Mobile UC solution provides seamless coverage, enhanced voice quality

Fed up with unreliable cellular service inside its warehouse, a Chicago-based produce distribution company rolled out a mobile UC solution that has improved employee productivity and customer satisfaction.

In a 460,000 square-foot metal and concrete warehouse facility, cellular coverage is not always consistent. But for Anthony Marano Co., a leading produce distributor that occupies the space, a reliable in-house network is essential to everyday business processes.

Anthony Marano, based outside Chicago, has, it seems, always been at the forefront of new technology. Several years ago, we reported on the company's early adoption of an Avaya-Motorola PBX integration solution -- an upgrade that Chris Nowak, CTO, then said was necessary to replace the old in-building wireless system that dropped calls when users moved about. Today, Anthony Marano is still concentrating on improving communications processes and has done so by implementing Agito Networks' RoamAnywhere Mobility Router.

The worst thing is an employee who is trying to be productive but is tied to his desk, checking voicemails and emails.
Chris Nowak
CTOAnthony Marano Co.

Within the Anthony Marano warehouse, each type of produce is assigned to a department that occupies a specific space. Previously, if an employee at one dock needed to contact someone at a dock on the other side of the building, he would encounter unreliable cell coverage that could result in dropped calls and potentially thousands of dollars lost. Explaining that customers usually call needing more than one type of produce, Nowak said that call transfer is one of the most used components of the Agito solution. Seamless transfer of calls between docks is essential to smooth business operation. With the new solution in place, each employee is assigned a unique 4-digit universal dialing code, or extension, that will connect the caller to him regardless of location. Employees can also seamlessly switch from Wi-Fi to a cellular network when entering or exiting the facility.

Voice quality is also of paramount importance, and the Agito solution has provided clear, consistent service inside and outside the warehouse.

A key part of Anthony Marano's decision to implement the Agito product was the solution's focus on high-availability service. With the RoamAnywhere Mobility Router, if there is a loss of power, the router will immediately detect that loss and have its second standby box ready to go, virtually eliminating the anxiety that usually accompanies power outage downtime.

"The produce business is very competitive," Nowak noted. "You are dealing with a product that is perishable, so employees need to be able to contact one another and deal with customers seamlessly and efficiently."

The ability to conduct business seamlessly over the phone is essential to the sales team at Anthony Marano. "Decisions are now made via synchronous phone conversations, not emails," Nowak said, and this not only increases employee productivity but also ensures that customer orders are handled as efficiently and accurately as possible. "The worst thing is an employee who is trying to be productive but is tied to his desk, checking voicemails and emails," he said. One of the key functions of the RoamAnywhere product is that employees now have to manage only one device, instead of having to perform each task separately on different devices.

The ability of employees to handle orders quickly, seamlessly and effectively is of paramount importance to the company's bottom line, Nowak said. "We are more successful and make more money when our buyers and sales staff get calls the first time around, and calls don't land in voicemail."

This was first published in July 2008
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