Growing and Discovering New Ways to Engage People Using the Power of Voice

Based in Scranton, PA, Pennsylvania Paper & Supply Company provides facility management and packaging solutions. The company sells and distributes paper goods, janitorial and sanitary equipment and supplies, industrial packaging equipment and supplies, safety supplies, and more. The company serves Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey with over 250 remote employees.

Packaging Solutions

Plum DEV

Mobile Workforce Reporting

Executive Summary

The Pennsylvania Paper & Supply Company needed a new IVR solution to record time and task information for remote workers. The Plum DEV platform provided the reliability and features the company needed. This enabled the company to provide a better employee experience, easily scale its business, and increased the accuracy of its time and task reporting. Pennsylvania Paper leveraged Plum DEV for a 1000% ROI on time and task operations.

Pennsylvania Paper & Supply Company (PPS) is a major supplier of paper goods, sanitary equipment, industrial packing equipment and supplies, and other goods and services. The company employs over 250 field employees that rely on an IVR solution for time and task reporting. PPS’s voice application tracks attendance and calculates employee time on site by allowing workers to call an IVR system to sign in and out of assigned job locations.

The Problem

PPS had a legacy IVR system, but it faced two major issues: first, their existing vendor no longer supported the current system. Without a viable vendor and no support, PPS was in need of a new IVR system. When undertaking the search for a replacement, PPS president, Douglas Fink wanted something more reliable than their legacy solution. That system went down several times per year, forcing the company to manually process employee information, a very laborious and frustrating situation.

Reliability topped Fink’s wish list for a new system, and to that he added increased functionality. When researching new IVR vendors, Plum checked both boxes for Fink. Whereas the old system was a “one trick pony,” Plum’s system supported multiple audio voices and languages. Of all the systems PPS looked at, Plum provided the best combination of features and price, giving the company a new level of flexibility that Fink sought to bring to his company’s operations.

The Solution

In the fall of 2011, PPS opted for the Plum iOn on-premises system. Getting the local Plum server up and running was “relatively painless and simple to do,” according to Fink. The IT team at PPS built their own application using Plum’s VoiceXML platform.

Once PPS got its Plum system, Fink said the comparison with their legacy system was “light years beyond. [The Plum solution has] way more robust functionality and feature rich so there’s a lot more we can do.” The system created a better experience for PPS’s employees. The natural voice audio improvement was significant, and much easier for employees to understand. “It was like night and day,” Fink said.

Plum also addressed Fink’s primary concern: reliability. “[Our IVR has] become such a mission critical part of our operation that the increased reliability made a huge difference for us.”


“Plum is a solid company that is great to work with, and you'll get a solid ROI working with them.”

Douglas Fink, Owner and President

The Results

The reliability and additional features of Plum’s IVR solution have had a significant impact on PPS’s overall evolution. According to Fink, it “enabled us to scale in a cost-effective way, with no issues. It provided very good leverage for us as a company.”

Plum also helped reduce administrative costs at PPS. Not only does the IVR application maintain more efficient and accurate employee records, it also helps to prevent against fraud and abuse by automatically calculating time on the job, and eliminating human error. This means that the human cost of processing time and task data is almost zero. When PPS switched to Plum the company’s operational costs dropped, and those fell even further after moving to the cloud. Fink estimates that PPS’s ROI on its Plum IVR investment is at least 1000%.

The functionality that Plum’s technology provided to TVL also allowed the company to continue to grow and expand into other markets. What started as a company focused on preserving the legacy of the individual has now branched out into other areas that benefit from storytelling, including business, education, real estate, the arts, healthcare, and more.

As The Voice Library continues to grow and discover new ways to engage people using the power of the voice, Plum delivers technology to facilitate that mission.