Columbia Forest Products

Client Case Study:
Paying too Much For Telecom Services

Columbia Forest Products is an employee-owned company headquartered in Greensboro, NC. Columbia has more than 2,000 employees and operates plants throughout the United States and Canada. Founded in 1957, Columbia Forest Products is North America’s largest manufacturer of hardwood plywood and hardwood veneer products. Columbia’s decorative interior veneers and panels are used in high-end cabinetry, fine furniture, architectural millwork, and commercial fixtures.

The Problem

Cliff views telecommunications as a strategic tool simply because in today’s environment you can’t do anything without a telephone or the Internet.benddata

With locations spread out over two countries, communication expenses can get out of hand very quickly. Cliff is determined to keep control of his cost. “One of the major challenges that we face is how to do more with less and drive cost out of the system,” said Cliff.

Trying to get everyone on the same page is always a difficult task for large companies with multiple locations. “When I started at Columbia Forest Products 17 years ago, I came into a mess in terms of telecommunications. Our billing was dispersed across the entire organization; it was not centralized.”

Cliff Cayer

Cliff Cayer is the Director of Network Operations for Columbia Forest Products. Cliff has been with the company for over 17 years.

Cliff is responsible for making all of Columbia Forest Products’ communications operate efficiently and minimize TEM hidden charges throughout their network. With plants and offices located in Canada and across the United States, it is a large responsibility.  Columbia Forrest Products has a saying “We go where the wood is”. This philosophy takes them all over the country.

“I would recommend that anyone use Ruby+Solberg, if for no other reason than that they allow you to stay focused on what your core competencies are within your own business.” – Cliff Cayer, Director of Network Operations

The Solution

Cliff Cayer, Director of Network Operations - Columbia Forest ProductsCliff saw a solution in Ruby+Solberg. “In the process of coming to Ruby+Solberg, we were able to centralize all of our billing and contracts. In doing that, we were still able to uphold our contracts and drive cost out of the system,” said Cliff. “They have been very professional, but first and foremost, they have been able to drive our telecommunication cost down. As an example, in the last 12 months we have been able to drive $70,000 of cost annually out of our wireless bills. That has been tremendous for the organization.”

Most companies, even large companies, don’t have the resources or the expertise to analyze telecom billing properly and it was no different for Columbia Forest Products. “We don’t have the expertise in house to go through mountains of bills. Ruby+Solberg has the ability to look at our bills, take into account our contracts, and keep the telecommunications industry honest, which is difficult,” says Cliff.

Ruby+Solberg uses its vast network of vendor knowledge and experience to make sure their customers get the best pricing possible. “I’ve been absolutely satisfied with Ruby+Solberg’s ability to take our contracts and continually get more value. They have an ability to look at contracts on a national scale that compares in size and data consumption with our own company. The beauty of this is that they leverage that knowledge to obtain for us the same pricing model the carrier used for that company,” says Cliff. “Ruby+Solberg has helped us not only to flat-line our wireless services as we have grown, but to actually bring our cost down.”

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