Case Study: OE Exchange, LLC

hen OE Exchange, LLC needed a new Internet access connection and customer service solution for their growing business, they turned to Independents Fiber Network for support.


Headquartered in Mentor, Ohio, OE Exchange, LLC is a PVD wheel distribution and management company, which serves as a program manager to design, and implement auto dealer installed wheel program activities with OEMs.


In 2016, OE Exchange’s Ed Hollinshead was introduced to Independents Fiber Network’s CEO Tim Berelsman through a common business colleague.  In building the OE Exchange business, Ed was driving the company to utilize cloud applications like Microsoft 365 and others.   It was determined that the company needed an upgrade to its Internet access connection. 

Ed turned to Independents Fiber Network for a solution, which made a night versus day difference.

In a follow-up call by Independents Fiber Network, it was noted that one of the office computers might have been infected with a virus.  

Independents Fiber Network questioned what OE Exchange was doing for a firewall solution.   Given the company’s small staff, without a dedicated IT department, Independents Fiber Network proposed a hosted and managed firewall solution.  

OE Exchange was now well positioned to further develop its flexible, cloud-based operation systems through a high-speed, secure Internet access solution.

But that was only the beginning.


Prior to beginning work with Independents, OE Exchange also did not have after-hour call support for their customers or prospects. Instead, all calls went directly to the employees’ cell phones.

As they were poised for more growth, it became apparent that their current structure was insufficient for the amount of 24/7/365 support and manpower they would need as their business continued to expand.

That’s where Independents came in.

How Independents Fiber Network Helped

When Mark Kazmierski joined the OE Exchange team as the vice president of sales in 2017, one of his major projects was to build or find an outside call center-like solution for the company – one that could provide immediate support, regardless of the day or time.

This would expedite the customer service process and allow their staff to focus on other duties and initiatives instead of having to answer and return calls.

As he began investigating different possibilities, he met Berelsman from Independents Fiber Network and was immediately impressed by the organization’s culture and capabilities. “There was really that comfort level from the beginning,” Kazmierski said.

OE Exchange chose to work with Independents Fiber Network and took advantage of Independents’ Hosted & Managed IP-PBX Software and IP Voice Service Solution, along with key support services to meet their company goals.

These support services included Independent’s 24/7/365 customer service department every day and their Network Operations Center (NOC) on an as-needed basis, which are provided through Independents’ parent company, CNI.   

The customer service staff Mark has built, now serves as a seamless extension of OE Exchange’s internal team and answers any customer or prospect’s call.

When searching for a service provider, I felt very comfortable with Independents Fiber Network from the start. I was very impressed by how quickly they met deadlines and hit the ground running with our services. I always felt like I was building a relationship with them – and I still feel that way. Independents has been great to work with, they have a full understanding of our business, and they continue to support us.” – Mark Kazmierski, Vice President of Sales, OE Exchange, LLC 


Less than a year after selecting Independents as their IP-PBX service provider, OE Exchange has seen numerous benefits.

The first was cost savings. By using Independents’ services, they’ve saved significantly and reduced their overall costs.

Whenever an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) wants to make an order, ask a question, discuss warranties, or more, they are routed through the IP-PBX in order to speak directly with a knowledgeable OE Exchange employee.   

As the man in charge of OE Exchange’s customer service, this provides Mark with all the metrics he needs to measure the quality and effectiveness of each and every customer interaction.

“Independents Fiber Network really acts as our support team,” Kazmierski said. “They can answer 95% of the questions we pose to them. I come from a team environment, and that’s what they are – part of our team.”

“With the call center, this really solidifies our process,” he added. “Every call goes through the Independents Fiber Network hosted and managed IP-PBX now. It’s really made a difference as far as our organization goes and made everything easier for our company.”

In addition, Independents Fiber Network’s IP-PBX service tracks data for all of their calls: where calls come from, what the call volume is, and more. This gives OE Exchange insight into their sales and customer service initiatives and operations.

The services Independents Fiber Network offer don’t just extend to OEE Exchange; all of the other companies that fall under the umbrella of the parent company use their IP-PBX. Since multiple companies are hosted under one call center environment, the parent company can easily use this information to make and track calls across all the firms.