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Communication is of the utmost importance and plays a key role in workplace productivity and safety – especially in fast-paced environments. You would assume then that most organisations would have robust, built-for-business communications devices.

However, the truth is that most don’t.

Surprisingly, a good portion of “modern” organisations still neglect the importance of a comprehensive communications structure – and when it comes to the communication devices supplied to individual personnel, they choose to use mobile phones instead of two-way radio solutions or other sophisticated devices.

But why?

In this blog, we’ll highlight just why some organisations have failed to acquire more applicable communications devices such as two-way radios.

  1. Not aware of the business benefits

Two-way radios have a number of business benefits over smartphones for both commercial and business-specific use cases – but many organisations are unaware of them.

Some of the most important benefits are:

  • Lower costs: two-way radios cost less than modern smartphone devices and provide far greater functionality.
  • Expandable and encrypted communications: two-way radio solutions can be expanded and restricted as necessary. For example, two-way radios can be restricted to certain channels (so users cannot communicate with anyone other than their team or within the business) and most systems use advanced encryption so conversations are kept private and secure.
  • Durability: unlike smartphones which are designed for consumer use, two-way radios are designed for specific business environments and can be modified as necessary to be more rugged or durable.
  • Reliability and consistency: mobile phones are dependent on network coverage for signal quality and audio clarity. Two-way radios use their own channels (and channels can be assigned for specific teams) so that multiple people can communicate at any time and without the loss of audio quality or clarity.
  • Employee tracking and security: as well as being expandable, two-way radios can also be incorporated into a modern digital communications network to help support business security and employee safety. Most modern two-way radios come equipped with GPS – and that GPS can be combined with other technology to provide accurate, real-time positioning and tracking.
  • Purpose-built: no matter the environment, two-way radio solutions (with the right supplier) can be configured (at purchase) to meet the needs of an organisation and its employees, avoiding the complex configuration associated with mobile devices.
  1. Misconceptions around the costs of deployment and maintenance

Two of the main barriers to two-way radio adoption amongst organisations is the cost of deployment and the maintenance of devices.

The issue is that for many organisations, the digital communications infrastructure has been developed in a piecemeal fashion.

These organisations find solutions or software that can integrate into and work alongside what they have already and proceed that way, not considering the long-term strategy behind it.

So, when it comes to the implementation of a brand-new system, i.e. two-way radio solutions, these businesses see it as synonymous with an overhaul, and it’s something they simply do not have the time nor budget for.

However, the deployment of two-way radios into a business’ communications infrastructure is much easier than what these businesses have been led to believe and much more affordable than trying to manage a series of individual communications solutions. Often, two-way radio providers can manage the implementation of the radios into an existing communications infrastructure and slowly “retire” mobile devices without any loss in the organisation’s communication capacity or capability

Furthermore, two-way radio maintenance is far easier (and less costly) than mobile phone maintenance. In the event a mobile device breaks down, a ticket needs to be raised for an RMA and then it needs to be sent back to the manufacturer.

Most two-way radio solution providers, on the other hand, can have an engineer on-site within a day to help resolve the problem and ensure business continues as usual as soon as possible.

  1. Unaware of what their employees need  

Worryingly, many organisations acquire communications solutions without actually being certain of what their employees need.

For instance, 82% of companies use mobile phones as their primary communications system in the field despite acknowledging that these devices are not the best solution to ensuring worker safety – according to a Hytera research paper – More Than Just a Radio.

In fast-paced industries, particularly those of a harsh and/or hazardous nature, knowing employee communication requirements is crucial. Much of this comes down to the assessment of the business environment:

  • Do employees need rugged and robust devices?
  • Do they need to communicate in real-time?
  • Do they need lone worker/man down functionality?
  • Do they need to be able to access certain communication networks?
  • Do they need to communicate to certain teams?
  • Do they need GPS?

It’s clear that some organisations forgo this process and fail to ask the most pertinent questions before acquiring communications solutions – instead opting to go for the cheapest (but not most effective) option available: mobile phones.

To actually develop a comprehensive communications infrastructure, organisations need to carefully consider the operational environment, as well as the needs of their employees.

  1. Think their current solutions are “enough”

If it’s working – don’t fix it, right? Wrong.

For organisations to remain competitive, it’s important to optimise activities and have the latest and most effective solutions; and at the forefront for many organisations is communication.

In retail and manufacturing in particular, real-time communication is often what separates the wheat from the chaff. Retailers are expected to be able to respond to customer purchases whenever, wherever and that must also be communicated to those in the warehouse for picking and distribution.

A streamlined communications process will allow organisations to maximise their returns and improve productivity significantly. Thinking that current solutions are “enough” is an easy way for organisations to fall behind and fail to capitalise on the clear benefits that two-way radio solutions can provide.

For example, with a two-way radio a shop assistant in the retail store can immediately communicate to a specific team in a warehouse, letting them know that they require stock x or stock y and that it needs to be packaged and shipped by x. With mobile phones, that shop assistant would have to communicate with each team separately (perhaps the team manager) which takes much longer and introduces delays into the supply chain.

Conclusion:

The development of communications infrastructure – especially with the number of digital solutions available – needs to be carefully considered and developed in a strategic, end-to-end fashion. Building a network in a piecemeal fashion will naturally introduce gaps and be harder to manage in the long term. For organisations utilising mobile phones over two-way radio solutions, it’s time to move over to two-way radios and take advantages of the clear benefits they offer in terms of performance and the expansion of communications for both now and the long term.

At DTS, we specialise in two-way radios, business communication devices and communications infrastructure. We modify our communication devices to meet your business-specific needs and requirements, and have expert technicians who can maintain and enhance your communications as necessary. If you are thinking of acquiring two-way radios or expanding your communications infrastructure, please get in touch and we’ll see how we can help.

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