Construction firm George Wimpey has slashed its telecoms costs by consolidating infrastructure and installing wireless networks on building sites.
The firm, which builds more than 14,500 new homes a year, has already reduced mobile and fixed-line charges on several of its sites by introducing digital enhanced cordless telecoms, and now plans to roll out the infrastructure across all new sites.
The Wi-Fi project, along with other managed services introduced by George Wimpey's systems integrator Azzurri, has already saved the construction firm 25 per cent on voice calls.
Following a trial in Cambridgeshire with Azzurri and equipment manufacturer DeTeWe, George Wimpey will place wireless local area networks in each new site, cutting down on cabling and mobile phone costs.
"It will provide us with the big advantage of connecting the sales staff with the site to give them updates, and all calls and text messages sent within the wireless Lan will be free," said David Baker, production director at George Wimpey.
The company will also be able to eradicate call costs across the site and improve safety by providing construction workers and forklift truck drivers with hands-free devices.
Baker estimates that each site will save £2,000 alone from cutting "excess construction charges" levied by BT for additional cabling into the sites.
George Wimpey will also be able to achieve faster communications at sites, as it can connect the wireless Lan to a BT line at the edge of the site without needing to cable across it.
Azzurri is rolling out DeTeWe handsets and fax machines across new construction sites and show homes, meaning that George Wimpey does not have to re-cable if a sales office or show home is relocated, said Baker.
The network also provides the capability to add other on-site building firms to the network using individual billing systems, providing the opportunity to make additional revenue by charging firms for the rental service.
George Wimpey is also looking at introducing computers to sites which would use the wireless networks to access updates to construction plans.
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