Maximum return

Your wireless warriors are everywhere, but are you maximizing the return on your investment in their phones?With the dizzying array of plans available, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important to your company.

“A lot of people have concerns about the wireless usage of their employees,” says Michael J. Kavalecz, the Northeast Ohio business sales manager for Sprint PCS. “They’re worried about whether they are using the phone for personal calls. They shouldn’t have concerns if they’re on the right rate plan. If they are, then they will have quite a few minutes to spare.”

Kavalecz recommends a company assess how long their employees are on the phone, who they are calling and where they are at. That should give a good estimate of what the minimum requirements will be for a rate plan. Once the assessment is complete, the employer should negotiate a rate for everyone from the same provider.

“We never advise that an employer let the employees go out and get their own phones,” says Kavalecz. “The employees typically go for the cheapest account just in case they leave the company. They run up the minutes for business usage, then the employer gets stuck with paying for all the extra minutes because the employees are expensing the costs.”

A business can typically negotiate a better rate for everyone using the buying power of multiple lines. In some cases, the business may be able to negotiate the rate, but have the phones actually belong to the employees who pay for their own accounts.

The capabilities of phones are expanding rapidly. If you want your employees to be able to do some mobile computing functions, check for capabilities like checking e-mail, accessing their calendars or even accessing a customer relationship management database if you have one. Take advantage of long distance minutes on the wireless phones to cut down your long distance costs at the office, and explore some of the proprietary options available like radio functions and text messaging.

As functionality improves, there’s less need to spend time at the office.”It’s all about eliminating what’s time consuming,” says Kavalecz. “It increases productivity and by being mobile, we can get rid of the brick and mortar structure. The potential of true mobile computing is endless.”