Buying Basics

What to look for when buying a paging system

Buying a paging system does not need to be a complicated process. Understanding what functions and features make an exceptional system is important. The following is a guideline for things to consider when buying a paging system.

Affordability – To achieve this, a paging system should be custom built to meet and not contain unneeded parts. A paging system’s price should always be generated according to the customer’s needs. Also, a customer should not be forced into buying a specific amount of pagers or choose features they don’t need or won’t use.

Set-up and Use – Paging systems should be “Plug and Play”. This means they should be ready for use right out of the box and minimal training is needed to show staff how to operate the system.

Durability –Paging systems made out of durable plastic material such as Lexan, and have a protective layer (e.g. rubber bumper) to prevent breakage will endure the harshest mishandling. Pagers that utilize a holster, as opposed to a built-in belt clip, allow pagers to be carried with ease, and eliminate the problem of broken belt clips that result in the need for repair.

Quality Assurance – Choose a manufacturer. Companies that engineer and manufacture their own paging systems are better able to control quality and performance. On the other hand, companies that outsource the manufacturing of their paging systems have less control over the quality of their products.

Range – The transmission range of a paging system can be affected by environmental interference. Paging systems that utilize Ultra High Frequency (e.g. 420-470 MHz) provide the best range. This frequency extends the range through walls, steel, people, etc. Determining what range is ideal depends on facility size and the area needed to cover.

Customer Service – A paging system that is field programmable allows problems to be fixed on location while speaking to a customer service representative on the phone. Customers should have access to 24-hour, 7 days a week customer service.

Warranty – A paging system should include a full warranty plan that protects the product against any defects due to faulty material or workmanship; as well as, optional extended and lifetime warranties.

Rechargeable Pagers – Eliminate the hassle of having to turn pagers on/off, and of changing batteries every week. Pagers should use Nickel Metal Hydride batteries as they have a longer battery life and don’t have the “memory” problems associated with Nickel Cadmium batteries.

Pager Loss Prevention – The portable feature of pagers makes pager loss an issue that needs to be considered. A paging system that has an Auto-Locate and Anti-Theft feature provides a safeguard for this. Auto-Locate sends out a signal to find any lost pagers within the premises. The Anti-Theft feature sends a signal to pagers that are off premises, and pagers continue to beep until returned to their charging base.

Flexible Charging Configuration – Paging systems that allow pagers to be stacked in any orientation reduce the chance of uncharged pagers when needed for use. Some paging systems have charging bases that are designed to only charge pagers if they are stacked in a specific manner which can be a hassle during busy times of operations.

Advanced Features – A paging system that has the ability to use cell phone paging provides additional ways to contact guests, reduces start-up costs, and minimizes pager loss.

Expandable Range – In some instances, extending a system’s range might be necessary. In this case, a paging system that uses repeater technology extends the range of the system to cover greater distances.

 

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