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Travel alternatives

In many roles there is a need to travel but sometimes technology can help reduce the number of journeys made and save time and money.


Smarter Travel computer

In 2012/2013 employee mileage in their own private vehicles was 10,669,129 miles, costing approximately almost £5m. Reducing travel and the amount of time spent travelling for business can make significant savings and improve efficiency.

Many jobs are about going out into our communities, meeting people or visiting sites. Smarter Travel isn’t about stopping this or banning the car, but for some of the journeys you undertake, such as to internal meetings, could you consider:

  • Is this journey necessary. Is it critical to my work getting done?
  • If I wasn’t getting mileage, would I still go?
  • If the journey isn’t essential, could you try using technology instead?

Technology

Our biggest savings will be through employees deciding not to travel at all - travelling time is ‘lost’ time and opting, where suitable, to use telephone/teleconferencing, videoconferencing or other types of peer to peer conferencing, for example Skype.

Our own case studies have shown that using technology can make massive savings:

  • In the case of a group of employees using Skype to hold a meeting with an external consultant instead of travelling to London, nearly £800 was saved on the cost of rail tickets and staff time
  • As part of a tender process and subsequent contract meetings, one department saved almost £4,000 from using video conferencing instead of travelling to meet the successful supplier who was based in Paris.

Teleconferencing

Anyone with a VOIP phone can hold a teleconference and even if you aren’t on the VOIP system you can still take part. On our own VOIP system it works best if the call is limited to no more than four participants.

If you don’t have access to VOIP or would like to hold a more formal teleconference, perhaps with more participants or with an external organisation, then you can book through the Transformation Service Telecommunications Team on 01629 538770 or VOIP 538770.

Video conferencing

Video conferencing (VC) can be used for small group meetings or for larger meetings, training and one to ones.

VC facilities are available at six sites around the county:

  • Matlock (County Hall) – VC suite (room 48)
  • Buxton (Kents Bank Road) – area office conference room
  • Chesterfield (Saltergate) – Derbyshire County Council offices room 301a
  • Ripley (Long Close) – area office conference room
  • Ilkeston (Mercian Close) – Derbyshire County Council offices room 10
  • Swadlincote (Civic Way) – area office conference room.

The units have a 47 inch high-definition LCD TV screen with integrated speakers which provide very good quality picture and sound - they can also be used for presentations instead of using a projector (you’ll need a laptop).

For more information contact your local video conferencing champion.

Skype

Skype can be used wherever there is an internet connection (as long as there is enough network capacity). It is particularly useful for groups of employees who are part of a team or service which is based at different locations around the county who need to communicate on a regular basis.

Skype is currently being rolled out across the council as a pilot for those who have a business need to use it and can reduce their mileage – speak to your service relationship manager for more details.