Ceuta Group outsources sales and marketing solutions to healthcare organisations. With 190 staff, it covers the whole of the United Kingdom. Its field-based workforce depends on mobile technology to communicate with colleagues and customers. In the past, managers and office-based staff spent a lot of time calculating and monitoring call costs.
In addition, monthly spend fluctuated. With the Vodafone Total Business solution, Ceuta has predictable, consistent monthly costs. And with unlimited fixed calls and calls between employees on the plan, individual bills are almost always zero, cutting
Ceuta is a leading outsourcing company for sales and marketing in the healthcare industry. Its core services range from brand management to the provision of dedicated sales teams. More than two-thirds of Ceuta's staff is field based. Managers
co-ordinate teams of eight to 10 staff that work across the United Kingdom. They spend most of their time at customer sites, such as pharmacies, and are supported by colleagues in Ceuta's Bournemouth office. An international team of three works with clients in Europe.
The reliable exchange of information between managers, office-based staff and customers, is crucial. Communication underpins order and invoice processing, account management, and the delivery of smooth, reliable customer services.
Managers talk to administrators in the office daily to keep them up-to-date with sales, orders and other developments. They also need to support sales staff, and be available for customer queries.
Helen Bolton, Facilities Manager at Ceuta Group, says: "Our field-based staff build and maintain our customer relationships, so it's vital that they're accessible. My task is to give them the communication tools they need, in a format that's cost-effective and easy to manage."
Employees rely on telephone conversations to keep each other up-to-date, with the majority of calls being between Ceuta staff. As well as a laptop, each mobile employee has a mobile phone, while managers carry BlackBerry® devices. Some office-based staff use mobile handsets, while others use fixed lines only.
As a Vodafone customer, Ceuta had a custom-made price plan for mobile handsets. Bolton was happy with the value it delivered, but when her account manager suggested a move to Vodafone Total Business, she saw that it would deliver additional benefits.
"Our Vodafone account manager knows our business well, so she knew that Vodafone Total Business would address two key concerns - the difficulty of predicting and controlling mobile costs across a dispersed workforce, and the time spent
managing bills. We welcomed the opportunity to move to a plan more closely aligned with those needs," says Bolton.
For Bolton, a 24-month contract offered several advantages over 12 months. It reinforces the stability and long-term value of Ceuta's partnership with Vodafone, and delivers the additional benefit of unlimited fixed-line calls.
Bolton says: "We chose a 24-month contract because it gives us unlimited calls to UK fixed lines, which represents a massive saving for us. Also, we have no intention of looking for another provider, so we're happy to commit to a longer
contract. We have a good relationship with Vodafone and we have not found a similar solution with any other provider, so the choice was obvious."
The plan includes unlimited calls between users, with any unused minutes rolling over to the next month. In addition, Ceuta has 8,000 monthly minutes, shared across all users and selected from a choice of bundles ranging from 500 to 48,000 minutes.
The solution also includes unlimited voicemail retrieval and 50 text messages per employee a month at no extra cost.
International calls are just 12-30 pence per minute, ensuring cost-effective communication for the manager of Ceuta's
international team. Because Vodafone offers a split platform option, Bolton was able to move 60 staff to the Vodafone Total Business plan while keeping others - who pay their own bills - on a separate plan.
The transition was smooth and hassle-free, thanks to regular communication between Vodafone and Ceuta. Bolton says: "I spent very little time on the move to the Vodafone Total Business solution.
I had a dedicated implementation manager from Vodafone to help me manage the process - it was all very straightforward."
Bolton and her colleagues are now considering a Vodafone fixed-line solution. "Vodafone is proactive in offering us solutions that meet our needs as we grow, which is exactly what we want in a communications provider," says Bolton. "As a result, we're keen to extend the relationship and use Vodafone solutions for fixed communications as well as mobile."
The Vodafone Total Business solution has improved the predictability and costs of mobile communications at Ceuta.
Employees rarely exceed the monthly minutes and unlimited allowances included in the plan, so costs are consistent month-to-month. Says Bolton: "We get so much value from the unlimited calls between staff mobiles and to fixed lines, that even without the 8,000 inclusive minutes we'd see savings. We now have consistent, predictable monthly costs. What's more, we no longer spend time calculating call costs for individual users, or monitoring and reviewing usage."
• Price plan increases cost control and predictability. Because the majority of calls made by Ceuta staff are to colleagues, the free fixed line and Vodafone-to-Vodafone calls have reduced costs by approximately £12,000 per year. "Most individual bills are now zero because the free calls to fixed lines and other mobiles on the plan cover most of our usage - it's simple, predictable and much easier to manage our budgets," Bolton says.
• Administration time cut to zero. Administrators and team managers no longer spend time calculating call costs, because
individual bills rarely exceed the monthly minutes included in the plan. Bolton says: "We have saved at least 20 hours' administration time a month by moving to Vodafone Total Business, because we no longer have to calculate call
costs. Administration time is non-existent."
• Solution delivers long-term value and flexibility. Ceuta's Vodafone account manager monitors and reviews usage each month to ensure that the company is on the most cost-effective plan. Inclusive minutes or texts can be reduced or increased as required. "The plan looks after itself - I don't have to worry about monitoring our usage because I know
that Vodafone will tell me if I need to adjust our monthly minutes. I know our account manager will ensure that we're gaining maximum value," Bolton says.
• Vodafone relationship supports business model. Bolton says: "As an outsourcer, we have to maintain excellence in everything we do, so we need to work with suppliers and partners that deliver excellence too. That's why we work
Customer: Ceuta Group
Number of employees: 190
Country or region: United Kingdom
Customer profile: Ceuta Group provides sales and marketing services - including brand management and training development - to healthcare organisations across the United Kingdom.
• Price plan increases cost control and
• Administration time cut to zero
• Solution delivers long-term value
• Vodafone relationship supports