UK Floods: Pioneer’s Perspective

Posted 17th February 2014
By Matt Watts

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Last week, in response to the flooding across the UK, Paul wrote a great post explaining how features of our business phone systems can help alleviate some flood-created accessibility problems.  As a business employing over 170 staff, many of whom spend all week on the road consulting, installing systems or supporting our current customers, we thought it would be helpful for us to share how we’ve dealt with the issues the flooding has caused. We’ll look at Paul’s post in more detail, as well as discussing some non-phone system areas to give as much help as possible.

Problem 1: Staff Can’t Get to Work

Easily the most frequent issue across the UK; if the floods didn’t block your path, maybe fallen trees did.  Maybe the traffic on your usually clear route to work became insurmountable. Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that getting to work for the past month has been problematic. As our previous blog post discussed, the Call Divert function is crucial to enabling flexible working.  Call Divert allows you to choose either a single number, or a series of numbers to try when people aren’t in the office. Crucially, it can also be configured remotely; so if nobody can make it into the office, you can still log in and create your own call divert process.

Problem 2: Staff Have Difficulty Getting to Meetings

As mentioned in our introduction, we have staff all over the country, every day of the week, so it was fairly predictable that we’d encounter a few problems making sure we got to customer meetings and appointments. Our field based staff all receive company vehicles, complete with tracking installed.  This means that if any of our team get caught out by the floods they can contact us back at Head Office (hands free, of course) and we’ll help them find their way through. Thanks to this, we’ve still attended over 98% of our booked appointments throughout the past 6 weeks.

Problem 3:  Power Failure

One of the more recurring issues recently has been power cuts across the UK. You may think that there’s not a lot you can do about that, but you can still plan for it.  For example, we have Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS) on site that can sustain critical systems for a period of time. We’ve also encouraged customers to know important contact numbers so that in the event that systems fail to restart once the power supply is restored, you know who to contact. This can keep your downtime to an absolute minimum.

These are the three main problems we’ve encountered throughout the recent bad weather.  Clearly, there are more substantial problems than these such as loss of earnings through having your offices inaccessible and building damage.  Whilst these are beyond our particular expertise, we’d encourage you to read an article from Real Business which gives you everything you need to know about these topics and how you can claim available assistance.

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