Background

Monterey Mushrooms, Inc. is the country’s largest and only national marketer of fresh mushrooms for sale to supermarkets, foodservice and ingredient manufacture operations, and for preparation of processed, canned, and frozen mushroom products. Headquartered in Watsonville, California, Monterey has 18 production, sales and administrative offices in the U.S. and 8 locations internationally.

Challenge

Prior to vCom, Monterey had no centralized management of its telecom environment, so each facility managed its own telecom services and processed its own bills, with no overall control or analysis of expenditures. When the owner of the company wondered, “Why are we spending $700,000 per year on communications?” the answer was elusive – it was simply a necessary expense that nobody had control over. There were multiple attempts to negotiate corporate-wide long distance contracts to reduce costs, but they resulted in unfavorable contract renewals, and the company was still dealing with over 150 invoices per month.

Challenge

  • Lack of visibility and control over telecom expenses
  • Processing more than 150 bills per month
  • Facility managers unable to understand their costs

Solution

  • Moved services under vCom management
  • Employed vManager software to improve visibility and automate cost allocation
  • Worked with vCom to design and manage migration to an improved data network

Benefits

  • Visibility into charges for each facility Controller
  • Doubled network capacity and improved reliability
  • Company growth and demand supported without increasing costs
  • Automated generation of GL-coded AP file for upload into accounting system
  • More efficient management of telecom through a single point of contact for orders/changes and repairs

Transformation

When Monterey started its partnership with vCom in 2006, they implemented the vManager software and immediately saw an impact from the visibility it afforded. With the consolidated view over all the different services and locations, and the ability to analyze costs by facility and type of expense, they were able to trim unnecessary costs and proactively manage their telecom expenses. They started using the tool to place orders and trouble tickets and communicate with their team at vCom, and they began to enjoy the benefits of placing orders and managing trouble tickets through a single source, as well as receiving a single invoice that interfaced with their accounting system. As the relationship grew, Monterey asked vCom to take over the management of its data services. The companies worked together to design a new MPLS network. vCom did the leg work of
exploring six different carrier options, helping to determine the best solution for Monterey, and negotiating the contract on their behalf, freeing up the Monterey IT team to manage their day-to-day operations. The new data network included an upgrade from a Tier 2 carrier to a Tier 1 carrier, which provided better SLAs and a more reliable network, as well as an internet-based back-
up solution. The migration to the new network, led by vCom’s professional services team, was seamless. vCom now supports the data network, which allows Monterey’s network administrators to spend more time working directly with users.

Dashboard Devices

Results

Because of Monterey Mushrooms’ distributed company structure, having vManager available to the Controllers at each of its facilities has been a key driver to the successful management of their telecom expenses. They have been able to keep their telecom expenses essentially flat over the past 8 years despite tremendous company growth and doubling the capacity of their data network. The IT team has also enjoyed much faster and easier management of repairs as well as new and change orders for telecom by working with vCom’s professional services team as their single point of contact. In addition to these increased efficiencies, the AP clerk has had a huge burden removed via the automated upload of pre-coded telecom expenses into the accounting system.

Because we have the right management tools, we’ve been able to streamline our telecom environment (e.g., seeing and removing unused lines) to keep our costs flat, despite providing increased speed and volume for our users.- Michael Matelli, Director of Information Services

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