Working Remotely with T Mobile and Pointer
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Pointer: Business 1-Plan tariff helps top UK engineering firm increase productivity and cut costs.
- Mobile technologies drive increased productivity
- New tariff results in cost savings
- Mobile communications strategy key to attracting and retaining staff
Industry: Security engineering firm
Number of employees: 180+
Number of location/offices: 4 UK locations: Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow
Devices: 170 connections in total: 50 x 3G data cards, 20 x Blackberry Bold, 100 x Nokia phones and 4 x G1 phones
“The Business 1-Plan tariff creates a level of transparency which means we are able to predict costs and avoid ‘bill shock’ at the end of each month. In the current turbulent economic environment being able to track our costs on an ongoing basis is of huge benefit.”
Stuart McKillop, Head of IT, Pointer Ltd
Pointer Ltd is one of the largest independent regional security integrators in the UK, specialising in the design, integration, installation, maintenance and monitoring of CCTV, IP video, access control, intruder and fire systems. The firm has been in business for over 35 years and its clients range from blue-chip to public sector organisations including police forces, prison and correctional facilities, utilities companies and educational establishments.
Pointer employs over 180 people across the Midlands, the North of England and Scotland, with offices in Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow, where the headquarters are based. The firm has also expanded into Thailand where it employs a further 20 staff. Pointer has an approximate turnover of £15m per annum.
Pointer prides itself on its customer service and needed a mobile solution which would help its sales managers and engineers meet and exceed the needs of an expanding and varied customer base.
Whilst Pointer engineers need to be on call throughout the day and night installing and servicing systems, the sales managers will travel across counties to speak to new leads and maintain relationships with existing customers.
With an increase in new business, which saw a rise in demands on its engineering staff; Pointer had to ensure it achieved its business objectives by enabling staff to effectively manage their work loads.
Stuart McKillop, Head of IT at Pointer says: “The majority of our sales managers and engineers work from home or spend a lot of their time on the road. In the past many would return to the office to check e-mails and this took a big chunk of time out of their day. Considering we offer a 24/7, 365 day service, investing in a cost efficient mobile communications strategy was crucial.”
Pointer has been a T-Mobile customer for a number of years and recently signed up for the Business 1-Plan tariff. Since the early implementation of T-Mobile devices for its sales staff, Pointer has now adopted 3G data cards, BlackBerry Bold smartphones and G1 devices.
The Business 1-Plan tariff is a shared plan where companies purchase a tailored allowance of minutes, text and data across a number of users; enabling the firm to accurately predict its business costs. The tariff offers a host of other benefits including international calls from the UK, as part of the minutes allowance, unlimited calls to UK landlines, as well as unlimited UK texts and free colleague-to-colleague calls. It also includes European Shared Call Allowances, meaning that roaming bundles are shared throughout a company rather than being allocated to individual users.
“T-Mobile has been our mobile communications provider for a number of years now and we’ve always been happy with the service we’ve received. When we were looking at how we could cut our mobile communication costs even further, the Business 1-Plan it recommended was the perfect fit for our business needs.” says McKillop.
Pointer has found that the T-Mobile Business 1-Plan has worked out significantly cheaper than the firm’s previous communications tariff. Although Pointer has only recently signed up, the firm is already cutting costs. By purchasing a tailored allowance of minutes, text and data, Pointer is better able to manage costs and operate on a day-to-day basis in a manner that suits staff and client needs, without the worry of a large bill at the end of the month.
McKillop notes: “The Business 1-Plan tariff creates a level of transparency which means we are able to predict costs and avoid ‘bill shock’ at the end of each month. In the current turbulent economic environment being able to track our costs on an ongoing basis is of huge benefit.”
Mobile technology has helped ensure that staff responsiveness has improved. This is particularly important for the engineers who spend most of their time out of the office affixing and maintaining Pointer systems. The devices have made a significant contribution to the firm’s ability to respond quickly to client requests and queries.
With Pointer’s staff situated across the country the company now relies on mobile technology to stay in touch. When visiting more remote areas having access to mobile broadband has proved of great benefit.
“We’ve found T-Mobile’s Mobile Broadband Network to be both reliable and to offer excellent coverage across the UK. Having access to the internet wherever they are, allows our sales staff and engineers to maintain the excellent customer service we pride ourselves on and simultaneously increase productivity,” says McKillop.
Staff Attraction and Retention
Pointer believes that the ability to work flexibly is not only an essential part of business operations but also plays a key role in reducing staff turnover. Many of the recent joiners at Pointer have actively requested the ability to work remotely.
McKillop says: “I am convinced the widespread adoption of smartphone devices and the use of the Business 1-Plan tariff has helped us to retain and attract staff.”
Pointer continues to look at ways to improve its use of mobile communications in order to further increase productivity and make life easier for its disparate workforce.
Having been impressed with the service it has received from T-Mobile so far, the company now plans to update its communications offering for staff. Pointer expects an increase in the use of BlackBerry devices, as well as an increase in 3G data cards.
“As mobile communications technologies progress we need to be moving forward and at the moment working closely with T-Mobile is the most viable way to do this,” comments McKillop.
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