Analyse your own telephone expenses

Action to be taken
1. PABX System Rental and maintenance agreements.
Scrutinize these thoroughly and add up what it costs you simply to have the equipment with which to phone! This is a simple accounting exercise which often surprises you! In many instances the maintenance fee for the month, will equal the monthly expense on a different system with improved technology. This technology is what saves you the money!!
a) Check Bank Statements or expenses

enquiries@phonebooth.co.za will assist you in finding a suitable supplier
2. Bad calling habits.
Have you ever calculated how much it costs you to be on hold for 4 minutes? It is cheaper to leave a message and then send an e-mail.
b) Check the Telkom 2004 telephone account for the new rates
3. Simple Logic!
Who gets the most messages in your company? Is this because the person is out of the building or simply out of the office but on the premises? A cordless phone can save thousands of rands per annum with calls being transferred as opposed to being returned!
c) Let the Receptionist keep a log
4. Abuse?
Everyone hates being monitored! A Telephone Management System is a useful tool in many ways. See it as a cost saver for the company, but as the one tool which can most probably pay for your year-end bonus! It is also the tool that a really busy receptionist can use to convince her boss that she needs assistance at certain times of the day OR to prove to the boss that it is her telecanvassing that is bringing in the orders!
d) Does your TMS software reflect 2004 rates?
e) Do you have TMS software?
f) Do you check it?
enquiries@phonebooth.co.za will assist you in finding a suitable supplier
5. Neglect?
Do you know where each and every telephone number of your oganisation rings when dialed? There are many different ways in which to put a telephone infrastructure together, some more expensive than others, but it is your responsibility to take control of this. Make sure you know - many will be surprised to see how many unused numbers there are on your telephone bill. Ensure that YOU are aware - do not pay rental on unused lines!
g) Do a "clean-up" excercise
6. Cellular Communications!
It is cheaper to phone cell to cell. Fixed Cellular Units are the most simple and effective way of controlling telephone costs today. If your telephone bill Telkom to cell is R4000 per month, your saving is approximately R1200.00.
h) Check if there are any cellphone calls reflecting on the Telkom account.
i) Make sure you have the latest router technology
enquiries@phonebooth.co.za will assist you in finding a suitable supplier
7. Use e-mail.
Compile your mail off-line (not applicable if you have a 24/7/365 connection)
8. E-mail rather than fax - it is cheaper, quicker and more reliable.
9. Remember that your telephone is your business' biggest key to success.
Treat your callers with respect, return your calls promptly and encourage your colleagues to do so. This leads to effective and cheap communications.
j) Do your staff need training and motivation?
enquiries@phonebooth.co.za will assist you in finding a suitable supplier
10. Does your internet access bill on a dial-up line exceed R1200 per month?
Have you enquired about ADSL from Telkom. This gives you a 24/7/365 connection at about R800 per month.
k) Check the Telkom account
11. Do your interbranch calls eg. Cape Town to Jhb and back run into thousands?
Have you considered a Diginet connection?
l) If you do not have these figures - ask Telkom for a detailed account.
enquiries@phonebooth.co.za will assist you in finding a suitable supplier
12. Does your company pay the bill for more than one cellphone account?
Most households even do! Have you scrutinized the packages and ascertained how many of those calls are made to the office?
On mobile communications alone you can save a huge amount of money. Are the packages correct?
Is call back being utilized on the Fixed Cellular Unit?
Do you have all your cell phone accounts with one company so that you can negotiate discounts?
m)Have your accountant draw up a spreadsheet for these accounts only - which gets reviewed every 6 months minimum.
enquiries@phonebooth.co.za will assist you in finding a suitable supplier
13. Have you investigated the option of bundle SMS's.
This is designed for companies making many phonecalls to confirm appointments, payment reminders etc.
enquiries@phonebooth.co.za will assist you in finding a suitable supplier
14. Do you make a large number of international calls?
Are you using international routers?
n) Check the Telkom account
enquiries@phonebooth.co.za will assist you in finding a suitable supplier

To summarise:

The following details are required to make a comprehensive study of the communications infrastructure cost at your company. (It is suggested that you take an average cost over 3 months in most cases)

a) Telkom to cell costs - from Telkom account
b) Fixed Cellular costs - if you already have cell routers in place.
c) Mobile Cellular costs - per package (and how many of the calls are being made to the office -rand value)
d) Internet dial-up costs
e) Inter-branch calls (both sides as one)
f) Cost of existing telephone equipment (rental and maintenance separately)
g) Cost of existing Telkom lines (rental only) and where each line is utilized and what for (eg. Voice, fax, modem, speedpoint, alarm etc)
h) Cost of current international calls and where the majority are being made to. i.e physical location Netherlands, UK etc.
i) Type of Telephone Management System. Has it been upgraded to reflect the most recent cost of calls? What type of report does it give you?
j) Number of extension users in the company and what is the practical use of those users who are not desk bound?

With the above information at hand, you are in a good position to start making decisions to put the most cost effective and practical communications infrastructure together.

For assistance with any of the above please contact debbie@phonebooth.co.za