9 WWW.COMSOURCEMI.COM 877-5RADIOS EVALUATING YOUR NEEDS DEFINE WHERE YOU ARE Has your organization grown rapidly since your last communication review? More staff, bigger premises, new systems and networks? If so, you’ve probably outgrown your platform and may even have spotted the danger signs – unreliable communications across your facilities, inability to access certain data services, lack of capacity. These shortfalls impact on your efficiency, productivity and safety. EVOLVING YOUR COMMUNICATIONS Think about your needs. Here are some pointers that may help you decide how to progress. Once you have considered where you want to be, look at the features and functions that will get you there. These may include: COST As well as fixing your budget, consider how important predictability is – some solutions come with uncontrollable costs, such as mobile phones where monthly usage fluctuates. Ensure costs are known and manageable – consider capex, opex or mixed funding models. USAGE Look at what your people are doing and how it impacts on their equipment – some devices are fragile and easily damaged with high repair or replacement costs. Rugged, waterproof devices protect communications from drops and the elements. SAFETY Especially critical in hazardous environments where workers are isolated, real - time monitoring helps you avoid undetected accidents, severe injury and litigation. Lone Worker, Man Down, location tracking with Bluetooth and GNSS, and extended battery life help keep vulnerable workers safe. NOISE Loud environments such as factories make communicating effectively very difficult – if noise is a factor, consider clear audio solutions that prevent conversations getting lost. Intelligent Audio and noise cancellation provide clear conversations in the noisiest of environments. SECURITY If you work in a public or highly sensitive environment, implementing a solution with integrated security such as encryption leaves you less prone to damaging attacks. Encrypted messaging prevents eavesdropping from unauthorized users. COVERAGE If your environment contains known black spots, implementing a solution with indifferent coverage will make communication unreliable and give a low return on investment. Some higher-powered devices feature extended coverage and wider ranges. INTEROPERABILITY Ask yourself how well different teams can communicate – if you have multiple devices in use with no or limited communication between them, it’s time to change. Connected communications is all about unifying teams and linking individuals together, regardless of device – everyone works as one, whether using radios, phones, tablets or PC. EFFICIENCY Think about whether you are making the most of the technology available to you – would your teams be more efficient with devices that do more? Integrated applications help you run and monitor operations seamlessly. PRODUCTIVITY Evaluate the way your staff use their devices - could they be more productive, for example, if they worked hands-free? Compatible accessories such as hands - free headsets enhance performance. SUMMARY NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATIONS Every business or public-sector service is different with its own set of challenges and pressures. Objectives may be unique but there is a common denominator – every organization is underpinned by efficiency, productivity and safety. These three criteria also underpin the core values of a reliable communications network. Understanding that communications are critical is an essential first step, but how do you move on to find precisely the right solution for your needs? Especially as there’s no one device that will suit all. In the next chapter, we look at the different two-way radio solutions you could consider to help create the ideal communications network for your business. THREE THINGS TO CONSIDER 1. Is your business being held back because workers can’t reach the people who matter when it matters? 2. Does your incident response plan include reliable and effective communications? 3. Are your staff focused on the most immediate, income-generating or target-hitting tasks in an efficient way?