Elder Construction Builds Improved Customer Service with the Help of Comcast Business VoiceEdge

    Family-owned Commercial Construction Company Advances Business Operations With High-performance Broadband and Cloud-based Voice and Unified Communications Services


    Situation
    • Colorado-based construction company builds medical offices, schools and other commercial facilities
    Challenge
    • Simplify IT by moving to cloud-based services
    • Improve Internet access performance and reliability
    • Consistent phone system across two geographically- dispersed offices and mobile employees
    Solution
    • Comcast Business Internet
    • Comcast Business VoiceEdgeTM
    • Comcast Business TV
    Results
    • High-performance Internet supports shift to cloud- based operations
    • Consistent, cloud-based phone service that connects multiple offices and mobile employees with innovative Unified Communications features
    • Simplified IT management and managed costs
    COLORADO COMPANY DELIVERS EFFICIENT, AFFORDABLE BUILDING PROJECTS

    Tom Elder founded a construction company in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with the idea that, by focusing on only one project at a time, his business would deliver quality results. Twenty years later, its reputation for quality has helped Elder Construction organically grow to a staff of 30, including Elder's twin sons, Christopher and Patrick, who joined the team in 2010 and opened a second office in the northern part of Colorado.

    Today, Elder Construction offers a wide array of commercial construction services, including design, building, project management and specialized contracting work. The firm's handiwork can be seen across Colorado in schools, medical offices, fast food restaurants, fire stations and a church, among many other projects.

    "We are committed to providing a full range of commercial construction services and delivering them on time and within budget," said Christopher Elder, Vice President of Elder Construction. "We do that by fostering a work environment that encourages integrity, honesty and professionalism. We also do it by constantly refining how we do business to find more innovative ways to deliver meaningful projects."

    INTERNET AND PHONE SERVICES CONNECT CUSTOMERS TO TWO OFFICES

    Elder Construction depends on its phone and Internet connections to facilitate the design and building of structures. "Email is the way we communicate with our customers but, as important as it is to have email, a follow-up phone call is just as crucial," Elder said.

    With the Elder brothers opening the second office in Windsor, Colorado, and the company steadily hiring more employees, Elder Construction wanted to increase efficiencies and save on the costs of regularly having to upgrade its on-site server. With no full-time IT resources on staff, the company decided to move its entire IT operations from its offices to an off-site data center.

    Every company application, file and email would exist in the cloud, making access easier from any location and ensuring proper back-ups. However, to provide a secure and reliable connection to construction project plans as well as personnel, payroll and financial records, the company needed a high-performance Internet service at its two offices.

    Added Elder: "If we don't have fast Internet service, we are crippled. The speeds from our previous Internet provider were slow so we didn't dare try it in a cloud environment."

    In addition, the company frequently creates large construction design files. To transfer these files to employees and its clients, the company didn't want to depend on its service provider knowing that slow Internet speeds could potentially frustrate customers and employees who need timely information to keep projects on schedule.

    Elder Construction also needed to completely overhaul its phone system. "We bought a second-hand PBX system in 2006, but the phones eventually started falling apart and we couldn't buy replacement parts online anymore," Elder said.

    Also, employees of the northern Colorado office only had cell phones, so when customers needed to reach them, they first had to call the Colorado Springs office and wait to be transferred. Not to mention, the system lacked intuitive call management features. Added Elder: "I'm not an IT guy. I don't have time to spend programming or fixing phones."

    Lastly, Elder Construction wanted a television service to broadcast high-definition programming at its offices so employees could watch TV at the end of a workday.

    COMCAST DELIVERS FASTER INTERNET, CLOUD-BASED VOICE SERVICES AND LOW COSTS

    After reviewing several service providers, Elder Construction chose Comcast Business to deliver high-speed Internet and business voice services to support its construction operations in both Colorado Springs and Windsor.

    Comcast Business installed Internet connections that are up to 50 megabits-per-second (Mbps) at both locations so employees can now access important business applications – such as CRM, accounting, scheduling and project management – and vital administrative files in the cloud without slowing the network. They can also quickly transfer large design files to customers and employees assigned to construction projects. "Comcast Business has been a life saver: We have more than enough Internet speed and base our entire operations in the cloud. The connection validates what was, for any small business, a big decision to move our IT to the cloud," Elder said.

    Elder Construction also replaced its dated PBX phone system with Business VoiceEdgeTM, Comcast Business' cloud-based voice and unified communications (UC) service. The service is completely managed from the cloud over Comcast's network, so the company didn't need to purchase, install and maintain any telephone system at its offices in Colorado Springs and Windsor.

    VoiceEdgeTM also gives the company's customers direct access to employees, who can receive forwarded calls on their cell phones when they're on a job site, read voice messages that are transcribed to email, and control individual settings directly from the VoiceEdgeTM mobile application.

    "Customers don't see us as two different offices anymore. No matter what number they call, they see us only as Elder Construction. They don't have to call one office in southern Colorado and be told to hang up and call another office in northern Colorado," Elder said. "And as the administrator of the settings, I can go online and make all the changes I want without needing help or waiting for a tech guy to help."

    Elder Construction also added Comcast Business TV at both offices to occasionally entertain employees who want to catch TV after a day's work.

    Added Elder: "We're a small family business – each of our employees wears several different hats and we all strive to deliver projects at a reasonable cost. Comcast Business lets us do that. Not only are the Business VoiceEdgeTM and Internet services affordable – helping our budget – but we don't have to worry about finding time to maintain any infrastructure. We can focus solely on giving our customers what they want."

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