By now it should be no surprise to anyone that every business is looking to cut costs. In an economic recession like the one we are in, even those business that are still doing well are cutting costs as the future is so unknown. There is one area of cost cutting that is so simple and so close to everyone in a company…and yet most companies don’t really focus on it.
With so many remote employees, the conference call line is necessity of modern business. As a career member of sales teams, I have always had my own personal conference line. This conference line consists of both a toll free and a toll dial in number. Most of the time when I get a conference call invite in my inbox, the location is the toll free conference line number. And most of the time this is costing the company more money that it should.
At a previous company, an analysis was done of our telecom usage. It was concluded that we were wasting over $100,000 a year on duplicate phone charges from our conference calls alone (and this was a company of less than 500 people). Every time we would dial the toll free conference call number, we were paying substantially more than if we were to use the toll number. Add on to that the fact that we were usually dialing that toll free number from a company phone, and we were getting double billed: once for the local phone change and once for the toll free conference line.
By raising the awareness of this situation to the entire company and by adapting user’s behaviors — we all started to include both the toll and toll free conference line number in meeting invites and always dialed the toll number when using a company paid for phone line — the company was able to save a substantial portion of this $100,000 per year phone waste.
Extrapolate this estimated wastefulness up (or down) to the size of your company and see how much money you might be wasting yearly. Changing your corporate and personal behavior is an easy way to reduce this waste.
A helpful tip for companies of all sizes during these economic times.
Update: A client of mine brought up an interesting point during a recent discussion on this topic. His company uses IP Phones internally. With the phones leveraging the exising data network, calls within any location for the company world wide are free. But, when someone dials a toll-free conference call number, they are routed outside the network and start to incure a phone charge. This client happens to produce their own conferencing solution, so the costs really start to add up when the toll-free confernce numbers are called since the entire conference system is “free per use” as long as they don’t leave their IP network.