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When United Plating was founded 40 years ago, communication among the employees wasn’t a problem. United Plating was a small operation in a single building. Today, the company that specializes in finishing services is a multifacility operation encompassing 150,000 square feet over two campuses in a city industrial park. The finishing services include plating, anodizing and painting and United Plating also offers related services such as sandblasting, part-marking and light assembly. The business also has a modern laboratory with the testing capabilities needed to ensure compliance with specifications. United Plating’s customers reads like a Who’s Who of government contractors: aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin; the American multinational conglomerate General Electric; aircraft manufacturer Cessna; and SpaceX, the private space transport company. UPI has the redundancy in the event of a catastrophe to move production from one campus to the other, resulting in less disruption in the supply chain to our customers. The company’s employees are focused on always serving its customers, first. “They know supporting our customers ‘beyond expectation’ is the primary philosophy and guiding business principle at United Plating,” said Controller Jim Butler. “To this end, our company is constantly evolving and continuously improving to meet market demand, quality, and price to performance value.”
Finding a communications system that could support this mission meant identifying a true Unified Communications (UC) solution — United Plating needed more than just a phone system.
United Plating had never had its buildings connected for voice communications. The company’s operations are spread among nine buildings on two campuses that are about a quarter of a mile apart. With the campuses this far apart, the company is able to move production from one campus to another in the event of a catastrophe, for example, a tornado. This redundancy results in less disruption in the supply chain to its customers. However, it made things difficult for communications.
About a year ago, United Plating chose Digium’s Switchvox UC solution as a replacement for their outdated Mitel phone system. Once the company was able to complete the cable and fiber connections between buildings, they installed Switchvox. With Switchvox, Butler said United Plating has been able to eliminate broadband connections the employees were using for network access in some satellite buildings. United Plating has about 80 employees and the phones are building phones; in other words, they are not assigned to any particular person. “We have about 20 users on the phone system,” Butler said. “We are also running our Ethernet connections for computers through the phones.”
The result is United Plating has one cohesive infrastructure for its voice and data that puts all users and buildings on one platform. Perhaps more importantly, United Plating is expecting to see positive results in their investment by saving several thousand dollars in dropping the broadband and fax lines to the buildings. “We have eliminated fax lines that we have converted to Internet faxing,” he said. “Also, we have eliminated phone lines that were connecting the two campuses. I estimate a savings of $8,000 per year in the elimination of fax lines, broadband connections and lines connecting the buildings. The Digium platform with the API Digital expertise resulted in an excellent solution for United Plating Inc.”