C&S Wholesale Grocers

With RingCentral, C&S Wholesale Grocers is saving $1M a year on telephony
C&S Wholesale Grocers logo






As we researched cloud solutions to replace our PBX infrastructure, we saw that with RingCentral, we could integrate a whole suite of communication features in one platform, connect our dozens of offices across the country for the first time ever, empower our employees to communicate from anywhere—and still save a million bucks a year.

Philippe Bourdon

Vice President of Infrastructure

A Leader In Supply Chain Solutions

C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. is an industry leader in supply chain solutions and wholesale grocery supply in the United States. Founded in 1918 as a supplier to independent grocery stores, C&S now services customers of all sizes, supplying more than 7,500 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases and institutions with over 100,000 different products. 
In 2021, Forbes ranked C&S the eighth largest private company in the United States in any industry.

Acquisitions led to an outdated, feature-poor telephony infrastructure

Philippe Bourdon, VP of Infrastructure for C&S, explains that when he joined the company a few years ago, telephony had become an increasing challenge. C&S had grown primarily through acquisitions, leading to a disjointed infrastructure of incompatible PBX systems. But, Philippe adds, one of the keys to the company’s success has always been keeping costs as low as possible—and this included putting off upgrading its IT communications environment.
“The old infrastructure had become unsupportable. We had about 15 PBX systems across the country, and most didn’t talk to the others. To dial between our offices, the carriers were charging us per-minute long-distance rates. And because some of these systems were 30 years old, they offered very little functionality. Many of our employees couldn’t even forward their calls to a different number.”
Food & Drink
Keene, NH

RingCentral provides both operational efficiencies and cost savings

Philippe investigated the major cloud communications providers, and he found RingCentral to be the best option. “RingCentral had everything we needed in one place: cloud phone, team messaging and video conferencing. It also offered us internal extensions for office-to-office calls and an intuitive admin platform that would let us manage the system ourselves.”
But, he explains, given C&S’s emphasis on keeping expenses low, Philippe needed more than improved workflows and added efficiencies to persuade the company’s leadership team to migrate the entire company to a new communications solution.
Fortunately, when I ran the numbers, I realized that switching to RingCentral would also save us a fortune every year—about a half-million dollars on per-minute phone charges and another half-million by eliminating third-party maintenance agreements for the PBX systems. When I was able to demonstrate that this migration would save us a million dollars annually, our entire executive team was on board with moving to RingCentral.

Philippe Bourdon

Vice President of Infrastructure
Nor, Philippe points out, were these the only benefits of choosing RingCentral as C&S’s cloud communications partner.
Another selling point with RingCentral was the people. Both the Sales and Enterprise Support teams have been terrific. My team has told me that anytime they need help, RingCentral Support is responsive, knowledgeable and patient. That’s just one more confirmation we made the right choice for our UCaaS provider.

Philippe Bourdon

Vice President of Infrastructure

RingCentral delivers significant workflow improvements

As Philippe explains, migrating the company’s office-based employees to RingCentral’s softphone and mobile apps has more than delivered on the platform’s promised operational benefits—particularly since the COVID lockdowns began.
“We had migrated almost everyone to RingCentral before the pandemic, and our employees were already seeing huge advantages in being able to take and make business calls from outside the office, set up video meetings and communicate so easily with each other over the team messaging platform. But when we had to transition to remote work, RingCentral went from a great communications platform to a ‘What-would-we-have-done-without-this?’ platform.”

RingCentral Contact Center helps improve the company’s support operations

As Philippe’s IT team was working with RingCentral to customize a UCaaS solution, the C&S customer support department learned about those discussions and discovered RingCentral’s Contact Center solution designed for call center operations.
“The support team was so enthusiastic about Contact Center that they signed up before we had finished the paperwork on our UCaaS solution,” Philippe says.
Carmela Hinderaker, Senior Director of Business Continuity & Customer Support, explains that her customer support managers are finding several ways to improve operations—and ultimately the customer experience—using the tools available in RingCentral Contact Center.
“Our managers find using the Workforce Engagement module very helpful for forecasting,” says Carmela. “They can see the number of calls per hour coming into each of our skill-based groups and use that knowledge to make sure we always have the right number of agents staffing those queues.”
C&S’s support team also uses the Quality Management module in Contact Center, Carmela explains. “Quality Management lets our team supervisors listen live on agents’ calls, which is great for several reasons. It helps us train new agents, coach anyone who needs help and make sure we’re all giving consistent messages to customers across the department.”
Our old telephony system didn’t give our customer support team a dashboard where we could monitor activity and performance as it happens. With RingCentral Contact Center, we now have real-time access to so much data—average handle time, the number of calls, time to answer, etc.—and both our managers and agents can use this information to assess and improve performance.

Carmella Hinderaker

Senior Director of Business Continuity & Customer Support

Uncovering even more efficiencies with RingCentral integrations

As Philippe also notes, C&S is creating additional workflow improvements with tools his team is finding in the RingCentral App Gallery, including plug-ins for Google Chrome and Microsoft Outlook.
“The Outlook plug-in for RingCentral is a real timesaver for us because our employees are setting up meetings all the time, both internal as well as with customers and vendors. By integrating RingCentral into our calendar app, scheduling those meetings and inviting people is so quick and easy—and nobody has to copy and paste details into an email anymore.”
Philippe’s team also plans to take advantage of RingCentral’s ability to connect with several of C&S’s key productivity apps, such as Workday and ServiceNow. “We see opportunities to add a lot of efficiency to our everyday workflows using RingCentral integrations, which is why setting up these integrations is a top priority item on our 2022 agenda.”
Eliminating our per-minute carrier charges and those expensive IT maintenance contracts weren’t the only ways we saved money with RingCentral. It also let us end our expensive licenses for our previous video conference app, and it kept us from having to sign up for a team chat solution, which was the direction we were heading. It’s amazing that we now have all of that built into our RingCentral platform, and it’s still costing us less than our old infrastructure.

Philippe Bourdon

Vice President of Infrastructure

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