Tampa, Fla. – At first glance, the millimeter wave technology on the rooftop of this Ybor City business seems out of place. The building is in a neighborhood that’s more than 120-years-old and the business owner is the first to admit she has no idea how the mmWave radio works.
She doesn’t have to. PBX-Change does.
Denise Reddick can focus on what she knows best: coffee! Reddick is the second-generation owner of Brisk Coffee Roasters USA, founded nearly 60 years ago by her parents Richard and Mary Jean Perez. Six months ago, as President & CEO of the company, she switched all its internet and phone services after her business sidekick of 38 years came back from an Ybor City Chamber of Commerce luncheon talking tech! Vicky Jones, Brisk’s Director of Contracts, declared she’d found the solution to Ybor ‘s infamous, inconsistent connectivity. It was PBX.
“I think it was the Friday right after the luncheon that I got the call. ‘Is this the lady that was talking about the internet and phone services?’” recalls Nault of that first call from Brisk. “’Yep, that’s me!’”
“Prior to PBX-Change we had a regular telephone system with a regular local internet carrier. Honestly, every time it rained in Ybor City our phones went down,” says Jones. “They’d be down for a day or two!”
Nault is the Community Relations and Business Development Representative at PBX-Change. She’s heard this before from other businesses operating in Ybor City. The copper wiring in the neighborhood’s vintage infrastructure is one of the perils of the historic district.
“Think about it,” says Reddick, painting a picture for us of an all-too familiar scene in Ybor. “You’re trying to pull up a customer’s account in the computer system, and it runs slow.” Very slow!
“That’s a problem,” she continues. “You can’t run your business without it!”
The instability of the old technology, coupled with all the things they CAN do with PBX’s business internet and phone services, made Brisk leaders take the leap of change. “And, may I say, at a large savings to our company,” added Jones.
That first meeting between customer and provider was comical. The oldest independently owned and operated coffee roaster in Florida, and possibly the nation, was getting the most modern technology in existence! “Poor Rebekah,” recalls Jones with a hearty laugh. “We’re old school and she was telling us all the things the technology can do. We were like ‘We just need to answer the phone!’”
“I don’t think they understand the magnitude of what they have yet,” says Nault. “They have THE fastest, best internet in the marketplace. You can’t get any more modern or fast than millimeter wave technology.”
“Can you teach me how to answer the phone first?” was Reddick’s response that day. Now, she and Jones are dipping the company’s proverbial toes in all sorts of the features of PBX tech. “We guarantee our services,” explains Nault. “I assured them that someone can always answer the phone. If you need someone to work remote, they can work from anywhere. We also have tools that allow them to see every incoming and outgoing phone call, so they know all calls are answered and placed. Being able to scale into the technology, not have it pushed upon them, was a big comfort.”
Reddick and Jones nod in agreement, grateful for the white glove customer-service they’ve received at PBX-Change from day one. Ask them to describe interactions with PBX installers and trainers and the words “patient,” “always accessible,” and “speaking-our-language” pour out of them. Their gratitude is rich in authenticity and integrity, just like their coffee.
“We show the customer more things they can do with our technology, when they are ready,” says Nault. “The training we provide has been a big deal for Brisk. From the very first day, we had a trainer on the site with them to show them how to use the phones, how to use Webex.”
“We sell to virtually every business sector in the United States and we achieve that through technology, better and faster communication, and electronic data interface,” says Reddick. “With PBX-Change you don’t have to worry if it’s going to work. We are so dependent on technology for our daily operations. What if it goes down? What if it doesn’t work? With PBX, we don’t have to worry about that anymore.”
This national roaster of gourmet coffee has an impressive roster of clients in the food industry including restaurants, hospitality, travel, healthcare, government and even the U.S. military. It’s come a long way from its humble beginnings with only one 100-pound batch roaster in 1968. By 1978, the company had landed its first national customer – Days Inn of America! And in 1980, Brisk had secured its place in our state’s restaurant chain industry, winning over Waffle Houses of Florida.
Brisk is not adverse to innovation, it’s just heavier in the coffee department! In 1982, this family owned business was among the first coffee roasters to produce filter pack coffee lines. The first customers to try it included United Airlines, Peoples Express and Eastern Airlines. Brisk also used tech to create the “factory-direct, next day delivery system” model that we take for granted today. Seventeen years ago, in 2005, that was the first of its kind in the coffee food service market!
All the data on product lines, roasting and distribution is as precious as its coffee beans. Switching internet and phone service providers was not a decision to be made lightly. A wrong choice could cost Brisk in the millions of dollars and hurt its brand. The founder’s daughter demanded nothing less than a partner who understood the unique concerns of a legacy business. She chose PBX-Change.
“Who you partner with is important,” explains Reddick. “I’m teaching my son that finding a local company to partner with, which has the same values and standards that we do, is a partner you can stay with for a very long time! My parents drilled certain things into us. The customer service has to be top notch, always! It has to be better than everyone else’s.”
“I love the synergy between our two companies,” says Nault, noting the shared values of owners at Brisk and PBX Change. Like Reddick who is teaching her son the family business, the owners of PBX-Change have done the same with their own son. Martine Yaldor is the face of the company and its Chief Financial Officer. Husband Muli Yaldor is its Chief Systems Engineer. Son Ryan Yaldor is the Chief Technology Officer.
Serving the Tampa Bay region for more than two decades, PBX-Change is known for its customer service and standard of excellence. “We have a lot of clients who have great histories and great stories,” says Nault. “It’s not just important what you do, it’s HOW you do it. We’re in two completely different lines of business, yet we share the same values. I think it’s really fascinating how we all find each other. We make sure we’re doing a good job and customers are being taken care of.”
It’s the perfect blend for the team at Brisk, now roasting coffee in its third generation. “Coffee isn’t just a product you buy. It’s so much more,” concludes Reddick. “Coffee is tradition. It’s memories. In many families, coffee is how they start their day together. It’s the beverage over which you communicate and share important things with each other. Coffee is community! That’s the truth. And technology helps us share that story – our story – with others.”
By Lissette Campos, PBX-Change