Another one spotted by Alex!
Tube Lines is rebuilding the Tube’s busiest lines on the London Underground. It maintains and is upgrading the infrastructure on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines. The Messaging Centre (TMC) – provides clients with a powerful, browser-based application that operates a fully scalable, web-based SMS (Short Message Service) platform for business communication with customers, clients, suppliers, prospects, remote personnel or anyone with a compatible GSM (global system for mobile communications) device.
The lead point about this story is that by using The Messaging Centre to deliver text messages, Tube Lines managed to cut their costs by 40%. On closer examination, it appears to me that before (for example), Tube Lines were paying, say 10p a message. Now they’re paying 6p a message.
Er. Right. Yes that’s a reduction in cost. Fair enough. Anyone with half a brain should have been able to negotiate that in the first place.
Surely the real benefit to having such a facility is to deliver ‘real-time awareness of problems on [the tube] lines’ so that people like me don’t have to stand around for 20 minutes in the dark between Covent Garden and Holborn because some extremely well paid contractor is taking ages to contact its workers who’re currently on a break, having a burger at McDonalds and oblivious to any issues.
Surely the paltry cost of whacking out a text message doesn’t matter? Surely whether you pay 10p or 6p or 4p a text, no one cares — because it’s the efficiencies that outway the costs by a billion percent.
What’s the cost of having a team member sit and ring through 10 different mobile numbers, leaving messages at each number, trying to reach a group of rail workers?
OBVIOUSLY texting is an absolutely brilliant way of contacting diverse groups of people.
Not sure who wrote the original press release, but whoever it is might have thought to say ‘right, it costs the business an arbitrary £150 every time we need to contact someone’ — I dunno, £150, £25, £5? What’s the cost of staff time looking up phone numbers, poncing about with voicemails and missed messages and so on? Work out and agree an arbitrary cost per issue with Tube Lines. Multiply that by the amount of traffic you’re sending on a monthly basis. Hey presto! You’ve got a decent if slightly arbitrary but also slightly accurate amount of cash ‘saved’ by implementing a texting system.
Kudos to Tube Lines for implementing it. Nice one to TMC for sorting it out.