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Market Trend: How to Reduce Costs & Increase Productivity
April 2, 2009 @ 12:42 PM | By Guest Blogger

The real cost of travel

Please welcome a guest blogger and InterCall Associate Marketing Manager, Dan Carroll.

Anyone else feeling a little stressed? Maybe a better word is pressured. I like to stay informed and the news has been more than dismal lately. Everywhere you turn you hear about the economy. With that comes extra stress in the workplace and added pressure. The only option companies have is to ride out the storm as best they can. It’s a tough situation. Everyone is trying to cut costs and do more with less.

In a recent survey done by Challenger, Grey, and Christmas, an outplacement consulting organization, approximately 92% of companies are cutting costs given the unfortunate economic conditions. Ninety-two percent…that’s incredible. And you know what else is incredible? Sixty seven percent of the companies surveyed are doing just that by reducing travel expenses.

If you follow the InterCall blog, or pay close attention to the conferencing industry, this idea of travel reduction should be of no surprise to you. In today’s market, conferencing is a necessary tool in order to communicate effectively, efficiently and economically. Even if the economy were to get back on its feet tomorrow, we’d still be touting the cost savings of travel reduction because it’s a proven way for companies to do more with less.

To illustrate, let’s say you have five people traveling on a business trip from Los Angeles to Chicago. That may include two nights in a hotel and a rental car. The meeting itself is scheduled for three hours, and a total of 10 participants will be present. Did you know that if you chose to conduct this meeting instead over the web, you would have saved your company approximately $7000?

I’ve never claimed to be a mind reader but I’m guessing you’d be pretty hard-pressed to argue with those savings... it’s a lot of money. And that’s just the beginning. Imagine how much you could save in the long-term if you continue to use conferencing as the first choice for meetings.

Cost savings are exciting. But you may ask yourself if conferencing actually performs.  Is conferencing really the better alternative? As one of our customers put it, “If it doesn’t work, the cost is irrelevant.” So, how does conferencing allow you to connect more efficiently with others? How does it allow you to get more done? What’s in it for you? These are all valid questions, with fitting answers. There are substantial benefits in addition to the cost savings aspect.

According to a joint survey conducted by InterCall and Wainhouse Research, more than 80% of all employee respondents are doing more work than ever before. Additionally, 60% of people surveyed say they work with more people than in the past. Clearly, people need to perform as efficiently as possible in order to reach a set level of productivity. One of the trademark advantages of conferencing is its ability to increase productivity across all levels of an organization—and it does this in three ways.

2009-03-31-productivity-gra It allows for effective and proficient communication.

Have you ever felt like there was a disconnect between two departments at your workplace? And that disconnect created more work for you? You’re probably nodding your head vigorously. Let’s say your company acquired a competitor. Because of this acquisition, there will be very significant changes for your sales staff and they need to know about it immediately. In minutes, you can gather all company employees on a phone and web conference and explain the changes.

It enhances the ability to collaborate with others regardless of where they’re located.

Conferencing allows you to communicate easily, but what about the work? What about the project that’s not on target for completion? Now, I don’t advocate procrastination by any means, but what I am supporting is the ability to connect you with coworkers for real time collaboration.

Referencing the same survey above, 72% of individuals are using conferencing or holding conferences more frequently to increase productivity. That is their motive, they say. And 70% of these people claim to be very productive. Here is a perfect example of how it works.

Let’s say you have Excel documents. Lots of them. And the focus of your project is to combine the numbers so that they clearly indicate what kind of revenue your company’s new flagship product is bringing in. They have to be correct, because your boss is going to be presenting them to the company executives. What conferencing allows you to do is work from anywhere, with anyone. In this case, simply hop on the web with your colleague located on the other side of the pond, log into the web conferencing service and start reviewing the data while discussing the details over the phone.


It increases the organization’s level of knowledge and expertise because conferencing serves as a tool for hiring and retaining top talent.

So now that we’ve discussed the potential of conferencing to allow for greater communication and collaboration, how can we use this tool to better the company as a whole? How do you attract the best people into your organization and increase productivity based on human ingenuity? Once again, the answer is conferencing.

With a global economy, the best talent may not be local.  If your company wants expand your pool of potential new hires, the greatest prospects may be located around the world. Instead of spending time and money on travel, hold conferences with the candidates first. Then, instead of flying all ten candidates in, fly in the top few. You now have the best people ready to work for you and it was done in a very efficient and effective way.

Remember that conferencing does not just include phone calls. There are many services that can be integrated for a custom solution based on your needs. In these times, it’s important to remember that any vendor should be a partner in your success.  Keep in touch and ask them for help, ideas and suggestions. If there are questions that we can answer for you, please list them in the comments below or contact a conferencing expert.

Danc Daniel Carroll, is an Associate Marketing Manager and the company's resident competitive intel and market trends research guru. He earned a BBA in Marketing at Temple University. In his spare time he likes to swim, rollerblade and sample fine italian cuisine.

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Comments

Adam

interesting case study.well done

@MichaelDeutch

Great article Daniel. Mindjet's customers utilize the power of mind mapping with MindManager to facilitate online meetings, build alignment and drive innovation. The combination of conferencing, web meetings & mind mapping is not only financially smart but also tremendously effective.

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