Every business faces pressures and challenges, more so today than ever. Whether you’re running a manufacturing plant, transport company, hotel, hospital or school, you’ll know how tough it is to achieve business objectives in an uncertain world where conditions can change at a moment’s notice.
So how can you streamline your operation to make sure you’re ready to react when spikes in demand or cuts in funding put business activity under strain? In this section, we look at the challenges you face and review how optimizing communication systems can help support business goals. We invite you to take an honest look at your communications to identify any areas where it may be holding you back. Then we suggest steps which you could take to put things right so expenditure is managed, profit is optimized, and your customers, employees, and stakeholders stay happy.
Efficiency, Productivity & Safety – The Three Pillars Of Success
Achieving business objectives is reliant on maximizing efficiency, productivity, and safety. Get these right and operations proceed seamlessly, people and assets work to their optimum, and everyone and everything stays protected.
Improving efficiency can generate savings across the business even when costs are rising. One great way to do this is for individuals and teams to work as one, with clear goals – everyone has a defined role, there’s no duplication of effort or communication breakdowns.
Being productive means you can react rapidly to unexpected interruptions, minimizing impact and reducing downtime so deadlines and targets stay on track. Giving people the tools they need to be productive is a positive step that creates a sense of ownership and pride in a workforce.
Underpinning your business are your resources. Are you ready to respond in the moment to an injured worker, security breach or fire – before an incident becomes a crisis? Maintaining safety and security to meet legal regulations is also mandatory business practice that helps you avoid legal action, crippling fines or worse.
Communications can help bring these three key pillars together. Having an effective communications platform creates a working environment that is focused on achieving business objectives. But what makes a communications platform effective? And what do you need to consider to ensure your systems are fit for purpose?
Evaluating Your Communications
Just like business, communication faces its own challenges. For example, many business communication systems struggle to be effective across known coverage black spots, areas of high noise, hazardous environments, and places where different teams use different devices. These challenges can be overcome with the right setup. The key is to step back and evaluate where you are and where you want to be. This should include some considerations that will define how your communications network will evolve as business requirements change.
Define Where You Are
Has your organization grown rapidly since your last communication review? More staff, bigger premises, new systems and networks? If so, you’ve probably outgrown your platform and may even have spotted the danger signs – unreliable communications across your facilities, inability to access certain data services, lack of capacity. These shortfalls impact on your efficiency, productivity and safety.
Think about your needs. Here are some pointers that may help you decide how to progress. Once you have considered where you want to be, look at the features and functions that will get you there. These may include:
As well as fixing your budget, consider how important predictability is – some solutions come with uncontrollable costs, such as mobile phones where monthly usage fluctuates.
Ensure costs are known and manageable – consider capex, opex or mixed funding models.
Look at what your people are doing and how it impacts their equipment – some devices are fragile and easily damaged with high repair or replacement costs.
Rugged, waterproof devices protect communications from drops and the elements.
Especially critical in hazardous environments where workers are isolated, real-time monitoring helps you avoid undetected accidents, severe injury and litigation.
Lone Worker, Man Down, location tracking with Bluetooth and GNSS, and extended battery life help keep vulnerable workers safe.
Loud environments such as factories make communicating effectively very difficult – if noise is a factor, consider clear audio solutions that prevent conversations getting lost.
Intelligent Audio and noise cancellation provide clear conversations in the noisiest of environments.
If you work in a public or highly sensitive environment, implementing a solution with integrated security such as encryption leaves you less prone to damaging attacks.
Encrypted messaging prevents eavesdropping from unauthorized users.
If your environment contains known black spots, implementing a solution with indifferent coverage will make communication unreliable and give a low return on investment.
Some higher-powered devices feature extended coverage and wider ranges.
Ask yourself how well different teams can communicate – if you have multiple devices in use with no or limited communication between them, it’s time to change.
Connected communications is all about unifying teams and linking individuals together, regardless of device – everyone works as one, whether using radios, phones, tablets or PC.
Think about whether you are making the most of the technology available to you – would your teams be more efficient with devices that do more?
Integrated applications help you run and monitor operations seamlessly.
Evaluate the way your staff use their devices - could they be more productive, for example, if they worked hands-free?
Compatible accessories such as hands - free headsets enhance performance.
Never Underestimate The Importance Of Communications
Every business or public-sector service is different with its own set of challenges and pressures. Objectives may be unique but there is a common denominator – every organization is underpinned by efficiency, productivity and safety. These three criteria also underpin the core values of a reliable communications network.
Understanding that communications are critical is an essential first step. But how do you find precisely the right solution for your needs, especially when one device alone may not suit every individual? In the next chapter, we look at the different two-way radio solutions available that could create the ideal communications network for your business.
Three Things To Consider