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By: Nigel Barnett
Published: 13th Jul 2016
Global 4 could save pharmaceuticals up to 40% with flexible commitment. Some long standing issues we have seen in the industry include:
Nigel Barnett, Managing Director at Global 4 discusses the process of improving telecoms in the pharmaceutical industry and the role of Global 4 as a market leader.
A passion for telecoms
Selling telephone systems and data circuits might seem boring to many, but to me, it’s the most exciting thing ever! That’s because I understand that communication is the core of any business.
Over the last 20 years, my company, Global 4, has established itself as a telecommunications market leader in many different sectors. We supply telecommunications to 48% of UK estate agents, 15% of garage forecourts, 10% of retail stores, and many leading charities.
In May 2017, I attended a petrol forecourt industry event in Spain, which was part of a special offer that involved staying a few days after the forecourt event to take part in a pharmacy conference and exhibition, to which many industry leaders were going.
The pharmacy event mainly discussed the Government potentially cutting the income of pharmaceutical companies by up to 20 percent.
Meeting industry leaders
I met with 18 leading pharmacy groups who quickly realised that they had to change their business models if they wanted to increase sales and replace the margin that was being cut by the Government. In turn, they all made me feel very welcome and thought it would be mutually beneficial to have a meeting on their return to the UK.
Since getting back to the UK, I have travelled the length and breadth of the country, including Northern Ireland, meeting industry leaders on their homeground. While there are still some companies left to meet, I feel my findings are worth sharing.
What needs to change?
My first observation is that while each company has different telephony business processes, there are some inefficiencies that could be easily rectified. For example, using several different suppliers that are not regularly reviewed or monitored on usage and performance. Often a business will save money if it has one supplier for several services and good oversight.
Secondly, exploring call data from those companies reveals some interesting results. The busiest times of day for calls are in the morning and at lunchtime, but nearly a third of these calls go unanswered, with one in five customers encountering an engaged tone. Every missed call could be a missed sales opportunity and there are often other lines sitting unused at those times.
Further, many believe that they have a great call package, but are in fact victims of high call charges. The average mobile call cost for pharmaceutical companies is 6p per minute, which is more than treble the price it should be of 2p. The same is true for local and national landline calls: many are paying 3p per minute when they could be paying less than 1p.
Line rental charges are all over the place and companies are still paying for services they no longer use. Many were also receiving broadband that offered a residential quality service at business prices.
Benefits of upgrading to hosted telephony
The alternative is hosted telephony that wraps up all the services with one provider. Rather than having an entire telephone system on the premises, key functions and hardware are offered remotely. This means that only one telephone line and a quality fibre broadband connection are needed to offer a multi-extension, multi-device, and multifunction system.
Advantages include being able to provide customers with key information when on hold or when they call out-of-hours, having an unlimited number of extensions, being able to answer calls anywhere, and having high-quality audio.
The added benefit is that instead of paying for multiple phone lines, there is only the need to pay for one, which costs around £10.50 per month. With fibre broadband only costing £25 and £7 for each extension, free inter-site calls, 2p mobile calls, and 1p landline calls, capped at a maximum of £50 per site per month, and no sneaky hidden charges, the savings could be huge.
Get in touch today
So there is a lot to do and my team are available and would enjoy advising you on a solution for your business.
Nigel Barnett, MD