The fiscal year for many businesses has come to an end, leaving team leaders to determine which advantageous year-end budgeting solutions are needed and worth the investment. The “use it or lose it” philosophy suggests that a department’s leftover funds in the fiscal budget should be spent, as this might indicate to budget decision-makers that funds were allocated beyond what was needed, which may result in decreased funds the following year. Many businesses and even government organizations end up settling for highly-unnecessary and low-quality purchases to make up for the budget surplus.
2016’s publicly available examples of wasteful “use it or lose it” spending in Washington, DC include:
- the US Army spent $30,900 on an expandable paintball arena,
- the Department of Transportation spent $20,000 on a new grand piano,
- and finally, the Department of Interior opted to have a bronze sculpture placed in the Itjen Courtyard in Skagway Alaska, for which they spent $162,800 (3X the city’s median household income)
While these are more extravagant ways of spending extra funds, businesses should consider tools that have the potential to make a significant impact, like basic safety tools to protect their most valuable assets: their employees. Upon researching potential year-end budgeting solutions and purchases for your business, consider the three levels of spending before making your final decision.
The Three Levels of Smart Year-End Spending
To help in evaluating the value of safety and communication tools, let’s compare another way to spend your leftover funds wisely and get the best year-end budgeting solutions for your business.
1. A Year’s Worth of Extra Office Supplies for 10 People = A Mass Internal Alerting System
The average cost of office supplies per employee is around $200, but taking $2,000 to provide an extra set of pens, paper, and sticky notes for about 10 employees could instead also be used to purchase a basic texting and email alerting system to enhance communication with employees.
A basic texting and email alerting system would enable you to deliver pre-drafted SMS text or email messages to employees for common company-wide occurrences such as office closures due to severe weather or an IT system outage. Because a basic alerting system requires the employee contact information to be uploaded and maintained manually, the system is most convenient for small businesses or for departmental team managers. At the end of the day, the convenience of being able to send a mass notification through email and text message is of extreme value.
2. 2,000 Additional Cups of Coffee = An Employee Alerting System with a Data Management Tool
Let’s assume that an average cup of coffee costs $2.50. You could choose to spend $5,000 on 2,000 cups of coffee, or instead, you can invest in an employee alerting system to enable better communication through text message, email, and voice. The $5,000 spent will also include an automatic data management tool to easily load and maintain employee information. The employee alerting system with the automatic data management feature will work with any size business and minimizes communication efforts for managers, especially during a company-wide event or during an emergency situation.
3. 5,217 More Rolls of Toilet Paper = Fully-Loaded Alerting and Two-Way Communication System
Another way to spend extra funds is on something that is non-perishable and that you know will get used eventually is toilet paper. An average case of 36 toilet paper rolls costs $69, which means an office could spend around $10,000 for an extra 5,217 toilet paper rolls.
For the same price of purchasing 144 extra cases of toilet paper, a business could invest in a fully-loaded alerting system, including:
1. SMS text, email, and voice,
2. a SmartLoader system for employee data,
3. as well as the option to integrate two mobile application tools, such as Rave Panic Button and Rave Guardian:
- Rave Panic Button: During a critical incident, such as an unprecedented workplace violence incident (find the latest workplace violence statistics) or an employee experiencing a medical emergency, the Rave Panic Button app allows designated employees to report the incident to 911 and send a mass notification to all on-site co-workers with the push of a button.
- Rave Guardian: Rave Guardian is a personal safety app that serves as added protection for onsite or traveling employees or even field workers who might need extra help along the path to their destination.
Use Cases to Prove ROI for Safety Tools
Here are real examples of businesses investing extra funds in safety and communication tools for their employees, and how the organizations are putting these tools to good use:
GE Appliances (a Haier Company): Performing Employee Wellness Checks
GE Appliances, a Haier Company, optimized their pre-existing emergency notification system to go beyond sending severe weather alerts. During Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the GE Appliances security team used their alerting system to deliver messages to their employees through SMS text and email twice a day, prompting them to confirm if they were safe. You can hear directly from the GE Appliances security team featured in this past webinar.
Hear a snippet: GE Appliances shares lessons-learned during Hurricane Harvey and the importance of being proactive.
Fluor Federal Petroleum Operations (Fluor): Simplifying Emergency Communications
Fluor Federal Petroleum Operations (Fluor) is a long-time user of the Intermedix WebEOC solution for incident management, but when it came to sending out mass notifications to their employees, Fluor faced several inefficiencies. Sending out notifications required the sender to take several extra steps between two separate systems, which is why Fluor decided to transition to a WebEOC-friendly alerting system. Learn how this change gave Fluor a $189,000 return on investment.
Year-End Budgeting Solutions Done Right
Employee communication will always be an important part of your business, especially as it relates to urgent notifications. Using your leftover year-end funds toward implementing safety and communication-enhancing tools that enable you to quickly and effectively deliver urgent notifications through multiple communication channels will be well worth the investment.
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