Those charged with maintaining or upgrading the communications system of a busy hotel have their work cut out for them. They're charged with both keeping up with increasing guest expectations when it comes to wireless, and making sure critical staff communications run smoothly. Depending on the size, prior communication equipment, and budget you have to work with, some options may be aesthetically more appealing than others. For example, in a smaller hotel, the upfront cost of using cellular devices can be more appealing than putting down a lot of money for two way radios and other communication devices. Or if you’re in need of a quick fix, ordering communication equipment (two way radios and cellular devices alike) from a website may seem to be the answer.
While time, opportunity, and money often dictate many of our decisions, we also have to take a step back and figure out if the quick and cheap appeal is in fact, cheap and quick.
Two way radios for the hospitality business aren't cheap. Many hospitality associations that use these as their communication devices are in the midst of switching from analog to digital frequencies, which requires resources. One thing that’s easily over looked when deciding on what type of device to go with is the return on investment (ROI) of the product vs the individual costs. It's true that if your company decides to go with cell phones, they may only pay $100 per phone. But minutes, data, insurance and deductibles are additional expenses, not to mention the short lifespan of these devices. If you are engaging with numerous people on numerous devices, your monthly bill is going to become even more significant. Then in a few years it's common to need to update each individual device.
Two way radios can cost anywhere from double to triple the cost of each individual phone (pending your exact needs), but no longer require a separate airtime and data package price once you’ve secured your license. Two way radios can out last cellular devices hands down if maintained properly, so you won’t need to constantly purchase new devices every few years. Radios come with a warranty period, and can have service and field maintenance added on to ensure proper use of your two way radios.
In order to ensure you purchase the correct product, meetings, it's helpful to discuss different options and have a field site walk with your channel partner before you place your order. While it may seem like a time saver to just order what seems like the right radio system from an online vendor and skip consultation. But it's important to keep in mind that you will then need to license the frequencies that these radios operate on, on your own. Then, as soon as your radios arrive, you must get them programmed and train yourself and your staff on how to use them. And if you’ve discovered you ordered the wrong product – there’s no other option but to start over with a different one. The online ordering process might be quicker, but in the long run, all things considered, these purchases generally cost more than working with a vendor in person.
Price and availability aside, function must be considered. Many of the two way radios available today can offer the same, if not more (those specifically tailored to your industry) apps and capabilities. By choosing a two way radio over a cellular device, you can customize the technology you're investing in to optimize your communication efforts—and get a greater return on investment.