November 1, 2000
By Tara Seals
Master Agent Streamlines the Henry Ford
By Tara Seals
Master agent and consulting firm Telecom Holdings Inc. (www.phoncheck.com)
captured a long-term customer with its all-inclusive, can-do strategy at the
Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. This summer the agency went back and implemented
an Opex Communications Inc. (www.opexld.com)
DS-1 circuit, and showed the true power of an agent lies in relationships.
According to Paul McAninch, vice president of operations at Telecom Holdings,
the Henry Ford Museum was attracted initially to the "Telecom Expense
Analysis" tool, which the agency wrote itself.
"What we were able to do for them as a result of the analysis is show
them that they could save a lot of money just by changing the carriers that they
used. That was what we would call a tuneup," says McAninch.
Henry Ford had two small telephone systems as well as close to 400 individual
phone lines, each with an answering machine hooked to it. A second analysis
revealed more than three times the monthly savings than the rate analysis
showed, because the museum had a number of useless trunks and other needless
McAninch says, "We produced another report that said, if you let us
loose, if you would let us modify your cable plant and get a whole new PBX
system for you and really have our way with the way you’re accessing the public
network, you could save substantially more money."
Founded in 1992 as a long-distance agency, Telecom Holdings provides
integration for voice, IP solutions, data networking and even cable plant
infrastructure design. It also represents a number of vendors. In the case of
Henry Ford, the agency’s ability to tackle complicated data systems resulted in
an easy cross-sell.
"We were even able to gain some greater efficiencies for them because we
said, while we’re on your campus devising the cable plant for voice, why don’t
you let us design a fiber SONET ring for the entire campus for your data,
also," says McAninch.
Barry Fleischer, president of Telecom Holdings, explains that the power of
the agent is in recommending the right vendor and maintaining ongoing customer
relationships. Telecom Holdings goes back to the museum every six months to
evaluate expenditures and systems. The agency recently implemented dedicated
access from Opex at Henry Ford: a DS-1 circuit will be used for inbound
toll-free calling for all departments, as well as outbound intra- and interLATA
"We’re a big promoter of Opex because of their customer service,"
says Fleischer. "Everybody’s out selling something that’s a half a cent a
minute less, but along with that sometimes you have a tremendous deterioration
of customer service. We don’t churn our accounts, but as we see mergers, or some
of the vendors’ philosophies changing, sometimes we’ll move our accounts because
we’re concerned about the quality of ongoing customer service. We don’t want a
negative impact on our relationship with the account."
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