Case Study: Record Cold Leads to Record Business for Pine State Services, Thanks to CTI

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When record cold temperatures hit Maine recently, calls to local plumbing and heating providers hit peak levels. Leveraging flexible Mitel MiVoice Connect (formerly ShoreTel Connect) SIP trunking capabilities through Consolidated Communications (CCI) allowed Pine State Services to not only continue meeting their existing customers’ needs but to gain new business too.

Pine State Services provides plumbing, heating, cooling, and sewer and drain services to residents of Portland, Scarborough and Falmouth, ME, and the surrounding communities. When two weeks of extreme cold weather struck the region, calls for furnace service and broken pipes skyrocketed.


Pine State was leveraging flexible SIP trunking capabilities for voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone technologies provided through Communication Technologies Inc. (CTI). However, in the midst of the prolonged cold weather event, the company discovered that they were limited to 8 SIP trunks. With 600 incoming calls in a 6-hour period but only 8 SIP trunks, calls were automatically redirected to the office service manager’s personal cell phone and it was difficult to stay on top of customers’ needs.


With one call to CTI and collaboration with CCI’s Advanced Services Team (AST) we were able to identify that only 8 SIP trunks were in place, and increased that number to 17 inbound call paths overnight. The flexible SIP trunking capabilities already in place made it easy to instantly scale up capacity.

In addition, they were able to create additional emergency call recordings for inbound calls, and add call routing and queuing options, helping ease the workload for the busy office staff workers.


Fortunately, when Pine State Services implemented its phone system, someone had the foresight to recommend they implement SIP trunking VoIP services. Without that, they likely would not have been able to answer any customer calls.

Increasing the number of SIP trunks and adding queuing and other functionality allowed Pine State Services to handle more of its customers’ calls right away, cutting down on the need to listen to and return phone messages from customers or potential customers.

In addition, Pine State Services gained new customers because they were able to answer and field incoming phone calls during the extended period of cold weather; Many of their competitors’ phone systems were down or overloaded. In fact, this added capacity helped Pine State Services reach a new monthly sales record – the highest yet in the company’s history!


With its newly-expanded SIP trunking providing 17 pathways for incoming calls, expanded queuing and more effective call routing options, Pine State Services can be confident that they have telephone service designed to withstand any storm.

Because they are using VoIP technologies, they don’t need to worry about a local server going down in a storm or cold weather event.

The expanded inbound call capacity also means office personnel do not need to worry about losing calls or about calls being redirected to emergency alternative call destinations. With the flexibility to change “after hours” or “holiday” messages any time using the Mitel MiVoice Connect Call Manager, Pine State Services is in control of its phone system.

As their experience from this event showed, leveraging more stable and efficient phone technologies led to greater revenue this winter. And, with an influx of new customers who were able to connect and schedule with Pine State Services, the company has the opportunity to build long-term client relationships and gain referrals from customers they might not have otherwise had the opportunity to serve.


Weather emergencies can test anyone’s patience with their service providers, but Pine State Services was pleased with the responsiveness and solutions CTI was able to provide.

“Our customers need to be able to rely on our 24- hour on-call services; we need to be able to rely on our phone system so we can provide those services. CTI provided a prompt turnaround when we needed them, and they were able to pinpoint and address our capacity problem right away,” said Jennifer Lannon, Office & Service Manager for Pine State Services. “We pride ourselves on customer service, and it was refreshing to receive that same level of customer commitment from CTI.”

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