Controlling your Telecom and Technology monthly expenses
It’s a new year. 2015 profits are in and accounted for in most cases, with maybe a few accrual items hanging in the balance. Big question is… were we profitable enough, and how could we have been more profitable? Most companies turn to the big items first, as they of course have the biggest impact. but how many other costs are bigger than we think? Take one large item like telecom costs.
Telecom & Technology Services are necessary but also very confusing and operationally costly. Therefore, these must-have monthly bills are likely to be overlooked when a company is looking to improve bottom-line performance. According to a study by Aberdeen, “…few enterprises have had a comprehensive and accurate way to determine what they are spending on telecom services, with whom and why.” The study also notes that 85 percent of mid-market companies pay their telecom bills in full without auditing.
Telecom & Technology service providers are not required to and, in most cases, do not audit client’s bills. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure correct contracted rates are being invoiced and that the services being billed are actually in use.
Who In Your Company Is Responsible?
Often times, companies leave this responsibility to the IT Department. The IT Department is thought to control this because, after all, telecom bills are related to “Technology”. However nothing in an IT manager’s training has prepared them to understand and keep track of the telecom industry with respect to the myriad of ever changing plans and rates. Couple the vast amount of telecom rate options with the a wide range of potential sources including CLECs, LECs, Brokers, Agents …etc. that can provide these critical services and you can see how these expenses get lost in the shuffle. So IT continues ordering lines, phones and other related services based on requests from a wide variety of managers, department heads, directors and locations without regard to cost controls or contracts that may be in place. The end result is telecom bills continually spiral upwards without anyone ensuring that services being paid for are actually necessary or even used!
Add to this to the fact that the accounting department, who pays the telecom bills, simply does not have the time or expertise to adequately scrutinize these invoices and cost escalate without evaluation.
The honest answer to the question “Who in your company is responsible?” often is that there is no person whose job description matches that responsibility…but don’t you think that it is still necessary to eliminate costs you do not need?
What is the solution?
Companies who engage with an independent, recommended, and expert 3rd party Billing Optimization Provider experience average saving of 25% or more and are positioned recognize and prevent the constant upward spiral for 3 – 5 years after the process is complete. How do you know which company to choose? Ask any billing optimization company approaching you this question:
“Do you make 100% of your company income by optimizing companies’ telecom expenses or do you also represent the very companies or their competitors that will be scrutinized?”
If they are reps for the carriers that they are talking about auditing, you may need to think twice about what you’re getting.
Do Not be fooled by brokers, agents or software companies. They all want to perform this service but do so as a way to sell you their solutions. This is not about buying more or different, but rather critically evaluating what you have vs. what you need and correcting the delivery, rates and errors. Once a comprehensive audit on the services you already have is completed, you may safely work with these companies from a position of knowledge and with the security of knowing what you are paying is correct forcing them to provide you with better and hopefully less expensive solutions in order to win your business
What should the process entail?
- Determine which services are required
- Review existing contracts, rate plans and existing services
- Confirm contracted rates, taxes, tariffs & applicable discounts are being billed
- Obtain and analysis Customer Service Records (CSRs)
- Perform “Ring no Answer” on all lines associated with every bill and inventory specific function
- Research competitive rates and plans.
- Assist you in centralizing management of the services.
- Optimize existing equipment eliminating excess and preventing unnecessary additions.
In conclusion if you’ve not had third party perform billing optimization in the past 3 years it’s time to review these critical and often times expenses services. Ask yourself what a 25% annual reduction would allow you to do. Hire, retain, expand, or simply improve your bottom line. This money is far better in your hands then in those your Telecom and technology providers.