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Neal’s Yard Remedies

swcomms deploys a single IP telephone system to link two of Neal’s Yard Remedies’ sites and to accommodate future growth.

This global business opened its doors in 1981 in Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, in the heart of central London. Their apothecary-influenced holistic vision was to manufacture natural skin and body care remedies in an industry dominated by a synthetic chemical approach. Neal’s Yard Remedies now has more than 80 stores worldwide. Neal’s Yard Remedies’ headquarters and expanding factory is located in Gillingham, Dorset, while the business also has an office in London.

Obsolete telephone system
When swcomms met them, both offices were using separate, antiquated Nortel BCM telephone systems linked by a virtual private network (VPN). They supported 80 users at headquarters and 30 in London. As the Nortel BCM phone systems were end of life and unsupported, Neal’s Yard Remedies was running the risk of losing one of their main communication tools without any guarantee they could resurrect it in the event of a breakdown. The danger of hanging onto an end of life or obsolete telephone system is that replacement parts may take a while to source, if at all, leaving businesses without a phone system while these parts are located or a new system is installed with a potentially catastrophic knock-on effect for their business.

The lack of further development on the Nortel BCM phone systems also meant Neal’s Yard Remedies could not expand them or benefit from the flexibility and functionality available on a modern-day telephone solution. In particular, some of their staff needed to be able to work seamlessly from both offices which was not possible using the existing dual system design.

Finally, Neal’s Yard Remedies was also planning to expand their factory and open an on-site retail outlet at their headquarters, so they had a need for immediate growth which the current system could not accommodate. Neal’s Yard Remedies was keen to harness a single, unified communications solution to serve both sites rather than two standalone phone systems working in isolation. In fact, the business wanted the flexibility to add additional sites as and when they required in the future. They wanted a resilient solution that would not become obsolete and wanted to ensure that they would benefit from ongoing support and technological upgrades throughout the life of the system.

Mitel IP communications solution
Following several meetings, our senior account manager and pre-sales specialist designed and demonstrated, and our engineers subsequently deployed, a 145-user Mitel Connect solution to meet all of Neal’s Yard Remedies’ needs. The Mitel IP communications solution used the existing VPN link between the two offices to give them the single system architecture and significant improvements the business required while also preparing them for the future. ShoreTel UC solutions can cater for up to 20,000 users working from 500 different sites, so there is plenty of scope for growth!

Neal’s Yard Remedies’ IT team can manage users from a central platform – i.e. adding, moving or changing extensions, setting up hunt groups, voicemail, etc – to reduce the total cost ownership by eliminating the cost of calling in third party engineers to perform these tasks. The central management platform also provides statistics on volume of calls and average ring times into each of the work groups to measure call handling performance.

The Mitel solution is both resilient and reliable while offering enhanced functionality to help the buisness run more smoothly, including as integrated voicemail and unfied messaging which allows voice messages to be seamlessly integrated into their email client. The solution also supports hot desking so that members of staff can log into any handset in order to remain accessible regardless of their location. Neal’s Yard Remedies’ mobile staff can also use the ShoreTel’s extension assignment feature to turn any telephone device into their office phone.

The solution was rolled out at headquarters before being deployed at the London office. The need for a replacement system was more urgent in Gillingham, especially as their existing solution broke down just days before and swcomms were on hand to react in a timely manner.

swcomms never deploys a solution without offering training and ongoing support. Our training sessions were tailored to both end users and administrators so Neal’s Yard Remedies could get the most out of the solution as soon as it was deployed. Our support service benefits from more than 30 years of engineering expertise, top level manufacturer accreditation and a customer-focused approach to give Neal’s Yard Remedies complete peace of mind.

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