Pangea Outsourcing Services, a growing Cape Town business offering online
English tuition to clients worldwide, found that coordinating staff teaching
shifts telephonically or via email was becoming more time consuming for the
office manager and adding to the running costs of the company.

To reduce Pangea's operational burden around work scheduling, the company
adopted SMS as an administrative tool to effectively manage a large staffing
compliment whose primary form of communication was their cellphone.
Pangea is a supplier of Internet-based second language training to
Englishtown, one of the world's largest providers of English language
training whose centre of operations is in the Far East and Europe. Pangea
uses voice over IP (VoIP) within virtual classrooms to teach English
language skills to clients sitting in front of their computer at home or the
office with a headphone.
When Pangea started out they were aware of the need for an effective
communication tool in order to be in touch with their teaching staff. When
the company had a small staff base this was largely manageable.
However, as more staff came onboard as the business has grown, Pangea now
needed to communicate with sixty plus staff to ensure that they were aware
of their teaching schedules. In particular, the Pangea office manager needed
to alert staff of any changes to those schedules but had found that most
staff did not have round the clock access to email, especially outside of
work hours.
"We were finding it more and more difficult to manage our teaching schedule
via email, especially as we grew our staff to meet the demand to accommodate
more and more lessons. We decided to look at SMS as an alternative,
especially as all our staff had cellphones. We did some market research and
selected as their messaging services met our requirements to
better manage staff and support our online English training business model,"
says Jaco Delport, owner and manager of Pangea.
Pangea implemented a bulk SMS messaging solution that enables their office
manager to send SMS messages to groups of staff from a central computer at
their offices. The service's key improvement of Pangea's business efficiency
is that it allows near instant two way communication with the teaching staff
to confirm teaching schedules and minimised follow-up telephone calls with
The service also provides Pangea with delivery reports, so that the office
manager is able to track the sending out of communications. SMS messaging
effectively minimised the administration of updated teaching schedules and
considerably reduced Pangea's communications spend.
The benefit to Pangea of a bulks SMS messaging solution was not only a more
effective management of its staff communications. It has helped create a
company culture with an open communication style that ensures that all staff
know their teaching schedule and what is expected from them on a weekly, or
even daily, basis.
Pangea sends last minute SMS reminders to ensure that staff members arrive
at the office on time to start their scheduled classes. If teachers are
sick, they notify Pangea at least four hours prior to a lesson and an
announcement SMS is sent out to the staff to find a teaching replacement.
One of the main reasons that SMS messaging has enabled the business to not
only be successful, but to grow, is that the teachers are cellphone savvy.
Most staff employed at Pangea are in their first job or are students
studying at the local tertiary institutions, and are between the ages of 20
and 25 years. They do not have regular access to email and are not always
available telephonically but will always receive an SMS.
"Most of our staff fall within the age group that is technologically minded
and open to receiving important information via their cellphone. SMS
messaging is second nature for our staff and has become the main way we
manage our internal communications and staff scheduling. So, between
providing a virtual service online to clients globally and using SMS
messaging as an administrative solution, Pangea really has become a place
where technology innovation is adding business value," concludes Delport.