With the world still recovering from a major economic recession, many companies are looking for ways to revive their revenue streams. One thing they must consider is how to implement new efficiency-enhancing and cost-saving communications technologies so executives can sing, Happy Days Are Here Again.
Let’s look at the state of the economy at the end of June, 2011.
- The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence fell in June to the worst level in eight months on concerns about employment and income.
- U.S. home prices rose 0.7 percent in April, with gains in 13 of the 20 cities surveyed by the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. “The degree of hemorrhaging seems to be slowing,” noted Anthony Chan, chief economist at JPMorgan Private Wealth Management in New York.
- From the Bureau of Labor Statistics: Manufacturing sector productivity grew 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011, as output increased 7.7 percent.
- Non-farm payroll employment changed little in May, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported at the beginning of the month.
Looking at this list, the only really positive news is bullet three – increased productivity. Housing sales are still dismal, consumer confidence is low and unemployment remains above 9 percent, and that does not even include the underemployed or those individuals no longer looking for a job.
Yet, despite the glum news in the list, many businesses are reporting stable or increased sales, increased productivity and solid profits. Is your business one of them? If not, you should be asking, “Why not?” and “What can I do to increase my business process efficiency?”
The answer can be partially explained by simple math and logic. For example: 68 + 1 – 7 = 62 represents a company that had 68 employees, hired an additional employee and laid off seven others, adjusting its staff total to 62. The new hire was a senior IT manager tasked with selecting and implementing the latest technologies to make the company more efficient and profitable. Automating operations meant that fewer staff people were required and seven people were now unemployed, but the company was more productive and profitable
Certainly, nobody wants to see anyone lose his job but, in our global economy, companies will either restructure their operations to compete or will have to close shop. FoIP, VoIP, Unified Communications, Virtual Offices and hosted services can all improve productivity and reduce costs. Employees can be fully mobile and work from home offices resulting in a win-win (and win):
Employees like working from home.
The company saves on office space, particularly for their mobile employees, who still have access to the communications capabilities.
Statistically, home office workers put in more hours per week than their in-office counterparts.
An added bonus is that Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) features are built in to most of these solutions so the entire operation is also more secure.
Stay tuned for more in Part 2 of the “Be Happy” series, including more on how FoIP and Unified Communications (News - Alert) technologies can help your business be a good place to work from efficiency, cost, and workplace morale perspectives.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.
Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Editorial Director of TMC, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to 2,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell