Case Study: Yesss Electrical

A centralised IP Office Solution Means YESSS Electrical can Open New Branches with Lightning Speed.

About Yesss

In the electrical wholesale market, speed matters. End customers want their products yesterday. You need to respond to calls promptly and get the right products shipped ASAP. And if you can’t, your competitors will. Thankfully, YESSS Electrical has a reputation for speed. Since entering the UK market in 2012, it has grown at a phenomenal rate and already has more than 100 locations nationwide. The company originates or receives over 10,000 calls a day. Most come direct to branches, where trusted teams are on hand to organize immediate dispatch. Where items aren’t held locally, they can be brought in from the YESSS distribution center for next day delivery.

The challenge:

While the business model was shaped to offer this swift service, the company had a problem: its communications network. It had initially opted for an approach based on a platform in every branch, with ISDN connections. But the cracks were appearing: network outages were not uncommon, leaving the branch without a means of fielding customer calls. While it could still take online orders, the crucial relationship between customers and the local branch was on hold—and getting things back up and running took hours.

“I was dealing with issues every single month. We had a support contract with a major provider, but under their service level, the fix time was eight hours. That could mean a branch going offline at lunchtime and not coming back on till the next day."

The impact on cashflow and on the company’s reputation was a problem.

Rapid migration to a centralised system

Instead, YESSS turned to Avaya and Avaya business partner NT Voice and Data Solutions for a more flexible, scalable and cost-effective solution. NT proposed what was effectively a private cloud, built around a centrally deployed Avaya IP Office™, with SIP trunks to each branch.

That meant the core support requirement would be focused on a single site, rather than needing to deploy engineers to each site. It also gave YESSS the disaster recovery option the company urgently needed; even if there was a local problem, calls could be rerouted and managed effectively.

“Within a few months, we’ve migrated 95% of our branches—some 950 users—onto the new centralized system, and it’s working brilliantly. And when we need help, support is available and get on site quickly. It’s a completely different service mindset."

Swift savings, faster set-up

While the primary motivation for the change was to eliminate downtime, YESSS has quickly realized there are other substantial benefits. “We’re saving £70,000 a year on call costs and lines alone,” says Patel. Further savings are accrued every time a new branch is opened: instead of having to buy the new equipment and install ISDN connections – estimated by Patel and his team at £4,000 per branch – the hardware cost is effectively zero.

What’s more, branches can be set up at a phenomenal speed. “With the old system, we’d need a week to provision a new branch and get everything up and running,” Patel recalls. “Now, it takes us just half an hour to configure the communications and the whole branch can be made ready in less than a day.” Even before a branch opens, Patel can confirm the main contact number, so that it can be used in pre-launch publicity and customer calls can be taken.

Responding faster to any missed calls

The cost savings have allowed YESSS to invest in IP Office™ Contact Center for its credit control team, which has made a tangible difference to their productivity and performance. Branches are equipped with the latest Avaya IX™ IP Phones (J139 and J169), which as well as having all the familiar features staff want, add some new capabilities. “For us, being able to track any missed calls is a big plus: we can instantly see the callers’ numbers and get back to them before they decide to order elsewhere.” In addition, there are some DECT phones at each branch, providing optimum flexibility.

YESSS also introduced Vantage™ devices for senior managers, enabling them to use video so they can reduce hours traveling. But arguably the biggest success, from the user perspective, has been Avaya IX™ Workplace, the unified communications soft-phone. Field sales staff are now benefiting from its flexibility, as are home workers: “we’ve got customer account handlers working from home using IX™ Workplace. The customers and suppliers have no idea that they’re not in the office. It’s completely transparent and really effective.” So effective, in fact, that at one of YESSS’s sister companies, IX™ Workplace will be the default for all staff in the coming year.

A solution that provides a competitive advantage

For Patel, the move to the centralized private cloud solution has already paid dividends, in terms of the increased reliability and the cost savings. “The solution is well-designed and means we can manage everyday things ourselves, which is exactly what we want.”

Crucially too, YESSS has put in place a platform for the future. With the company seeking to at least double its branch footprint in the UK, the capacity and flexibility of the solution will be invaluable, both to support YESSS’s growth and its ongoing digital transformation. “We’re currently in the top five distributors and we want to become the market leader. This solution gives us a competitive advantage on our journey.”