Apex Tools - A Case Study

Apex Tool Group (ATG) is one of the largest manufacturers of professional hand and power tools in the world, serving the industrial, vehicle service and assembly, aerospace, electronics, construction and serious DIY markets.

Their portfolio of over 30 innovative brands includes many category leaders, such as SATA®, GearWrench®, Weller®, Wiss®, Lufkin®, Cleco® and Crescent®. ATG also manufactures select, premier private label mechanics tools. Across the board, their tools stand for quality, innovation and value. Known for solving seemingly impossible problems, they are intuitive and simple to use, yet indispensable.

"Countrytell and Allcom have delivered on all that they promised us, we have achieved greatly improved performance and reliability and saved on my operating expenses budget as well"

- Tony Awdjew, Apex Tools Group IT & Systems Manager

Business Need

Reliability and consistent performance of Voice and internet services is an essential element of Apex Tools operations in Albury. The NBN rollout and resultant withdrawal of copper based Ethernet and ISDN services required cost effective alternative technologies that would deliver on the business need.

An on-premise analogue phone system needed to be retained due to unique capabilities not readily available in current SIP based or hosted systems. Cost savings while welcome, were not key drivers in the decision process, as mentioned above reliability carried the greatest weight in evaluating solutions.


Apex Tools called on long time technology partner and Albury local Allcom to provide advice on an appropriate solution. Understanding the Apex business was key to Allcoms recommendations. The retention of the Ericson PBX and DECT handsets throughout the factory was essential. The NBN was considered as the most cost effective alternative to the current services, however reliability and consistency concerns ruled this out as a standalone technology.

Allcom introduced Countrytell as a specialist telecommunication provider. They recommended a High Availability (HA) bundle which utilises Countrytells own Business Grade wireless network as the Primary service and NBN as a Backup. This solution provides both geographic and technology diversity meaning the risk of service interruption was greatly reduced. The replacement of ISDN (which is proven to be highly reliable) also leveraged the HA solution with a SIP voice trunk providing priority to Apex’s mission critical voice services.


Apex have managed to save approximately 25% on their combined Internet and Fixed line voice services without significant capital investment. Internet speeds have been greatly improved and reliability enhanced. Voice services have retained the existing phone numbers and voice quality has not been sacrificed.

The overall solution provides significantly better reliability due to the completely automated failover of the High Availability service. Remote access, VPN and web-services hosted on-premise in Albury also stay online due to the design of the HA service.

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