New technologies, trends, products and fashions often go through a maturation process. They have a simple, rough beginning, and proceed to become more sophisticated as they evolve to a “complete” status. Employee communication systems are no exception. At first they were a curiosity, then a nice-to-have. Today, a production or service company that does not have its employee communications in ship-shape needs to either get on board quickly, or face their competitors who are on top of it.
At the turn of the last century, you could decide to become a doctor by simply hanging up your shingle and ordering the medical supplies you needed to run a country practice. Regulation was almost non-existent, and you could learn as you went along. “Medicine” was definitely far simpler then, where most problems you experienced could be cured simply, or you died of them quickly. There was no such thing as cholesterol-lowering drugs or medications for ADD. It was a band-aid here, and some aspirin there. With time, though, the art became more sophisticated. Service providers needed to be trained, new laws came into effect, solutions became more complex, and requirements across the board went up. The solution and the solution providers became more and more sophisticated.
What difference a few decades make. Because of lower technology costs, an internal communications solution costs a fraction of what it would have then. Any company wishing to ignore it risks being leapfrogged by the competitors who embrace it.
Much the same thing happened with the automobile industry. You wouldn’t dream of buying a car today that did not have a working airbag system. We take for granted such things as crumple zones, ABS brakes, GPS systems, heated seats, electric windows and all manner of safety gadgets in the vehicles we buy.
We know that cars manufactured since the turn of this century are far more reliable and will last much longer than cars assembled a few decades ago. It’s because the requirements have increased as technology became more sophisticated. When one car manufacturer began to incorporate rain-sensitive wipers, for example, its competitors had to follow suit, or risk losing market share. (I never knew I needed rain-sensitive wipers until I heard about them. Now I desperately need them).
Employee communication is coming of age
Employee communications systems are reaching the point where they offer such a competitive advantage that dealerships simply can’t ignore them. A decade or two ago, it didn’t matter so much, because all of your competitors had the same lousy internal communication as your company did, so no one had a leg-up on another by using an internal communication system. Today, the underlying technologies of such a system are both powerful and price-worthy. A good-sized flat-screen TV, for instance, can be purchased for well under a thousand dollars. Together with a $500 personal computer and a repeating slideshow display, you have the basis for a rudimentary internal communication solution…at least, a piece of it.
With secure wi-fi, minimal hardware costs, and an attractive monthly service licensing cost, an effecting two-way internal communications solution can be installed and working for the equivalent price of an internal telephone system from the 1960s. Remember those? You had a manned switchboard for connecting people together. It must have seemed like the eighth wonder of the world when businesses first started to use them!
A decade or so ago, employee communications solutions didn’t matter to most dealerships. They weren’t ready, because the hardware costs alone would have made it more economical to write every communication out by hand rather than install all the monitors and connecting electronics. Today, a complete system will tap into your corporate data and cross-reference moment-by-moment events with the data it finds there. The hardware costs are almost nothing, and can often be the hardware solution that a company is already using.
The question is, do you want to wait until your customers tell you by their silence, or do you want to look at the opportunity today? Call us and we will show you how effective it can be.