Investment into telecom tools can be a critical part of any business’s operations, but more items have been added on to communications bills over the years. Wireless services, mobile devices and other systems are now included under the broad umbrella of telecom, and it can be difficult for organizations to track all of these endpoints and assets.
A combination of inadequate tools, infrastructure complexity and inaccurate data entry can muddy up your telecom funding and obscure how much you’re actually spending on items that aren’t necessary or aren’t being fully utilized. If you lack visibility into your telecom expenses, it’s integral to get back on the path to cost control.
Take stock of your assets
The first step to achieving visibility into your telecom expenses is to evaluate everything within your infrastructure that you’re paying for. Challenges can arise here when considering devices that employees own or enable. In fact, according to eWEEK contributor Kevin Donoghue, more than one-quarter of your telecom spending could have been avoided or is incorrect. That’s a large chunk of change that could be put toward other efforts. However, the only way to mitigate this is to have a full view of all of the assets within your business. Managers will need to account for technology, services and software that all fall under the telecom umbrella.
Once you ensure that all of your assets are accounted for, it’s time to consider if your telecom expense management process is still valuable to your operations. For example, if your current practice constantly introduces bottlenecks or is a source of errors, it’s time to map out your pain points and evaluate your telecom-related efforts. Organizations will want to look at processes related to inventory management, bill payment and assurance, cost allocation, contract management and procurement. This analysis will help identify areas that can be consolidated, outsourced and optimized.
Evaluate your current TEM process
Assessing established TEM processes will also help businesses gauge their potential savings. Call Accounting contributor Josh Bouk noted that you shouldn’t automatically think that your internal processes are optimized, as this can cause you to miss critical opportunities. Leveraging capable TEM tools can help deliver savings throughout the lifecycle. Organizations can utilize deep audits, consistently applied payments, improved dispute resolution and other critical tactics to realize significant benefits and achieve better overall visibility into expenses.
Create one view of your data
“Establishing a singular view will be critical to keeping everyone on the same page.”
Utilizing spreadsheets for your expense management is no longer feasible for modern businesses. Spreadsheets are prone to manual entry errors, and they can lead to multiple sources of the truth, creating uncertainty around which information is reliable. Organizations must have a tool that is accessible from anywhere, enabling employees to view and edit the data in real time. Establishing a singular view will be critical to keeping everyone on the same page and improving decision-making capabilities. Using a TEM tool to create a singular truth of your expenses will significantly bolster visibility and provide peace of mind that the data is accurate. While 15 percent to 20 percent of spending isn’t managed closely, having a capable solution can provide better insight into overall expenses, according to Harvard Business Review. TEM enables managers to identify outlying costs and which areas simply aren’t providing value to the organization anymore.
Achieving visibility into your telecom expenses can be a challenge based on the complexity of an organization’s infrastructure, but it’s not impossible. By taking account of your telecom assets, evaluating your TEM process and establishing a singular truth, organizations can take back control of their telecom costs and create a fuller picture of the services and technology they’re paying for.
About the Author: Chantel Soumis
Chantel Soumis brings over a decade of knowledge in workflow enhancement through the use of technology. Chantel studied marketing communications and business administration at Franklin University and proceeded to work in a fast, ambitious environment, assuring client delight in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Passionate about project productivity and streamlining workflows through the use of technology, Chantel strives to inform organizations of Valicom’s advanced telecom expense management software and services by mastering communications and messaging while delivering helpful information and supporting resources.