You take a deep breath as you look at your organization’s bank account…
You notice your balance is lower than expected…
Did a mysterious creature steal your identity?
Have you purchased something without knowing?
You peek through your recent charges and discover that your telecom provider increased your rates without your knowledge and charged you a mysterious fee which leaves you stranded with a bigger hole in your account than you anticipated...
AND YOU SCREECH WITH HORROR!
This disturbing experience occurs much too often with personal telephone and cable bills – and the same thing happens to businesses regularly all across the world.
From late fees to unused lines or devices, businesses are attacked by hidden charges everywhere!
If you already have a telecom and technology expense management (TEM) plan in place, you are on the right path to preventing future attacks. We understand that many organizations are completely content with their current TEM processes – whether it is tracking assets and expenses via Excel spreadsheets, managing the environment in an IT web-application, or ignoring it completely – if you dare!
If you are tired of the same-old process and you’re seeking ways to improve them – look no further than the following five steps to breathe new life into your IT expense management strategy and protect yourself against hidden fees.
ONE. CREATE A SKELETON OF YOUR TEM ENVIRONMENT
The first step in any type of project management is to create an outline (or for the fun of Halloween – a skeleton) of your scope of work. For telecom and technology, putting documentation such as invoices, order changes, additions and cancellations into a universal document will allow you to keep track of your data in once place.
PULL YOUR TEM ENVIRONMENT TOGETHER WITH A TEM SKELETON.
TWO. DON’T LET YOUR INVENTORY GHOST YOU
Your telecom and technology inventory includes a variety of devices – from telephones, to data circuits… tablets, to mobile phones: theses small items add up and can easily be lost without tracking them accordingly. To avoid letting these assets disappear into thin air, make sure to organize the devices in your spreadsheet or tool of choice to keep track of costs as they accumulate.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TELECOM AND TECHNOLOGY INVENTORY.
THREE. EYEBALL YOUR INVOICES
Do you recall your cable bill spiking an additional $25 in last month’s automatic charge? Well the costs and timing may vary, but we have all experienced these unexpected increases in our personal bills – your organization’s telecom bills aren’t any different and if you aren’t paying attention to each individual invoice, you could be paying way more than originally agreed upon.
By reviewing invoices regularly and auditing past invoices, you can see clearly into your TEM environment to make sure you aren’t paying late fees, overage charges and other unnecessary and wasteful spend.
PERFORM A QUALITY AUDIT – DON’T PAY UNNECESSARY FEES!
FOUR. IDENTIFY DEVICES WHO HAVE GONE COLD
Most wireless vendors offer a standard billing summary that you can obtain to identify users who may not even be using their devices. If you notice users who are in the process of going cold with very little activity, it may be time to discuss killing their line.
CUT OUT YOUR LOW-USE USERS AND UNDER-UTILIZED DEVICES.
FIVE. DON’T BE AFRAID TO NEGOTIATE LOCKED-RATES WITH YOUR VENDOR
We have heard many times before that vendor negotiation is a painful process. Effective negotiation requires expertise – whether you do it yourself through vigorous research, or you outsource with a TEM expert. Negotiation isn’t easy but will definitely assist your organization’s control over your telecom costs.
NEGOTIATION IS CRITICAL FOR YOUR LOCKED-IN RATES.
WRAPPING IT UP
New telecom and technology continue to add complexity to the telecom space, making it tough to track expenses accurately. With so many moving parts, it can be easy to lose track of services that are no longer valuable or are overpriced for you. To effectively protect yourself from the attack of hidden fees, take control of your telecom environment and cut costs by implementing a TEM strategy or team u with a service provider like Valicom.
Access advanced functionality with a tailored telecom expense management software. How does TEM software save you from the attack against hidden fees over the use of Excel spreadsheets?
Contract Inventory: Host all contracts in one central location with the bonus of getting notifications when one is about to expire.
Collaboration: Web-based tools allows collaboration rather than the ‘Save As’ process you’ll experience in Excel spreadsheets.
Reporting: Over 60 standard reports are ready for you in the Clearview TEM software and you can create and export unlimited custom reports.
Multi-User Access: You’ll be able to delegate tasks to your team with permission-based accounts and flexible access.
Cost Allocation Insight: You can divide your invoices up to 1% of the total billing data. Assign costs based on locations, employees, or department – this transparency in costs is easy and incredibly nice to have!
IT Inventory: Access alll details of individual inventory items in one place (carrier, invoice number, circuit number, BTN, etc.)
Ready to step up from your Excel spreadsheets and explore a TEM software? Jump on a call with our TEM experts to answer questions and give TEM tips. With TEM software, you can identify billing errors and determine what tools are costing you the most without providing value.
Eliminate unnecessary services and capture costs accurately and efficiently
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.