Effective communication has never been more important but as we adapt to the “new normal” there are several new issues to consider. Now is a good time to assess your business communication systems and check that they are still fit for purpose whilst also reviewing your telecoms packages to keep running costs to a minimum.
By now you may have had to make changes to the way you work which could include staff working from home. We would expect data packages, call bundles, data storage and all aspects of telephony to be challenged during this period and if left unchecked you may incur unintentional overspend.
We recommend that all businesses review the following areas:
1. Lines and Calls
Many businesses will have experienced a spike in call volumes as we communicate with personnel spread out across the country as the work from home as well as carrying out customer service calls to clients. In some instances, call volumes will be capped at a monthly allowance so it is worth checking with your provider that you will not be charged for going over this limit.
Some packages will also include conference call facilities which are invaluable at present. Check whether or not this is included in your contract and also if there are any limitations. For example, some are limited to 10 people on a conference call at any one time therefore you may want to increase your package costs for a short-term period.
2. Broadband and data connectivity
Many of those who are working from home will be connecting to work systems via home broadband which may not always be fit for purpose. Home broadband does not necessarily provide the fastest connection and SLA’s and you may wish to consider providing additional mobile data to your staff through their business mobile contract. Not everyone has access to broadband so tethering via a dongle may be an option.
The most cost-effective business mobile contracts are usually set up with group packages where data and call volumes are allocated to the business as a whole and shared amongst users. This works well when mobiles are used sporadically for business trips but now that mobiles might be used far more than desk phones, businesses may easily exceed their limits, for which they will be charged.
When trying to save money on your business mobile portfolio you will find that buying used, refurbished (also known as certified pre-owned or graded) handsets will be far cheaper than brand new. You can also take advantage of any spare handsets you may have to hand and just pay for SIM-only contracts which are far more affordable.
BCR Associates can check your contract to check that you have everything you need – we can check that your call and data packages suit your business needs at this present time.
4. Data and reporting
Having access to the right information on your business’ communication systems can help you to understand staff activity, have visibility as to how call and data packages are being spent and ultimately control costs. Through our carefully selected supply chain offering, we have access to systems that produce daily cost reports allowing sight of how call and data packages are structured as well building alerts so that you know in advance if you are due to go over your limits. Should this happen you can either choose to restrict some services or add bundles as you see fit or as budget allows.
It’s important that any business telecoms set up is flexible and allows your business to adapt as external factors require. BCR Associates offer a full telecommunications audit to all businesses to see if the packages they have are right for them. To arrange a telecoms audit for your business now, please get in touch.