Communication problems cost SMBs up to €3,900 per employee

Poorly integrated communications channels is costing SMBs 40% of productive time

Pain points associated with multiple and poorly integrated communications channels is costing small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) 40% of productive time according to research by Siemens Enterprise Communications (SEC).

The study of 513 organisations—ranging from very small firms of 1-20 employees to mid-size companies employing between 300 and 400 staff—in the USA, India, Russia, Brazil, Germany, Italy, France and the UK found that issues surrounding the management of different communications systems that together were not only seriously eroding employee productive time but also compromising quality of customer interaction.

The top problem issues, cited by 70% of SMBs in the survey were delays in receiving information from colleagues; receiving unwanted communications; inefficient communications co-ordination between staff; barriers to collaboration; time lost answering customer complaints using different channels. These issues were combining to deprive SMBs of 17.5 hours’ productive time every week.  

On average, said the survey, the annual financial cost of time lost to these five issues was €20,572 (£17,383). It also estimated that a 100-strong company is wasting the equivalent of €4140 (£3,498) for every employee and €414,000 (£349,830) every year by not resolving these communication issues.  

Analysing the results, Martin Northend, global head of SME marketing, Siemens Enterprise Communications, said, “European companies share a global problem – they’ve made heavy investments in communications networks and devices without being able to harness them for greater productivity. [SMBs] need to bring disparate communications onto integrated platforms that support rather than complicate staff operations, as so often happens now.”

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