Schetelig Group is a horticultural sector conglomerate that serves farmers, gardening professionals and garden product retailers. Following a business reorganisation, the Group faced a challenging reform of its telephone systems. Special expertise was required to convert the telephone systems of three separate businesses into a single cost-effective system. An integration project led by Expense Reduction Analysts achieved a higher standard of customer service and significant reductions in call costs.
Each of the Schetelig Group enterprises, Schetelig Oy, Oy Ansari-Yhtymä and Tarha-Tuote Oy, had its own separate telephone call centre. On restructuring the Group it was found that the time could be right for modernising the telephone system as well. Specialists Esa Aspholm and Aku Kinnunen were then called in from Expense Reduction Analysts, and they began by analysing the business requirements for the telephone and data communication services and the general telecom cost structure.
“The specialists from Expense Reduction Analysts helped us tremendously. We could never have conducted such a review in-house and set about selecting a new system precisely specified for our requirements. The commercial options available for mobile communications in particular are very numerous, and making the right choice is a real problem. When acquiring a new system we were wary of buying too much or too little, as neither would be good for business growth or day-to-day operations,” explains Schetelig Group President Juhani Kauste.
A specialist to deal with specialists
Schetelig needed the expertise of Expense Reduction Analysts for meaningful dialogue with representatives of service providers during tendering and contract negotiations.
“We are not a telecoms industry enterprise, nor do we have the expertise of the specialists from Expense Reduction Analysts when it comes to transacting business in this field. Besides the ability to determine the right service package, the people from Expense Reduction Analysts were also aware of market price levels, and they had experience of implementing demanding telephone system modernisation projects,” Kauste explains.
Customer service takes pole position for significant cost savings
As a customer service business, it was essential for Schetelig to ensure that customer service continued successfully throughout the system modernisation process, and that the new telephone system also enabled enhancements in this area.
“The system changeover went smoothly, despite the technical challenges of converting from three separate landline call centres to a single mobile centre for about 140 employees at our branches in Finland. Our customer service continued throughout this process,” Kauste reports.
The new system has made Schetelig staff more accessible to customers, with calls between Group enterprises now managed as internal telephony. The new arrangement has earned praise from the staff and enhanced customer service. It has also realised savings of about 30 per cent in annual telecom costs.
“While it is very important for us to reduce such non-strategic operating costs, it is still more essential from a business perspective to be able to improve general efficiency,” Kauste explains.
Schetelig Group is an 85 year-old family business specialised in greenhouse cultivation, landscaping, and products and services for amateur gardeners.
Besides its production through Oy Ansari-Yhtymä in Finland, the Group operates in the Baltic countries and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. The Group has an annual turnover of some 70 million Euros and about 350 employees.