Archive for the 'Our Blog' Category

Discreet communication could avoid parcel blunders

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

In the wake of Royal Mail’s decision to abandon the ‘Sorry, you were out’ cards, the UK population will be testing its neighbourly relations, as letters and parcels will be left with neighbours.

While this will signal an end to hiking to delivery offices for parcels or signed-for goods, it may also prove awkward for those with less than amicable relations with their neighbours. A survey by ICM for the AA revealed that one in 8 Britons don’t know their neighbours, so it could prove a test of small talk skills when collecting a precious delivery.

The new system may well herald greater efficiency, but it still lacks pragmatism as there is a communication void. More and more courier companies and delivery services are now switching on to the value of SMS as an efficient, immediate and targeted means of communicating logistics.

The hassle factor is removed by SMS messages sent to the individual to ascertain when deliveries are expected. As a result, people are no longer required to take time off work to sit around for a long-awaited delivery, with a sketchy window of opportunity. Track and trace technology now means people can be notified of delivery an hour in advance via mobile for peace of mind.

By contrast, Royal Mail is advising those who don’t want to participate in neighbourly deliveries to opt out with a sticker on their front door or letter box. This seems a rather public way of handling the issue, and may put greater strain on neighbourly relations. It would be far easier use a more efficient and discreet means of communication that could not only ensure effective delivery, but prevent any red-faced dealings with neighbours.

Coming of age for SMS

Monday, May 14th, 2012

As SMS celebrates its second decade in existence, it has achieved heady heights in global popularity, cited by The Guardian as ‘the most intensively used data communication technology.’

More than 4 billion people have access to text messaging, which equates to two thirds of the world’s population. That’s a lot of thumb crunching, as no less than 8 trillion text messages were reported to have been sent last year.

It’s also interesting to see it wasn’t the brainchild of Silicon Valley, as SMS was developed as the result of a European inter-governmental project  to create a common mobile telephone system. GSM came into being as an open, unified, standard-based mobile network larger than existence in the States.

The restriction placed on the message length – 160 characters – was initially viewed as a stumbling block. However, with imagination and editing skills it was actually the teenage generation that spurred text messaging to explode on to the scene, when pay-as-you-go sim cards were introduced. This tipping point saw the growth curve of SMS rocket, and the graph is still heading in the top right direction.

Now recognised globally as an accessible, efficient and instant means of communication, SMS has more than proved its worth and held strong as other technologies have paled into insignificance.

So here’s to a ‘gr8 bday 4 sms’ – next year could be a 21st party to rival all others!

Sealed with.. a hefty bill

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

As Britain found itself in the grip of stock-piling and panic-buying fever, Royal Mail made an announcement to instil greater panic, with the alarming rise in stamp prices.

With a carte-blanche from Ofcom (the communications industry watchdog) to set its own prices, Royal Mail revealed a 30% hike in first class stamp prices from 46p to a record 60p. This increase will further squeeze businesses that are already at the mercy of a turbulent economy.

Large letters will also see an increase from 75p to 90p (first class) – a percentage that will no doubt put a sizeable dent in budgets when sending large volumes of mail.

The spiralling cost of traditional communication methods is prompting businesses to look to more cost effective and efficient means of liaising with customers, stakeholders and employees. SMS is increasingly being used by organisations – particularly those sending high volume communications to segmented target audiences.

With a unit cost averaging 4p (this varies depending on volume), instant delivery and effective data cleansing, the argument in favour of SMS certainly stacks up against traditional, slower-paced post. When margins are painfully tight and budgets are shrinking, businesses risk unfeasibly high postage fees unless they switch on to more savvy, value-for-money communications channels. So if the argument for mail is based on the merits of a more personalised approach, it begs the question; is it sealed with a loving kiss.. or a hefty bill?