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Pangea Outsourcing Services, a growing Cape Town business offering online
English tuition to clients worldwide, found that coordinating staff teaching
shifts telephonically or via email was becoming more time consuming for the
office manager and adding to the running costs of the company. To reduce
Pangea’s operational burden around work scheduling, the company adopted SMS as
an administrative tool to effectively manage a large staffing compliment whose
primary form of communication was their cellphone.
Pangea is a supplier of Internet-based second language training to Englishtown,
one of the world‘s largest providers of English language training whose centre
of operations is in the Far East and Europe. Pangea uses voice over IP (VoIP)
within virtual classrooms to teach English language skills to clients sitting
in front of their computer at home or the office with a headphone.
When Pangea started out they were aware of the need for an effective
communication tool in order to be in touch with their teaching staff. When the
company had a small staff base this was largely manageable. However, as more
staff came onboard as the business has grown, Pangea now needed to communicate
with sixty plus staff to ensure that they were aware of their teaching
schedules. In particular, the Pangea office manager needed to alert staff of
any changes to those schedules but had found that most staff did not have round
the clock access to email, especially outside of work hours.
“We were finding it more and more difficult to manage our teaching schedule via
email, especially as we grew our staff to meet the demand to accommodate more
and more lessons. We decided to look at SMS as an alternative, especially as
all our staff had cellphones. We did some market research and selected
BulkSMS.com as their messaging services met our requirements to better manage
staff and support our online English training business model,” said Jaco
Delport, owner and manager of Pangea.
Pangea implemented a bulk SMS messaging solution that enables their office
manager to send SMS messages to groups of staff from a central computer at
their offices. The service’s key improvement of Pangea’s business efficiency is
that it allows near instant two way communication with the teaching staff to
confirm teaching schedules and minimised follow-up telephone calls with staff.
The service also provides Pangea with delivery reports, so that the office
manager is able to track the sending out of communications. SMS messaging
effectively minimised the administration of updated teaching schedules and
considerably reduced Pangea’s communications spend.
The benefit to Pangea of a bulks SMS messaging solution was not only a more
effective management of its staff communications. It has helped create a
company culture with an open communication style that ensures that all staff
know their teaching schedule and what is expected from them on a weekly, or
even daily, basis. Pangea sends last minute SMS reminders to ensure that staff
members arrive at the office on time to start their scheduled classes. If
teachers are sick, they notify Pangea at least 4 hours prior to a lesson and an
announcement SMS is sent out to the staff to find a teaching replacement.
One of the main reasons that SMS messaging has enabled the business to not only
be successful, but to grow, is that the teachers are cellphone savvy. Most
staff employed at Pangea are in their first job or are students studying at the
local tertiary institutions, and are between the ages of 20 and 25 years. They
do not have regular access to email and are not always available telephonically
but will always receive an SMS.
“Most of our staff fall within the age group that is technologically minded and
open to receiving important information via their cellphone. SMS messaging is
second nature for our staff and has become the main way we manage our internal
communications and staff scheduling. So, between providing a virtual service
online to clients globally and using SMS messaging as an administrative
solution, Pangea really has become a place where technology innovation is
adding business value,” concludes Delport.