When you place “world class communication” atop your list of corporate values then ensuring your staff can always stay in touch is a clear priority.
No wonder then that leading construction management consultants Poole Dick were keen to determine which network offered the best mobile coverage to serve its surveyors. With their work taking them as far south as the Isle of Wight and north to Aberdeen, a truly national signal reach was imperative.
The firm, which is headquartered in Bury, Manchester with offices in Keele, turned to independent communications specialists PennineMobile for advice. The two business’s paths had already crossed with Poole Dick’s HQ telephone system being provided by Pennine, along with its existing company-wide mobile provision.
Discussions widened to embrace Poole Dick’s broader mobile service, issues with coverage and the benefits of upgrading to a 4G network.
Having listened to his concerns Pennine recommended switching to a Vodafone tariff which would offer better network coverage and a generous 2Gb data allowance to each of the ten surveyors for whom smartphones have become an increasingly important business tool.
“It’s just been better all round,” sums up Stephen Connolly, managing director.
“We’re enjoying improved signal quality which is the main thing. Previously I couldn’t get a signal at home and Keele had issues but by going over to Vodafone we got a gizmo that linked to the network and fixed those problems.” The gizmo in question is the provider’s Sure Signal device which you simply plug into a wall socket to boost the network’s signal.
Admitting to not being a tech buff, Stephen was initially unaware of the purported benefits of 4G but, now he and his team have experienced it, he’s convinced. “I’d heard of 4G but you hear these terms, like with tellys going from HD to 4K, and you suspect the technology industry invents them on purpose to make you buy more. That really worried me at the time but since then we’ve all said it is considerably better, because we use our mobiles for so much more than making calls these days.”
Better still all these benefits have been achieved without Poole Dick incurring additional cost – in fact the firm has seen its mobile costs fall whilst its surveyors are making greater use of their phones. “People are using their mobiles more because they’re more usable,” says Stephen.
In addition, administration has been simplified with Poole Dick benefiting from Pennine’s single billing platform. This means both landline and mobile costs are billed together.
The tenacity and “genius” of Pennine account manager Simon Beresford in resolving an issue for Stephen was also well-received.
“How it really started was I had a problem syncing my mobile with my car. I couldn’t access anyone’s name which began after P in the car’s phone book, so I had to dial manually,” recalls Stephen. “It was an intermittent fault and extremely frustrating as sometimes I lost all contacts, my mobile synced perfectly with my wife’s car but Porsche blamed the ‘phone and this went on for over 12 months however Pennine never gave up. Our account manager spent an afternoon in my car trying to resolve the issue and escalated the problem through Pennine’s Service Conrol team to investigate the matter. Then one day I visited Pennine, Simon, did a few things and suddenly it worked. I told him he was a genius! To be fair Simon claimed that he had not really done anything different but for me Pennine had resolved this longstanding problem.”
All of this perhaps explains why Pennine has now retained Poole Dick as a client for some ten years. “They’re good,” concludes Stephen. “The service is good, they don’t mither us, things work and when we ask Pennine to do something they do it.”
It sounds simple really, but the high churn factor suffered by networks and third-party resellers suggests many in the mobile industry don’t subscribe to this winning formula.