Dart Transit Company Case Study
DART Transit Company gets behind the wheel of IP progress with a ShoreTel UC solution, for simpler, smarter, and cost-effective business operations
No more tune-ups for aging system
DART’s primary mode of communications: a mid-1980s Mitel SX-2000 PBX system. It needed better call routing and tracking, faster response times, and easier, cohesive communications.
A simpler, quicker, more efficient, business-centric system
To allay the strains of an outdated telephone system, DART had installed voice response systems, and shifted a portion of its order placements to electronic transmittals that come through employees’ desktops. And its fleet of 2,000-plus trucks is served by a computer terminal for communicating routine information between driver and office. Yet DART continued to struggle with a lack of visibility and functionality necessary for better call routing and tracking, and faster response times.
“There was very limited integration of the phone system with internal business processes and custom applications, and there were long wait times for incoming calls. We needed a simpler, quicker, and more efficient way to manage the business,” says Dan Lyddy, vice president of information systems for DART Transit Company.
Wheels in motion
DART evaluated systems from Mitel, Avaya, Cisco, and ShoreTel. After talking to ShoreTel reseller Transcend United Technologies, Lyddy was impressed with the simplicity of a ShoreTel Unified Communications (UC) solution. During a five-minute demonstration, Transcend United had the ShoreTel phone system up and running; and soon after, several remote offices and a customer service department were implemented and integrated with the existing Mitel PBX system.
“We considered a lot of vendor solutions. Most were too complex or inflexible or costly. Only ShoreTel was able to give us ease of management, open APIs for flexible integration, extensive workgroup functionality, and a lower total cost of ownership,” Lyddy says. To unify six primary locations and numerous remote sites, DART selected a ShoreTel UC.
ShoreTel workgroups drive new business processes
ShoreTel IP replaced antiquated systems and accommodated the new building addition. Lyddy and his team rapidly set up workgroups. “We are running more than 200 workgroups on a single ShoreTel system. The workgroups have already become indispensable: Callers are reaching their intended destination much quicker and more accurately, and now when staff is not available, the calls are routed to the next available workgroup member,” explains Lyddy.
“We’ve seen call wait times almost disappear, with no waiting in call queues because the system makes it easier to locate the right employee on the first attempt,” Lyddy says.
“Now we have 322 people using ShoreTel Communicator with Workgroup Agent access. My team built a widget on the back of ShoreTel Workgroups to eliminate the wait time for drivers to talk to staff, instead initiating a callback request. That means the ShoreTel system will automatically send our agents a prompt to call the driver back once that agent completes the current phone call,” he adds.
Efficiencies lighten the load
The ShoreTel open API platform has enabled DART to implement several customized applications integrating the ShoreTel UC system with its enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to improve business processes. One of these applications integrated through ShoreTel to the ERP system acts as a visual caller ID, displaying the driver’s ID information on the ERP message board and with a single click, so agents can pull up the driver’s information automatically and see the driver’s identification data and route location on the display screen.
“THERE WAS VERY LIMITED INTEGRATION OF THE PHONE SYSTEM WITH INTERNAL BUSINESS PROCESSES AND CUSTOM APPLICATIONS, AND THERE WERE LONG WAIT TIMES FOR INCOMING CALLS. WE NEEDED A SIMPLER, QUICKER, AND MORE EFFICIENT WAY TO MANAGE THE BUSINESS.”
Vice President of Information Systems
DART Transit Company
DART takes in almost 6,000 calls per day from drivers through one 800 number and one in-house system. “The integration through ShoreTel has made it simpler for drivers and faster for agents. Rather than each driver being issued his or her own 800 telephone number, they all use the same toll-free number, and are prompted with a menu of choices to call in requests, routing, loading, and transportation information—and they’re done,” he explains.
Using the open API integration with ShoreTel, DART has gained efficiencies through an automated recruiting system that enhances communications with prospective drivers, and a driver paging function designed to page drivers when family members call into the ShoreTel number.
Logbook of savings
DART is realizing cost savings related to maintenance previously outsourced, and the elimination of T1 lines and extra data lines no longer required. Also, DART is using the ShoreTel VPN Solution, to provide continuity primarily for the brokerage division. “That group has a lot of small offices, and with the ShoreTel VPN Concentrator and telephones—plus four-digit dialing—reaching each other is easier and quicker than before. For us, the VPN solution is more cost-effective and easier to support. We were able to eliminate POTS lines at each of those locations by switching to the VPN phones, which saves us a good deal of money and provides better performance to boot,” says Lyddy.
Pushing the limits of technology
To back up the front-end simplicity and convenience that DART users enjoy, ShoreTel supplies fully redundant distributed architecture and switch failover. “Our servers are distributed to different locations, and we are also using a Double Take software solution from ShoreTel’s technology partner together with the ShoreTel system to ensure reliability and 24/7 availability. It’s great to have that kind of peace of mind,” explains Lyddy.
DART is pleased with its ShoreTel implementation and results. “ShoreTel has altered our universe with such ease and efficiency,” concludes Lyddy. “We can do so much more with our UC solution than we even thought feasible. People are more productive and like all the functionality. Drivers appreciate the ease of doing business from the road. And our customers are getting superior service faster. And as a company, we’re saving time, money, and are better equipped to meet our ever-changing business needs.”
“SHORETEL HAS ALTERED OUR UNIVERSE WITH SUCH EASE AND EFFICIENCY. WE CAN DO SO MUCH MORE WITH OUR UC SOLUTION THAN WE EVEN THOUGHT FEASIBLE ...AS A COMPANY, WE’RE SAVING TIME, MONEY, AND ARE BETTER EQUIPPED TO MEET OUR
EVER-CHANGING BUSINESS NEEDS.”
DART Transit Company needed a new communications system to support a unique call-routing environment and custom applications, and to provide visibility, flexibility, and new functionality.
DART implemented a ShoreTel Unified Communications (UC) solution, including ShoreTel IP Phones, ShoreTel T1 Voice Switches, ShoreTel Communicator, ShoreTel VPN Concentrator, and the ShoreTel Converged Conferencing solution.
- Rapid response to customer calls
- Integration for custom business applications
- Significantly reduced wait times
- Cost savings due to elimination of extra T1 lines