Archive for November, 2016

VoIP 101: The Advantages of VoIP for Businesses

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VoIP services are growing rapidly: the industry as a whole is on track to reach one billion users by 2018. As traditional office phone lines are becoming antiquated, VoIP technology is becoming more popular among both large corporations and small or home offices.

So, What is VoIP?
VoIP is short for voice over internet protocol. VoIP systems are online-hosted phone systems that do not require traditional landline phones. If that sounds complicated, the reality is that this type of system does not require complicated installation or constant maintenance. These phone lines can be maintained entirely off-site by your phone provider.

What kind of equipment does VoIP require?
Installing VoIP can be extremely simple depending on your network infrastructure. Because the phone system isn’t analog and works through your online systems, the network needs to contain a number of things in order to be used for both internal and external communications. A typical network infrastructure contains routers, switches, cables, and LAN cards, as well as additional basic software (i.e. operating systems and cyber security solutions). IP addressing and other network services are also required.

If your network is properly connected, all you’ll need to set up VoIP is a high speed internet connection and a computer, adapter, or specialized phone.

Who can I call with VoIp?
The type of service you receive determines who you can and cannot call. In some cases, a user may be limited to speaking to other people who have subscribed to the service, while others can receive and call out to anyone who has a phone number. These services allow the subscriber to make local, long distance, mobile, and international calls. In these cases, the recipient does not need to have any additional phone equipment. They may not even notice that you’re speaking to them via a digital network.

What are the benefits of VoIP?
When you make the switch to VoIP, you’re able to make business calls from anywhere where an Internet connection is present: including wirelessly. If you’re not in the office, you can use the WiFi anywhere to connect to the internet through your personal computer or specific adapter and communicate with company staff or clients.

Additionally, you can eliminate the need for your current phone package and exclusively use your internet package to connect your phone system. That means a company like ARG Communications can not only lower your monthly internet and phone bill, but also provide all maintenance and updates to make your job that much easier.

Holiday Sales Times Means Increased Sales, As Well As Increased Losses from Employee Theft

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cctvBetween the months of October and January, retail stores see the largest volume of traffic for the entire year. The holiday gift-giving season has a lot to do with this. And while people are buying a lot of items, they’re also making many returns and exchanges.

While these months are heavy in sales, the holiday chaos also increases the number of losses. During this time, shoplifting also rises. Most retailers have a form of video security system to catch shoplifters, but the reality is that one of the biggest problems in business losses occur from behind the counter.

Employee theft costs employers between $20 billion and $40 billion every year and retail employees are the biggest culprits — especially those in the United States.

Dishonest employees are responsible for 28% of inventory losses worldwide, while shoplifters account for 39%. In the U.S., however, 43% of revenue is lost by employee theft.

Rather than pocketing items, employees are much more subtle when it comes to stealing from their employers. While some employees do take cash from the register or make off with an item from the shelves, they’re usually far more interested in handing out discounts.

At check out, an associate has the ability to modify prices, give discounts, or even void transactions into the register.

In many cases, they apply these discounts to items that they are buying for themselves, but they are also giving these discounts to friends, family, or other coworkers.

In this way, the losses are much harder to pinpoint. While the inventory may match up in the system, it is possible that so many discounts have been applied that the daily sales are much lower than what they would have been.

While many employers often wonder how this happens so frequently, the real question is why.

Many employers fail to conduct proper pre-employment screening, choose to give employees more freedom and less supervision in the storefront, as well as use point of sale systems that allow transactions to be easily manipulated.

Closed-circuit television systems, or CCTV, are security solutions that allow employers to view store activity in real-time, as well as access prior footage, and view the footage from anywhere. By supervising employees remotely, you are able to observe any dishonorable conduct.

Additionally, having CCTV in your store deters employees from theft. When they know that they’re being watched, they are less likely to steal or give unmarked discounts.

If you have a problem with shoplifting or employee theft, consider contacting ARG Communications for a quote on CCTV and other security solutions.