Argus keeps tourists on the move
ARGUS Car & Van Rentals has been named as the January 2000 winner of the Eircom/Irish Independent Business Award and is an excellent example of a company that has made innovative use of a range of communications solutions to improve its business performance.
Dublin-based Argus employs 25 people and was set up in 1959 to provide vehicle rental services to the tourist and business industry.
By using e-mail to liaise with clients around the world, Argus saves thousands of pounds on phone charges and postal costs each year.
It also uses call answering, call forwarding and ISDN facilities to ensure that callers get direct access to specific employees in the company either in person or by leaving a message on the voicemail system.
Argus also uses a number of other simple, but highly effective communication solutions to improve its business performance.
For example it offers a FreeFone and FreeFax facility to clients which, coupled with an on-line reservations system, simplifies the booking procedure. The result is improved customer service levels and increased booking levels.
Argus claims to be the first rental company in Ireland to develop its own website.
While the initial site was simplistic and consisted of only two-pages, it has since upgraded to a secure server site which provides an excellent range of services.
The site offers a full quotation facility, which enables customers to browse through the price range of vehicles available for rental.
The vehicles are priced in a variety of currencies and are graded according to the length of the hire period and time of year.
Reservations can also be made by customers online. Once the booking is made, the information is automatically routed to the Argus reservation system which then e-mails a confirmation of the booking made to the customer.
The on-line booking facilities alone have assisted the company in doubling its turnover in the last two years. Argus is the final winner in this year's Eircom/Irish Independent Business Awards initiative.
The awards, which commenced in February 1999, have been presented on a monthly basis to businesses that have best demonstrated how simple communications solutions have helped to improve their business performance.
Monthly winners received £1500, and all twelve winners are now in the running to be selected as the overall Business Award winner, the prize fund for which is £10,000.
All winners have received a specially commissioned sculpture and publicity on the business page of the Irish Independent.
The Business Awards, which are the first of their kind in Ireland, give recognition to companies that can demonstrate how the innovative use of communications has positively impacted on their business.
The overall Business Award winner will be announced at the end of February.
The Eircom/Irish Independent Business Awards will be re-launched for another year in early March.
Details of the eircom/Irish Independent Business Awards initiative can be found at: business-awards.eircom.ie