Siemens Survey Tallies Losses from Communication Delays

A Siemens survey totals up the losses enterprises sustain from communication delays.

Everybody knows that theres some productivity loss associated with waiting for information, a lack of collaboration or missed phone calls, but a Siemens Communications survey released Oct. 16 reports that such delays can cost an enterprise of 1,000 employees $13 million a year.

Siemens, based in Berlin and Munich, earlier in October published the results of a survey of communications users that found most waited an average of 5.3 hours per week for information needed to complete a task. That translates into $9 million per year in productivity losses for an enterprise with 1,000 employees based on $37 per hour salaries.

The survey, conducted for Siemens this past summer by Insignia Research, polled 517 communications users in North America and Europe. Of the respondents, 62 percent were in customer-facing sales or service roles in their companies.

The survey looked at 10 different "pain points," but respondents said the biggest pain point by far was waiting for information.


Click here to read about Siemens OpenScape Unified Communications portfolio.

The 5.3 hours per week of delay in waiting for information from colleagues results in a yearly loss of $9,000 per employee, the study concluded.

The survey also found that employees lost 7.8 hours of productivity per month because of a lack of communications tools at remote locations compared with their main offices. Based on a $37 per hour salary rate, the average reported by respondents, that would cost a 1,000 employee enterprise over $3 million per year in lost productivity, the study found.

"I was very surprised. We all know we waste time, but how much time was surprising," said Jim Burton, co-founder of Burton, who was involved in the research and reviewed the raw data, said he believes it to be one of the first somewhat independent surveys.

"There have been a lot of other studies done, including some internal studies. At the Microsoft [OCS 2007] launch one company said they saved 30 hours a year per employee in making up lost time waiting for people" by implementing Unified Communications, said Burton, in St Helena, Calif.


Siemens pans Microsofts Unified Communications products. Read more here.

The study participants said the communications and collaboration pain points that needed immediate attention, in addition to having to wait for information needed to complete a task, also included unscheduled or unauthorized communications, coordination inefficiency, planning to plan, barriers to collaboration, offsite productivity loss and customer complaints due to communications.


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