsets with the NEC SV9100 system, which has front-end response with options, direct dial and hunt groups, plus voicemail and indication.

Staff also have individual external numbers that show up when dialling out, which has had a positive impact on customers who prefer to speak directly to their contact at the firm.

Finally, Armstrong Bell also installed and supplied 10 digitally enhanced cordless technology (DECT) handsets for staff and managers who are often in the large manufacturing facility.

While Inductotherm previously had used DECT handsets, poor coverage meant that staff in some areas of the site were not contactable. With Armstrong Bell’s system, the company now has full coverage of the factory and the yard.

Christine Morgan, buyer at Inductotherm, said: “We were extremely impressed with Armstrong Bell from the outset because it really went out of its way to understand how we used our phones and what we wanted to get out of a system. The firm’s attention to detail demonstrated that it really tailors solutions for its customers.

“We were also struck by how it drew up plans for something we needed rather than trying to sell us a complicated and costly system.”

Inductotherm staff had the opportunity to see a similar Armstrong Bell system in action at another local business and talk to staff about how it worked.

“That business guided us through what Armstrong Bell had done for them and the system they have. It really opened our eyes and it was reassuring that they were full of praise for how it all went,” said Christine.

“The downtime was so minimal, it was absolutely incredible. We were dreading having major downtime issues and no calls coming in or going out but those fears were not founded and everything went very smoothly.

“The system was installed first thing in the morning and engineers were on site to sort everything out within minutes. They were excellent in every way - from  selling the system to installation and post-installation support.”

Inductotherm was so pleased with the new Armstrong Bell telephone system that it commissioned the telecoms company to replace its ailing Panasonic system with  a smaller version - the NEC SL1100 - at Electric Melting Services (EMSCO), its sister company in Sheffield.

This “joined up” telephone system enables staff at the two companies to use short codes to dial each other - as if they are in the same building rather than 115 miles away.

Will Copley, managing director of Armstrong Bell, said: “Being local to Inductotherm gave us the edge but it was also the fact that we go out of our way to understand a customer’s needs, rather than trying to upsell.

“Inductotherm’s new telephone system is not only fit for purpose for a large, busy company, it is also agile and future-proof. Our team have done another excellent job there, also providing comprehensive training for its staff, which meant they were up and running in no time at all.”

PR by Clive Reeves PR Birmingham