Scalable excellence for a growing trade supplier

For over 40 years James Hargreaves has supplied high-quality plumbing, heating and bathroom solutions to trade and retail customers across the North of England. With a reputation built on customer service and 50 sites across the country, it is one of the fastest growing plumbers’ merchants in the UK.

James Hargreaves had an aged PBX system that had become inefficient and needed replacing. When the contract with its supplier expired, IT Manager, Simon Sharratt went out to tender and appointed Britannic Technologies to provide a new communications system and manage the business’s voice and data network.

Sharratt added: “We selected Britannic because of their professionalism and reputation in the industry. We were looking for a solution that was scalable and could grow with the business, with the aim to improve external and internal communications as well as customer service.”

James Hargreaves receives up to 1,500 incoming calls a day and makes at least 1,000 outgoing calls. Previously calls were getting lost due to long waiting times with customers hanging up, and often calls were routed to the wrong contact or department as the system was cumbersome to use.

Number of calls handled daily

Percentage of calls processed

Time (seconds) in which 53% of calls are answered

James Hargreaves solution


With a Mitel-based communications platform enhanced with CTI and a SIP network solution, calls are now routed to the appropriate recipient from reception at head office. Call handling and routing have vastly improved. Additionally, using the latest call monitoring software the business can access in-depth reports including evaluations of call usage, numbers of calls being answered and waiting times.

Sharratt stated, “We know from the call monitoring software that 99% of incoming calls are answered, and our average ring time is 9 seconds and 53% of calls are answered in less than 7 seconds. So you can see how call bouncing makes certain that the customers’ calls gets answered and that’s how we measure service.”

Simon Sharratt, IT Manager, James Hargreaves (Plumbers Merchants) Ltd

Britannic works closely with us to ascertain our requirements, and the managed service gives me peace of mind that I don’t have to budget for the latest technical skills and technology. The solution is the right fit, providing us with scalability, flexibility and, importantly, results: ROI, cost savings and constant customer service improvement.



Mitel 3300 ICP gives James Hargreaves a single seamless communications solution that is easy to manage. As it is scalable and future-proof, they can add on new users and make moves, adds and changes with more simplicity as and when required.


The company’s achieves cost savings with internal calls free of charge and Britannic passing on competitive rates for other calls. netX also provides business continuity in the event of a network failure so calls can be routed to different sites.


CTI and click-to-dial application that integrates with James Hargreaves’ own database of customers and traders. With each inbound call a screen pops granting instant access to caller records and history. This allows speedy call handling and personalised service.

Cost savings & flexibility with SIP

Making some 950 internal calls with an average length of 1 min 41 secs which are now free of charge, James Hargreaves achieves considerable cost savings.

Through SIP the supplier can exploit flexible call handling: main numbers and geographical numbers for regional depots can be used to allow customers to call a local branch even if the call may be handled by a different region.

As an added bonus, resiliency has increased; if the network went down all calls could be switched over to another network and re-routed. The business would not experience any downtime.

James Hargreaves technology

The results

James Hargreaves now has a future-proof communications solution that is scalable and can grow with the business. It is flexible and applications can be added when required and it is robust and resilient, providing a business continuity strategy in the event of a disaster.

The plumbers’ merchant has saved money, improved efficiencies and productivity and, more importantly, customer service.

Number of calls handled daily

Percentage of calls processed

Time (seconds) in which 53% of calls are answered

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