By working with EBS, Agriline Products minimised disruption to the high level of customer service it provides and increased sales in the process.
Agriline Products is one of the largest and most professional suppliers of vintage and classic tractor spare parts in the country. Over the last twenty years, it has continued to grow from strength to strength, moving into new warehouse facilities and expanding its base in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire where it can supply its excellent customer service worldwide. At EBS, we’ve been on the journey alongside them, offering a range of technology solutions and implementation and support services.
WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?
Like a lot of SMEs, Agriline Products doesn’t have an internal IT department, but they like to ensure they are at the forefront when it comes to using technology to improve their business processes and the service they can offer customers. This includes thinking about the technology its team needs to perform their role at their best.
Back in September 2019, months before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Agriline wanted to ensure they had the option to work in different ways and looked at how they could transition their telephony systems to the cloud.
We selected Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions from the multi-award winning Zen Internet as the most suitable for Agriline’s needs. Zen is a key partner of EBS and we worked closely with them to deliver a system that would be tailored to Agriline. As our customer, Agriline was very much involved in the process, visiting the Zen Internet offices in the selection process to show why we work with them. We were able to provide an end-to-end solution based on the internet connection and telephony system.
At the time, no one predicted the impact of the pandemic, but having a telephony system that could be used anywhere meant the impact of lockdown was minimal from a customer service perspective.
Richard Brown, Operations Director, explains how vital this was to the business performance in 2020:
‘When the pandemic hit, and everyone was told to work from home, we’d planned for it with the EBS team, so we were able to operate our customer service team as normal for the entirety of lockdown and beyond. We knew our customers in the agriculture sector were not stopping. Our competitors weren’t ready, and we benefited from a 40% increase in business’.
‘When the pandemic hit, and everyone was told to work from home, we’d planned for it with the EBS team, so we were able to operate our customer service team as normal for the entirety of lockdown and beyond. We knew our customers in the agriculture sector were not stopping. Our competitors weren’t ready, and we benefited from a 40% increase in business’. One of the key benefits the Zen solution provided was data. Agriline was able to report on the number of enquiries relating to delivery and identify issues that needed resolving. As a direct result, future inbound issues were reduced meaning more customer service operators being available to take orders.
Business has continued to exceed expectations thanks to the ability to be adaptable to frequently changing circumstances. During the second national lockdown in England, sales increased by 30% again.
‘We knew our existing system was very basic and inflexible so EBS recommended the solution we went with. We’ve worked with EBS for a number of years. Like all good businesses, EBS will throw everything at the project so we knew to trust their advice,’ says Richard.
Of course, it’s not just a VOIP system that helps a company thrive in lockdown. Working closely as a team, as if we are part of our customer’s business is a fundamental part of the EBS approach. We see ourselves as the IT department of your company, understanding how it operates and proactively finding the best technology solutions that will help meet the business objectives, all the time while working with the appropriate budget.
Each of our team at EBS knows our customers’ businesses and can offer help and advice when it’s needed. As Richard puts it:
‘If there’s anything I need, I know I can just pass it to EBS – it’s a big headache taken away from me.’
In these challenging times, businesses need to be able to operate effectively and use their resources to provide for their customers. By working with EBS, organisations can be assured that they will have the most up to date technology advice that can keep their business running smoothly and securely.
“The decision to move to phone system was difference between us potentially laying people off to the reality of us having a record-breaking year”
Richard Brown, Operations Director
40% increase in sales
- No disruption to customer service
- Future facing telephone capabilities to adapt to changing circumstances