Manufacturers are hurt by downtime more than just about any other industry. If one cog in the machine stops working your entire business could be at risk. We know how many new challenges this industry is facing, with ongoing disruption from Covid, supply chain issues and rising prices. Without the right technology and oversight there’s potential for your operation to be massively disrupted or grind to a halt entirely.
We know that manufacturing businesses, from SMEs to multi-site enterprises, have a lot on their plate. However there’s one more factor that needs to be discussed, and that’s the PSTN switch off. In 2025 all analogue (also known as landline) phone lines will switch off permanently. This means every one of your analogue systems needs to be replaced before then. This is more than just phones too, with CCTV and intercom systems being affected as well.
At YTL we’re here to help. We’ve been helping businesses move from analogue systems to newer internet-based services for years now. As an independent provider, we wanted to give you our advice for the services that can transform a manufacturing phone system for the better.
Should you invest in a hosted phone system?
When researching new phone systems, this is the first question on many business owners’ minds. In recent years providers have offered businesses the opportunity to ditch the servers and installation in favour of hosting their communications in the cloud.
A cloud phone system has many advantages for a manufacturing business. The first is the fact you don’t need to host any equipment on site. Instead, your provider maintains it all in a secure cloud data centre. It also means that any new updates and maintenance happen overnight, keeping you up to date with all the latest features and security systems.
There’s also the price. Instead of a steep initial outlay for equipment, you just pay a single monthly fee for the cloud licenses you are actually using. We also know many businesses who upgrade to the cloud will still keep their on-premise service as a backup, so there’s lots of options open to you.
How to keep your phone system secure?
Cyber-security has become a huge concern for nearly every business. Attacks have been sharply on the rise since 2020 and with the BBC this week reporting more incidents due to foreign threats. This applies to business IT first and foremost, but communications need to be kept secure as well.
Telecoms fraud is on the rise. Fraudsters can hack into phone systems and use them to make fraudulent calls with the intent to call premium rate numbers and rack up some staggering call charges. These charges then usually become payments directly to the hackers.
New call analytics services can help you spot when fraudulent activity might be taking place. This is a simple dashboard with rich analytics features. It allows you to spot suspicious out-of-hours calls or calls to international numbers. You can limit functionality on your system to prevent these types of calls altogether.
How to call between multiple sites?
We’ve worked with many businesses over the years, including in the manufacturing sector, that have multiple sites but essentially function as separate businesses. This because their communications systems aren’t connected and they can’t rely on other branches when busy. This leads to customers waiting for significantly longer than needed in call queues.
With our cloud phone systems all of your sites can be connected to the same platform. This means that calls can be routed between them whenever needed. Customers who call one site and are routed to another won’t even be able to tell the difference. This massively takes the pressure off customer service teams and enables better collaboration.
Can you record calls?
Call recording massively improves your quality control. In an industry where a single mistake could cost thousands for you or your customers, it’s important to maintain consistent oversight during every step of your manufacturing process. Recording and reviewing calls alongside your customer service team allows you to do this.
Our communication service can come equipped with cloud call recording. This can automatically record all calls, or it can be activated at the push of a button. It also allows you to monitor live calls. Recorded calls are automatically stored in a cloud database and can be randomly sampled for quality control purposes.
Can your WiFi support IP communications?
An important consideration you need to have before you make the switch to a new phone system is whether your connection can support it. Especially with the rise of video conferencing, you need a service that keeps your entire site connected.
We offer fibre broadband that can be tailored to the size of your premise, allowing you to stay online while also hosting websites, VPNs and security services on site. We also offer WiFi access points that allow staff on your shop floor to stay connected.
At YTL we’re an independent provider, which means we can mix and match the best services to provide you with the right system for your needs, as opposed to being contractually bound to a single brand. If you’d like to find out more about our services get in touch at 01924 281 241.