St Peters Garden Centre is an award-winning family-owned Garden Centre, Restaurant and Foodhall located in Norton, Worcester. Established in 1982, St Peters has developed into one of the best-known garden centres around and even won the ‘Best Garden Centre Restaurant of 2020’.
The project at St Peters, Worcester encompassed two parts, the first part including introducing a modern managed Wi-Fi network to satisfy site-wide connectivity for the company’s users whether they needed to access data for example pricing information and to provide a wireless platform to enable a telephone system which would replace the current digital system and ISDN lines.
The second part included implementing a cloud-based telephony platform to provide site-wide communications for colleagues whether they are office-based or located throughout the centre assisting customers.
The St Peters’ management team recognised that the existing telephone system needed modernising prior to the forthcoming copper switch-off. Factors such as running costs of the current ISDN digital lines compared to a cloud-based platform were also a consideration. Furthermore, the benefits of upgrading to a modern cloud-based telephone system which ensured the system was always up to date in-line with software was important operationally. Additionally, it was important that the current analogue cordless handsets were replaced with an integrated telephone system which would ensure consistent communications across the seven-acre Worcester centre. (If you would like to find out about the 2025 copper switch off, read our earlier Insights Post about it here).
One of the goals of the telephony project was to enhance the customer experience even further. The client identified that the system needed to be modernised to enable calls to flow efficiently to the correct departments and for colleagues to answer any customer questions wherever they were located.
As the garden centre regularly rearranges its layout for seasonal displays, this highlighted areas where the signal could be affected, the new telephone system needed to be able to take advantage of the strongest WiFi Access Point as phone users moved around the Worcester garden centre.
To ensure consistent communications and achieve the new goals that were set out, we implemented 3CX, a cloud-based telephony platform which enables all users to access the systems functionality, whether users are desk-based (for example in the accounts department) or around the store helping customers, stocking shelves, or staffing the checkout.
Customer facing users are now using ruggedised, water-proof mobile smartphones with the facility to make and receive calls anywhere across the expansive site. The ruggedised handset is a smartphone with the 3CX mobile client installed and can make calls that shows the St Peters mainline number when calling out rather than the mobile number. This helps ensure that if customers call back, they will reach the reception rather than the individual’s mobile number.
At any point, the system also has the facility to record calls via the mobile client smartphones to ensure that the St Peters Garden Centre high-level brand is maintained. You can read more about how call recording can be used for multiple purposes including how this feature can especially help new starters to the business learn how calls should be responded to. You can learn more about building brand through recording calls with your telephone system in our Insights Post, here.
Switching the telephone system over to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system introduces many new opportunities to St Peters Garden Centre as mentioned above but for this telephone system to work to its full potential, a fast and reliable wireless network is required. That’s why we installed an enhanced, fully managed Ubiquiti Wi-Fi solution to encompass the entirety of Worcester’s leading garden centre’s seven-acre site.
The Ubiquiti Wi-Fi solution enables fast and consistent broadcasting of high-speed Fibre connectivity for customers and employees across the Worcester garden centre.
The benefits of the new Wi-Fi infrastructure that we provided St Peters Garden Centre with don’t stop at optimising their new telephone system but also services their email communications and opens future possibilities such as customers being able to browse the company’s website for tips and recommendations while in the retail store.
Additionally, we worked in collaboration with a third-party company, SCI Management also located in Worcester. Due to the high value of items throughout the store and threat of theft in and around the facility, SCI were brought in to see if it would be possible to install modern CCTV cameras at the entrance and exit locations, to help manage both the identification of known culprits and assist in identifying any new ones. This impressive CCTV project was commissioned and continues to be reliant on the site-wide Wi-Fi solution.
“As a local Worcester family business, we were ideally looking for a local Worcestershire based business to help us with this project. We reached out to Spire to see if they could help with this project and from the offset and throughout, I found their team of engineers to be proactive, informative and friendly. Given the considerable size and challenges of the project, we felt that a local company such as Spire, would be a better support fit than a national provider. Spire achieved this, often going the extra mile to tailor a solution to meet our precise current and future requirements. We are all very pleased with the solutions that Spire implemented and the support that they have provided us with from start to finish has been excellent. I’d be more than happy to recommend Spire to anyone who requires help on a telephony or Wi-Fi project and am looking forward to working with them in the future.”