Author Archive for cataccess

Office Phone Headset Rentals for as little as $6 per month!

Enjoy the comfort and extreme mobility that comes with use of a corded or cordless headset with your office telephone! Read More→

How to Deal with those Pesky Vendor & Supplier Phone Calls

Many business owners have a love-hate relationship with the vendors and suppliers their company relies on to keep things running smoothly – count me as one of them.thumbs up and down

On one hand, when I need one of these companies I want to them to:

  1. have a person answer the phone when I call them;
  2. respond immediately, and;
  3. do so at the lowest costs possible.

On the other hand when I feel I don’t need them, I really would rather not hear from them.  Except, I also understand that many times while I may not feel I need to speak to them, they may have information that is in my company’s best interest to know about.

So as busy as we all are, here are several effective methods for managing unsolicited calls from vendors/suppliers in a way that keeps you properly informed while not becoming a drag on your time:

  • Be upfront with your vendors and suppliersclear direction
    Give them clear direction as what in your mind constitutes considerate and professional keeping in touch and what methods you find bothersome. Personally I like to get email first requesting a time to speak to me and then a phone call. However if you are person who easily gets overwhelmed by emails, other methods may work best. (Good old-fashioned US mail sometimes works for me too.)hold up your end
  • Once you have set those parameters hold up your end of the agreement
    Return the emails, take the phone calls etc. Don’t ignore them.  Doing so both sours the relationship and with some personality types, just encourages them not to hold up their end of the agreement – which is in neither party’s best interest
  • Appreciate that your vendors are keenly aware that they have competitors out there and they want to keep your businesskeeping my business
    Personally, I like doing business with companies hungry to keep my business. I am always a little concerned and even suspicious about organizations that take my company’s business for granted.

I am also big on having a proactive relationship with my vendors and suppliers, which helps my company keep costs down while taking preventive measures to avoid major problems and expenses.

Bottom line: The relationship between a company and its vendors is a bit of a dance, but when it works well everyone is happy; when it doesn’t work well, everyone loses.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you have tips, suggestions and comments to add? If so, I would love to hear from you.

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JHB to Donate 10% profits to Irma Relief

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How to Protect Your Phones & IT Equipment During a Hurricane

Especially during hurricanes and tropical storms, many companies spend unnecessary amounts of money recovering from lightning and other storm related power surges, any of which can fry equipment beyond repair, rather than a much smaller amount to avoid equipment damage altogether.

Harmful Spikes
To help ensure that your phones and other related equipment remain undamaged by hurricane-related surges, here are some tips that might help:

  1. Battery Backup/UPS everything. 
    This includes copiers, phones routers, internet modems, routers, switches; even the boxes provided by your internet and phone carriers need to be connected to a UPS battery backup unit. If you have TV’s in your office that go through the same cable equipment as your internet carrier, put UPS’s on those too. A POWER SURGE NEEDS ONLY TO FIND ONE WEAKNESS IN YOUR SURGE SUPPRESSION TO BLOW OUT ..,EVERYTHING.

  2. Surge suppress your old style phone lines for not just phones, but also alarms & faxes.
    And do this even if they are supplied by your internet carrier. There are fuse like devices that your phone lines can be routed through that – if they work properly – will take the power hit before the surge hits your phones, fax machines or alarm systems.

  3. Don’t depend on surge strips.
    Folks spend $10 – $15 each on 6 or 8 plug strips and think they are protected. Fact is in my 35+ years in this business, there was not one incident in which power surge strips actually stopped a surge.power strip
    Use a UPS battery backup instead. If you like you can plug the power strip into a UPS UPS unit and sue the power strip that way – depending on what your local fire code permits.

  4. Use the resources provided by your electric/power company.
    Many companies have some very affordable plans to put into place a system that will protect your whole office or building.  Or…
     
  5. Consult  a licensed electrician.
    Although your phone vendor, IT company and others can do a lot to help you minimize the risk of power surges damaging your electronic office equipment, a highly qualified electrician is the best resource for you to protect your entire office at once – including your air conditioner & other appliances

  6. Finally turn it off and unplug “everything from everything”…
    …including disconnecting devices from  internet power and phones lines. If you dont want to to lose it unplug it!  Especially during weekends, power outletvacations or holidays. Sure it’s a pain in the neck to turn on and reconnect everything when you have returned but put simply, electric surges can’t hit and damage something to which there is no connection.