Opening my personal cellular bill recently resulted in unexpected and unpleasant surprises. You see, I have twin 17-year-old daughters whom, like their mother, love technology…especially their new smart phones with all the bells and whistles. I did not caution them about price point cons for the games, ring tones, data downloads, music, wallpaper, etc. Big mistake. Even worse, I underestimated the amount of texting two teenage girls could amass in one month. Astounding and expensive. I should have told them to mind their features!
You probably see where I’m going with this. You may be responsible for 300 or 1000 cell phones and need to manage texting overages, cute puppy wallpapers purchased, and AC/DC ring tones blissfully downloaded. But, do you really have the time? I’m betting you don’t, so the potential savings go right down the drain each month.
Of course, you have company policies in place that spell out allowed features but many employees can’t resist the temptation of the VZ Navigator download or they simply either don’t understand or choose to ignore their own corporate cell phone plan’s accepted features and limitations. Who has the time to peruse a 500-page cell phone invoice? Who has the time to follow-up on every identified issue from one month to the next?
Here are a few tips for business wireless cost-reduction strategies:
Start by monitoring the monthly invoice dollar amounts. Huge overages should catch your attention but what about the more subtle increases? Trust me, they add up quickly and can ruin your projected annual budget.
Make the simple change to electronic billing to take advantage of the robust reporting capabilities most carriers offer on-line. Set up your account and navigate your way through the vendor’s on-line portal and you’ll find a wealth of information at your fingertips: equipment charges, overages, plan information, everything you’ll need to effectively audit your invoices.
Another solution begins with your Carrier Account Manager(s). Request quarterly reporting from them and set up your own parameters so you can get the custom reporting you need. This is a time efficient way to monitor all cellular usage from your carrier.
Another suggestion, and my personal favorite, is to hire your own telecom expense management firm. They are trained professionals who take care of all the heavy lifting, follow-up, and nagging telecom annoyances you don’t have time to take care of yourself. Find a telecom expense management firm who will work with you for a productive partnership and flexible fit.
Just a few easy ways to manage your business cellular expenses, saving you from the dreaded unpleasant surprise of overages, add-on’s, and everything in between.
About the Author: Jeff Poirior
Jeff brings 25 years of telecommunications and information technology management experience in voice and data networking, server support, and telephony and security; with a significant emphasis on customer service. Prior to joining Valicom, he was chief of the infrastructure support section for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Jeff was the vice president of operations for CC&N, overseeing telecommunications, help desk, data and desk side support services. Prior to that, he served as the associate director of technical resources for Covance, responsible for managing systems and network operations supporting 1700 users in Wisconsin and Virginia. He has also led data center operations at Magnetek Electric, supporting mainframe systems, client/server applications, telephony systems, and computer-aided design. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University and a master’s degree in business administration from University of Phoenix. In addition, Jeff is a past board member of the Wisconsin Telecommunication Association.