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Our speed of communication has improved dramatically and I can ensure important messages are displayed across both buildings on the site almost instantaneously. It means that we can have our briefings by data conferencing, which adds to the flow of inteligence.
James Henrey, CEO

How can I calculate a ROI on a conference solution?

Most businesses are aware of the advantages that videoconferencing can bring but with systems costing up to many thousands of pounds, it’s understandable that companies want to know they’ll get  a return on their investment. There are less who are aware of the benefits of using SMART Boards as a conferencing solution to enable two-way handwritten notes to be shared over distance. However, the question often asked by the budget holder is “How can I calculate a ROI on a conference system?” The nature of the benefits that videoconferencing and SMART Board collaboration brings make calculating an ROI tricky – but there is another solution that can show you a return on your investment much quicker.

So how can I calculate a ROI on a conference solution?

The standard equation for calculating ROI is:

ROI = (savings – expenses) / investment

The trouble is, the savings related to installing conferencing solutions aren’t just of a financial nature and so your ROI might not be able to be calculated. Of course the biggest saving you could make is in travel expenses – if you know how many meetings could be conducted via videoconferencing or SMART Boards rather than face to face, and then work out the related travel costs, you’re partway there.

However, there are many hidden benefits to using conferencing solutions that can’t be calculated in monetary terms. For example, a lot of time is lost while people travel to meetings – time spent driving, on planes, waiting at airports, stuck in traffic etc – and so using conferencing solutions gives you back that time, makes transactions quicker and increases staff productivity. You’ll also benefit from increased effectiveness throughout your company when you switch to conferencing solutions. Imagine the hassle it could cause when an employee travels to a meeting and then realises they have left a vital document in the office, or they would really like to include an expert in the discussion but they’re hundreds of miles away. These problems disappear when you use conferencing solutions, because you can instantly call up the relevant data or invite the expert into the discussion. But how on earth would you calculate the cost of these kind of benefits in financial terms to justify investing in conferencing solutions?

Many companies shy away from investing in expensive technology for just that reason – they can’t justify spending thousands of pounds on equipment because it will take too long to see the ROI. The solution could be to buy an operating lease, rather than buying the technology outright. An operating lease allows you to lease equipment for a low monthly cost, meaning companies can access the latest conferencing solutions without having to make huge investments. And when you’re only paying out a few hundred pounds every month, it’s far easier to balance that outlay against the savings you’ll be making in travel expenses to see a real return on your investment quickly.

So how would that work in practical terms? As an example, our company XYZ has an operating lease for videoconferencing and SMART Board equipment that costs them £300 a month. With salon cars costing around £80 to fill up with fuel, the company only needs reduce their travel expenses by 4 tanks of petrol a month to cover the cost of the operating lease. While it might not be appropriate for them to cut back on face to face meetings with new/prospective clients, if they often travel between offices or to existing clients or suppliers, it would be easy to make those savings – and to immediately make a return on their investment.

If you’d like to know more about operating leases and how they could help your company access the latest videoconferencing or SMART Board technology and see an ROI on your investment, give us a call on 0118 336 0010.

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