10 Ways a small company decreases overhead and creates revenue with videoconferencing

Outside sales without going outside   A small company can sign up with a hosted videoconferencing service and connect to clients and prospects without the need to purchase hardware or the need for the prospect or customer to subscribe to any hosted service.  This becomes a virtual company car traveling in several directions simultaneously at light speed. The ROI is almost immediate — More face time with clients with less sales people and a significant decrease in fuel expenses. (Sales Article)

Customer service and support   A small company’s customer service reps can meet with existing clients using a hosted videoconferencing to help resolve software problems in real-time, share information for trouble shooting, help customers update orders or resolve order discrepancies.  Using standards based videoconferencing all of the above applications are simple.  Additionally, on-site tech support can be accomplished on the factory floor using an iPad; iPhone or Smart phone.

 – Productivity   A small company with employees working from home in remote locations can increase productivity substantially eliminating trips and per diem costs going back and forth to the home office.  Small companies get the most out of field service reps and regional managers working in remote locations.

Management & Administration   Small companies really need to work more efficiently these days to survive, let alone thrive. Day to day operations run much more smoothly when all remote parties can meet face-to-face on video for management meetings.  For example Job interviews of potential candidates can easily be recorded through a hosted service or on a thumb drive with some videoconferencing systems.  Recordings can easily be shared through a link.  Also, participants miss fewer meetings.

Product training   Small distributors and manufacture’s reps can use videoconferencing to launch new products.  A critical part of this launch is new product training.  Using a hosted videoconferencing bridging service you can connect with many locations simultaneously and train everybody in one day with the entanglements and big expense of travel. The ROI in this application is immediate.

Supply Chain management   Supply chain management is critical part of any small manufacturer. Face to face video meetings with vendors and key partners can certainly increase efficiency.  Visits to key vendors can be significantly reduced while developing a closer a more efficient relationship with vendors.

Quality Control  A small manufacturer achieves better quality control when issues occur in the manufacturing process.  For example if a vendor ships a faulty part, the faulty part can be seen in real-time on video with the explanation on how it’s affecting the assembly line.  A small manufacturer can take the vendor right out to the factory floor via video to show problems in real time — Solutions present themselves quickly.

Marketing   One small manufacturer in Canada put a videoconferencing CODEC in their show room and published their public IP video number on their web site with an open invitation to connect and look around. Because they are using standards based videoconferencing, visitors can remotely take control of their PTZ, (Pan Tilt Zoom), camera and look around the show room on their own. They literally opened a video store front whereby any visitor can just pop in.  Staff is trained to welcome visitors and see if they need any help.  This is a genius marketing move on their part especially when most of their customers are in the videoconferencing business. (Link to VFI article).

Trade show participation   Some small companies are connecting videoconferencing from the trade show floor to the home office.  If key clients visit the exhibit and they need to meet with a design engineer or sales rep at the home office they can get business done right at the trade show exhibit.

Telecommuting on snow days   Just because the roads are closed doesn’t mean a small business needs to be closed.  Employees can still show up for work via videoconference through the Internet.   All the planned meetings can still take place complete with white board and collaboration through a videoconference hosted service.  The meeting can be recorded for later viewing for those who could not make the meeting.

As videoconferencing becomes more ubiquitous, more applications will present themselves. The bottom line is that videoconferencing affects the bottom line.  It all boils down to saving time and saving money.

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