Project Description

Case Study: Helwig Carbon Products Inc

Since 1928, Helwig Carbon Products, Inc. has been the premier American-owned manufacturer of carbon brushes, brush holders, constant force spring assemblies, mechanical carbons, quick disconnect terminals and mounts.

Helwig Carbon serves a global client base in several industries, including power generation (coal, wind, & hydro), steel, paper, motor repair, elevator, railroad, transit, aviation, and OEMs.

Helwig Carbon offers a unique level of customer service with their expertise and consultative approach with clients.


Before Response there was no way to measure our SLA performance, now we track our SLA daily.

The real-time dashboard is great for monitoring team performance throughout the day.

With Response’s ability to identify high priority emails our rush orders are now handled same day


Helwig Carbon uses shared mailboxes for a 15 person department handling more than 400 quotes and order requests daily. Before using Emailtopia Response, a dedicated triage agent was tasked with manually coding and assigning incoming emails to agents based on priority. But emails were getting coded on a first-in, first-out basis, so rush orders were not receiving the immediate attention they needed. Furthermore, agents could cherry pick messages and move to various folders which often led to messages being misplaced or accidently deleted. Traceability became one of Helwig’s biggest challenges: with no audit trail in Outlook and limited search capabilities, management had no way to track down these missing emails.

Helwig Carbon required a better email management solution that addressed these issues while allowing their agents to continue working in the familiar Outlook environment.


Helwig Carbon chose Emailtopia Response to handle their inbound email challenges. With Response’s built in automatic message distribution system, comprehensive message tracking, detailed performance reporting and full Outlook compatibility, Emailtopia’s solution was a perfect fit for Helwig Carbon.

With Response’s thread history tool, management can quickly view the entire lifecycle of a customer email transaction, raising the level of accountability department-wide.

Response’s search utility has proven extremely useful as well. Coupled with the existing ERP system (to which email communications are attached), the powerful search function has vastly improved Helwig Carbon’s ability to trace and track email conversations, and to follow up with customers in case of an issue.

Automated Message Distribution

Response eliminates the need for a dedicated triage agent to manually distribute emails, as it can distribute messages automatically. The automatic message distribution is considerably faster than the manual alternative and also eliminates distribution error. Helwig’s own internal time study estimates that over 6 hours of manual triage message assignment are saved every day with Response’s automated distribution.

Rush Priority Distribution

The Helwig Carbon Customer Orders team receives dozens of Rush orders daily that require immediate attention. Emailtopia worked with Helwig to provide a custom solution that would:

  • mark Rush emails to be easily identifiable by agents
  • have Rush emails take priority when distributing emails to agents

This workflow happens simultaneously when Helwig receives a Rush order, allowing for faster replies. Now all Rush orders are processed into production systems same day.


Since implementing Response, missing and deleted emails have been eliminated for Helwig. Staff are able to search and recall messages from previous quotes or orders within a couple of clicks. Emails are no longer ignored, and priority emails are handled promptly by the team, reducing frustrated customer phone calls. With reports, supervisors can now measure team and individual performance; Response dashboards provide real-time insight. Helwig Carbon has refined their orders’ process, instituted team accountability through email traceability, while increasing agent productivity and overall customer satisfaction – all thanks to Response!

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