Top 5 reasons why cell phones could be bad for your business

Your business or event requires a reliable communication system

Here are our top 5 reasons why cell phones could potentially be bad for your business:

• Weak or loss of signal
• High call costs
• Limited control on staff usage
• No group calling facility with priority interrupt
• Not suitable for use in hazardous environments

Weak or no signal

Mobile phones are reliant on third party networks which is great for businesses in area’s with good coverage.  However, in the event of network failures or overload you cannot rely on mobile phones to be dependable.

Two way radios work off of an independently owned radio network giving clear, constant coverage. These systems have been designed to give total operational coverage eliminating network failures, overload and even allowing communication during natural disasters.

High Call Costs

Mobile phone call costs have come down considerably in the last few years however if you have a large number of staff with handsets, call costs can mount up.
Two way radios do not incur additional call costs. You can make calls to other radio’s and also landlines at no charge*.

Two way radios can be programmed to:

• Call each other individually (one to one calls)
• Call every radio in a group (one to many calls)
• Call every radio on the system (one to all calls)
• Make a call to and from a radio to a telephone system (telephone connect SIP)

Limited control on staff usage

Does your business issue cell phones to staff? Can you ensure that these are used ONLY for business calls?

In the majority of cases, staff members that have been issued with a company cell phone use it responsibly, but what can you do about the minority?

A radio system within a business can cut costs considerably; I mentioned the radio programming for certain call groups and channels.

Example: As a company, Ted has 12 employees, These 12 employees are split into squads of three. Weekly the team leaders of all 4 squads give an updates on job progression, issues and forward planning. The Team Leaders organise a meeting at the end of each week for 1 hour at an arranged location. As it stands, these meetings cause unnecessary travel and additional time taken out of the working day.
Solution: The 4 team leaders have a mobile radio in each vehicle and hand portables for each employee. Each radio has an open channel so all of Ted's employees can communicate with each other.  There is also a pre-programmed channel for Team Leaders only.

A prearranged time is agreed between team leaders whereby they use the pre-programmed channel to give their weekly update.

What are the benefits?
• They can speak to each other regardless of location.
• This eliminates the travel to the meeting points
• Cuts down the time taken to give the weekly update.
• Eradicates the cost that would be incurred if each Team Leader was to call round using a cell phone

picture of a busy white person holding and talking on three corded telephones.
Vehicle GPS tracking

Radios also use GPS to allow tracking. Tracking is beneficial to a number of different sectors:

• Bus Companies
• Taxi firms
• Delivery firms
• Council bodies
• Plant hire firms

From one point (laptop or mobile device) you are able locate entire fleets bringing benefits such as:

• Lower fuel costs: GPS allows for tighter logistic controls. This leads to less time spent on the road, bringing overall fuel costs down
• Better customer service: Drivers are easily located which allows office staff to communicate their location or ETA to customers
Improved safety: Real time monitoring and instant two way communications allows you to provide assistance and support in the event of an incident
• Asset tracking: Stolen vehicles can be easily traced

Group calling facilities with priority interrupt

When would you use group calling facilities?

There are many instances that the group call feature on radios becomes very useful, sometimes it is invaluable.

Example; Peter’s company has 15 Lorries and 3 service vehicles; these are widespread from Dunbar in the East to Cumbernauld in the West. His 3 service vehicles travel to various locations, daily, to service broken plant hire equipment.
One of Peter’s service vehicles is working on a JCB that has broken down; the driver uses the ‘all call’ facility on the radio to ask each user if they are in the area and if they have the part he needs.

Typically, with mobile phones, the service vehicle driver may have had to make several phone calls to locate the parts he needed. The radios have one channel which means everyone can hear each radio user and communicate as a whole group ensuring clear communication and prompt responses.

When does priority interrupt come into play?

What if a call is in progress and there is an emergency?

Radios can have a button  pre-programmed with priority interrupt. With one touch the signal establishes priority over all current calls. The emergency is announced and people are dispatch appropriately. Without the ‘priority interrupt’ facility, the person making the emergency call could have had significant delays in getting through. This has the potential of leading to a very serious situation.

Hazardous environments

What is a hazardous environment?

Gases, dust and fibres are omitted in certain work environments such as:

• Petrochem sites
• Flour mills
• Oil and gas platforms
• Vehicle paint spraying companies
• Wood manufacturers

If there are enough of these substances, mixed with air, all it needs is a source of ignition to cause an explosion. The source of ignition can come from a mobile phone or a non ATEX radio.
ATEX radios are designed specifically for hazardous environments. These radios have gone through rigorous testing and comply with the strictest safety standards. Calls can be made within a hazardous environment without putting anyone at risk.

So there you have it, our top 5 reasons why mobiles are bad for your business

Do you have any examples where radios have been invaluable to your business?

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