Utz Quality Foods Dips Into Comcast Business Ethernet and PRI Trunks to Connect Multiple Locations Across the Eastern United States
Leading snack brand eliminates T1s to achieve greater savings and more capacity
- Snack-food manufacturer with 50+ distribution centers across 22 states
- Acquired three new brands and distribution networks
- Connect disparate offices with faster, reliable network connections
- Replace legacy voice connections for cost savings
- Standardize on one service provider wherever possible
- Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet
- Comcast Business Ethernet Private Line
- Comcast Business Internet
- Comcast Business Trunks
- Faster Internet service, scalable capacity
- Reliable and cost-effective voice service
- Consolidated voice and data services across locations for simplified management and cost savings
Growing Snack Foods Manufacturer Keeps Getting Bigger
Founded in 1921, Utz Quality Foods, Inc. is a high-quality manufacturer of potato chips, pretzels, cheese curls, popcorn, party mix and other snack foods. Headquartered in Hanover, Pennsylvania, the company produces approximately 1.5 million pounds of potato chips and 850,000 pounds of pretzels every week at its nine manufacturing plants across the U.S. These shipments are then delivered to supermarkets, convenience stores, and other retail locations from Utz’s more than 50 distribution centers across 22 states.
With acquisitions of three major regional brands and distribution networks – Zapp’s Potato Chips, Wachusett Potato Chip, and The Bachman Co. – within a 24 month span, Utz needed to update its wide area communications infrastructure to connect its growing business.
Outdated Technology Unable to Support New Business Demands
Utz’s voice and data networking infrastructure was already straining under modern communications needs – the company was using T1 lines to connect multiple locations to each other, and to the Internet, and the service was slow. Utz was also using a legacy service provider for its local and long distance calling needs at multiple locations, and the bills were exorbitant. With a newly expanded footprint, the company knew it had reached an inflection point – it was time to update its Wide Area Network (WAN) connections and its voice service, and consolidate on one service provider wherever possible to simplify its voice and data communications and reduce costs.
“During the past 10 years, we’ve grown from being a regional business to a national business. Whenever we add a new location, we have to establish communications services – as you can imagine, this becomes difficult to manage. In each instance, we have to determine who has the best service package in each region and then build a relationship with the local service provider to help ensure that they consistently deliver quality service. It’s very time consuming,” said J. Ed Smith, chief information director for Utz Quality Foods, Inc.
Comcast Delivers Ethernet and Voice Solutions to Facilitate Business Growth and Cost Savings
After evaluating its options, Utz deployed Comcast Business Ethernet and Business Trunks to connect its new regionally-dispersed employee offices and distribution centers in a way that would also provide the scalability Utz knew it needed for future growth.
Comcast installed a 20 Mbps Ethernet Dedicated Internet (EDI) line that replaced three T1 connections at Utz’s corporate headquarters to provide up to four times the capacity for much less than what the company was previously paying. This allows Utz to host most of its corporate applications directly from headquarters – including programs as diverse as occupational health management and AUTOCAD software – so that remote offices can log into the corporate Intranet to access them, versus having to install and manage the apps on site. Utz also added two Comcast Business Trunks as well, which is saving the company’s call center in local and nationwide long distance fees.
In all, UTZ has deployed Comcast Business Internet or Ethernet services at approximately 50 percent of its business locations, and Comcast Business Voice services at multiple locations as well.
“With Comcast Business as our partner, it is really easy to expand into any area where Comcast has a presence. They take care of setting up our voice services wherever we need it. I can call one person and ask about our service options – they’ll do the site survey, get services installed and follow up with me, thus saving me time, money and aggravation,” added Smith.
Most recently, Comcast installed both a 6 Mbps and 10 Mbps Ethernet Private Line (EPL) at Utz’s Sterling and Fitchburg, Massachusetts manufacturing plants. As strategic locations for the company, these two facilities ship product directly to Utz’s New England distribution centers, with the Fitchburg location also being responsible for feeding video surveillance footage back to headquarters.
According to Smith, “In aggregate, we have realized a savings on our phone and Internet service with Comcast, while enjoying great performance and more capacity than what our T1 lines had given us. In our opinion, there is both tangible and intangible value in working with Comcast, which is the recipe for a true business partnership.”
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