Business means communication. Communication with your clients, your suppliers, your bankers and, most importantly with your own employees and colleagues who are more often than not out of the office sealing business deals or fulfilling business commitments hundreds of miles away from the corporate headquarters.
All this means continuous communication involving follow up with all the constituents of the business environment – both internal and external.
This also means a substantial amount of your hard earned revenue going to the telecom provider of the long distance communication service. So, the amount spent in commercial long distance communication needs to be very carefully monitored and evaluated to ensure that every dollar is utilized in the most efficient manner.
In order to achieve the maximum efficiency for the dollars spent on communication, certain well planned steps should be taken.
First go through the last six months’ billing details to find out how many minutes on an average have you spent on making long distance calls. The last six months should be a fair measure of your monthly long distance telephony. This is a long enough period to take of any seasonal fluctuations your business may experience during the course of a financial year.
The next step would be to break up this amount in the areas or zones you have most frequently called up. This is obviously known to you, because area-wise communication is generally directly proportional to the geographical concentration of the business. This analysis would also help you to confirm no disproportionate use of your telephone line is taking place.
Then get down to find out the average length of a telephone call made during this period.
So, now you have three sets of data. They are: the total minutes of long distance telephone usage, zone-wise concentration of calls made, the average duration of a phone call.
Then try to project the future requirement of long distance telephony in your business. In doing this projection you take into account not only your present client base and the expected increase in business volume with them, but also expected increase in your client base and the possibility of venturing into new zones. Always provide at least a 10% cushion in all your projections.
You may want to look beyond traditional telecommunication channels and consider a voice T1 service as an alternative. This is a digital service which makes use of channels to strike voice connections as and when required. This service has the facility of using eleven such channels simultaneously, which when translated in layman’s language means that you can hold a long distance conference with eleven persons simultaneously! But this service requires complex infrastructure and small or medium sized commercial entities may not find it economical.
Whatever may be the size of your firm or business please remember that the competition between the long distance communication service providers has now become so fierce that they are willing to go to any length to woo their clients. So, be ruthless while negotiating with them and don’t get carried away by tall promises and smooth salesmanship.