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Tippmann Affiliated Group Upgrades Its Communications and Measures ROI in Happy Customers

Tippmann Affiliated Group
Tippmann Affiliated Group


  • Reliably provide best customer service in the industry

  • Improve productivity and effectiveness by gaining access to the latest mobility and CRM integration applications

Value Created

  • Call answer rates tripled

  • Monthly cost savings of $1,500

  • Vastly improved responsiveness to customers

  • Productivity boost across all lines of business


  • Avaya IP Office

Back in the 1950s, Tippmann Affiliated Group was a small, family-owned business. Today, it’s still in the family, but has grown into a large organization with a diversified group of business segments: from patented food service equipment to high volume manufacturing and warehousing.

No matter how big it gets, success for Tippmann Affiliated Group will always be rooted in providing high-quality products and exceptional customer service. However, an outdated business communications platform that lacked features, had no redundancy, and provided zero disaster recovery capability was taking a toll on the customer experience.

“Not only was our old communications platform a ticking time bomb due to age and lack of support,” recounts Michael Ruf, IT manager for Tippmann Affiliated Group, “it was negatively affecting our customer service.”

Ruf put numerous companies through their paces (think 20-point check list) in deciding the direction for the company’s communications strategy.

Avaya stepped up—and was the clear finalist with its IP Office solution. Call answer rates have tripled since the Avaya implementation, and Ruf explains the impact: “Avaya IP Office helps us provide a better customer experience from the very first call a client makes to our company.”

… the decision to go with Avaya was made based on features that are critical to retaining customers and growing our business.

Ten Brands

Tippmann’s ten brands are headquartered on a 75-acre campus, along with five remote cold storage warehouses across Indiana and Ohio. Ruf migrated 130 users at those locations to Avaya IP Office.

“With 10 distinct brands, rolling out a communication solution is like a normal implementation times 10,” explains Ruf.

Avaya partner Integration Partners helped him every step of the way.

“The implementation with Integration Partners was very good. This isn’t my area of expertise and I was able to learn a lot working with them,” says Ruf. “It’s good to have a strong, knowledgeable team behind you.”

As for the 20-point check list? Avaya checked off all 20 items, including superior solutions for tracking and recording calls, mobility, integration, management and licensing structure.

“In the end, the decision to go with Avaya was made based on features that are critical to retaining customers and growing our business,” recalls Ruf. “Every little detail you could think of, Avaya had it covered.”

And now employees are more productive, the company is saving money, and customers get the high-quality service Tippmann is known for.

Giving CRM a boost

The Avaya IP Office implementation supports Tippmann Affiliated Group’s CRM strategy. When sales calls come in, a customer’s Salesforce information is automatically populated. If it’s a person’s first time contacting the company, a new lead page is created. As Ruf explains, this is automating the process and getting customers the information they need faster.

“The integration of Salesforce with IP Office really speeds up the process. That gets our customers a quicker resolution and it saves time for our sales people,” he says. “It also ensures an accurate record, we don’t have to worry about a salesperson getting too busy or forgetting to enter the information after the fact.”

Happy customers are the ultimate ROI

Implementing a modern, feature-rich communications solution is saving the company up to $1,500 every month. But ROI is also be measured in happy customers.

“I don’t know how many potential customers we lost before we moved to Avaya because calls weren’t answered reliably.”

Before IP Office, Tippmann Affiliated Group didn’t have auto attendant functionality, and that meant that some calls simply went unanswered.

“Since implementing Avaya IP Office, our call answer rate has doubled or even tripled,” says Ruf. “Our customers are getting a better overall experience from beginning to end.”

Ruf explains how call recording has also been a boon to customer service.

“With call recording, our sales managers can listen to calls and coach their employees, we can also tell when calls are dropped and address any issues,” he says. “These are tools that we never had before that are available with IP Office.”

The company has seen a definite uptick in productivity with the deployment of Avaya mobility solutions as well. Ruf estimates that 50 percent of the Tippmann workforce will eventually take advantage of mobility.

“Our ‘workaholics’ love it, they’re no longer chained to a desk,” quips Ruf. “It’s so easy to initiate mobile twinning, it’s fantastic for productivity.”

For Ruf and his IT team, one of the best things about Avaya IP Office is the time they save managing it.

“As far as the administration portion, it’s like a whole new world to me,” he says. “It’s so easy to manage, even with very little experience. It saves all of us time on the smallest changes to the major modifications.”

Gearing up for the next 50

Tippmann Affiliated Group is a fast-growing, innovative company on the cusp of celebrating a half century in business. Ruf is confident that his Avaya solution will support the company as it embarks on its next fifty years.

“I know I can count on Avaya to offer the features and applications we’ll need to stay competitive and keep offering top-notch service to our customers,” he says.

When asked if he had any advice for Avaya, Ruf summed it up nicely: “Keep doing what you’re doing.”

About Tippmann Affiliated Group

The story behind Tippmann Affiliated Group dates back to the 1950s and a small engineering and contracting firm known simply as Tippmann Engineering. As one of 16 children and an active participant in the family business, Vincent P. Tippmann Sr. began seeking his own contracting ventures that ultimately led to the creation of Interstate Cold Storage in 1973, in New Haven, IN.

With the boom of the frozen food industry and the corresponding national distribution, Interstate Cold Storage continued its work as a construction contractor and grew its own operation to 5 Midwest locations and 22,000,000 feet of refrigerated warehouse space. Along the way, during this time of rapid expansion, new companies Polar King and Thermodyne Foodservice Products were created and began paving the way for what later came to be known as Tippmann Affiliated Group.

As it stands today, Tippmann Affiliated Group remains a family owned organization with a diversified group of business segments throughout North America and around the world. Headquartered in Fort Wayne, IN, Tippmann Affiliated Group operates its main campus on 75 acres and 810,000 sq/ft. of manufacturing and office space.

From patented food service equipment to high volume manufacturing and warehousing, Tippmann Affiliated Group remains committed to providing high quality products and exceptional customer service.

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