Improve customer service. Right size your company.

Now how do you improve customer service without a budget?

The bottom line is many opportunities exist within your scope of influence to reduce your company’s existing costs.  The real challenge is finding the time to investigate the savings and allocating those savings to the technology project of your choice.

It is not at all uncommon to find the savings in increased productivity, reduced manpower costs, and lower monthly utility costs.  Of course, the last item is where we find the hard dollars to justify the upgrade.  How do you reduce your monthly costs without having to put in more hours?  Hire a consultant!

There are two business models for cost reduction consultants.  Neither will cost your company a penny.  The first model is using the consultant’s expertise to reduce your costs by changing service providers.  These consultants, often called resellers, get paid by the service provider you switch to.   The second business model is that of the objective consultant.  They are called objective because they have no financial interest in the service provider you choose to do business with.  Their fee structure is based upon billing you for a percentage of the amount saved on an annual basis. One advantage of the reseller is that accounts payable do not have to be involved in cutting a check to the consultant.  The downside of the reseller is the concern over which vendor they are selling and wondering if they are truly acting in your best interest.  The advantage of the fee based consultant is they are also getting paid for their expertise and to act in your company’s interest, yet the more your company saves the more they earn.  The disadvantage of the independent consultant is involving accounts payable and negotiating terms of a contract with the consultant.

Which consultant model is better?  I’ve seen both models work very well for customers.   The decision is yours, but before you choose consider which method is going to be an “easier to sell” within your organization.

If you feel you could use a consultant and would like a recommendation for a specific type of consultant please feel free to give me a call.  I will give you a few names of competent and qualified consultants.

Craig Hodges

586-330-9252 DID/Cell

Continue reading


Purchasing 101

The nicest thing anyone would say about me when I was a Purchasing Agent is that he is a tough one, all business.  I had one caveat all my suppliers had to follow “Make me look good”.  That meant after your company was selected as a supplier the less I heard about your company from those in the field the better I looked, and every new supplier was crystal clear on that message.

Purchasing telecommunications equipment was much easier then than it is now.  When TDM PBX’s ruled the marketplace they controlled development and troubleshooting on everything from the handset to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).  The same thing could be said about the Carriers, they controlled everything from the CO to the PBX.  If a voice quality issue was discovered a single vendor meeting between the PBX representatives and Carrier would eliminate almost any issue.  Not so today.

IP PBX Manufacture’s and VoIP Dial Tone suppliers have a third, fourth and even fifth party to contend with and all these players have a very important part in ensuring voice quality.  If even one player drops the preverbal ball, poor voice quality results.  The companies involved today that were not involved 10 years ago are the customers LAN (Network Data Switches), WAN (Routers and WAN Accelerators) and Firewall (VPN etc).  These products are manufactured by hundreds of companies and the combination of these various pieces of equipment are infinite.  Now throw in a carrier that is unwilling to go the extra mile in selecting the proper codec or fine tuning their network equipment to eliminate voice quality issues and you have a real problems in the making.

What is the answer?  Decision Makers: Involve your Telephony equipment supplier when purchasing any data network hardware or Carrier Services.  They have become the de facto experts on setting up LAN’s and WAN’s due to the unforgiving nature of VoIP traffic.  They will not only look out for your interests today, but make sure you are considering the future benefits and potential savings into your selection process.  We are here to “Make you look good”.

Craig Hodges

586-330-9252 DID/Cell