Ways to Keep Video Conferencing Costs Low
Many businesses can be attracted to video conferencing because it is one effective way to cut costs. By meeting online instead of face-to-face meetings, companies will be able to save significant amount of money on travel and accommodation. According to Travel Leaders Corporate, a corporate travel management, the average costs for both domestic and international trips have increased from the first quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2013. International travel costs $2,398 while domestic travel costs $965.
There's also no hassle in setting up online meetings. Just determine the date and participants and send out the invitations and that's it.
There are many benefits to video conferences. They allow employees flexibility, which helps them achieve a better work-life balance. This often results to more productive and motivated workers. For companies, this is great news. Employees who are willing to work hard and go the extra mile can help contribute to the company's growth. The cost-effectiveness of video conferencing also appeals to many business owners, as services like the Blue Jeans Network can remove the expense of travel and much of the hassle from meetings.
Sadly, there may be companies that are spending more than they should. Instead of saving money, they end up paying more. This usually happens when companies are not careful when choosing the service provider or video conferencing package.
Here are some tips on how companies can take advantage of web conferencing while keeping costs down (or even lower):
Choose a Tool with an All-in-One Package
Before you decide on a service provider, determine first how often you'll hold meetings. If your business requires frequent meetings, then find a provider that can offer a flat monthly rate. You can't also be certain how long video calls last, and if you're paying per hour, expect the bill to add up. Plans that charge per meeting or per hour only save you money if you meet rarely or for short periods of time.
Experiment with Free Web Conference Tools
Companies that don't want to spend anything on video conferencing can try the free tools. There are plenty of them available on the web. These are ideal for those who don't need advanced features. If you're only going to need the video call feature, then the free tools should suffice. Small businesses may consider this, especially those who are not too concerned about ads, since many of these are ad-supported. However, they often have limits on the number of people who can be in a conference at one time, the technical support is usually minimal, and the call quality may be erratic.
By using Voice over Internet Protocol(VoIP) services, you don't incur phone costs. Since all calls are placed over the web, you can call anyone no matter where they are in the world. There are no additional costs no matter how long or often you make calls. You will still pay the agreed flat rate.
Only Invite People Required for the Meeting
There are video conference service providers that charge based on the number of participants. If this is the kind of service you have, then make sure to invite only the people who need to be in the meeting. This will help you keep costs down and ensure that the meeting goes well. Having too many people who aren't necessary to the meeting will make it take longer and could add to confusion or tangents you don't need to explore.
Only Pay for the Features You Need
When you look for video conferencing tools, you're going to see plenty of attractive plans. Some will offer you 1,000 minutes of video storage. Others may offer high definition. These all sound great, but do you really need them? They may well be additional costs that you can live without. Before you talk to service providers, list down the essentials. Determine the features you will need so you will know which features to refuse.
As with most services, do not settle with the first company you talk to. You might be impressed by the features they presented to you. Don't make a decision yet. Let them know that you are going to think about it. It's OK to consider other options – you want to find the best service and rates possible.
Acting on impulse can lead you to trouble. You may realize that you're stuck in a plan that is too expensive for your needs, with features that you can't use, and since you've signed an agreement, you have no other choice but to wait until the contract expires.
Affordable video conferencing is possible. You can find a service that lets you keep costs low without compromising the quality of service you can provide your customers. Go in with a plan so that you can find a service that meets all your needs and will work with you to make sure your plan is exactly what you want.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.