You may not realize it, but telecom expense management is a vital part of your business and one that has a chance to save your company a lot of money if you have a good management team. When you think about what you might be paying due to billing errors, outdated systems and machines, upside down contracts, and services you no longer need or use, having a good telecom expense management company (TEM) looking out for you is essential to your bottom line.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at what a TEM company should be doing for your business so you can compare them to your current TEM strategies and see what they are and are not doing for you.
As mentioned, a TEM service provider is responsible for managing your telecom expenses and making sure you’re not paying too much for services or using the wrong equipment for your needs. In that regard, your TEM provider should focus on aspects of telecom such as ordering and terminating services.
Ordering and terminating services are vital, especially if you’re in a large company with a decent amount of turnover, whether it be due to employees transferring to other offices or the standard hiring and firing of personnel.
When you have employee changeover, in many instances you’re going to need new telecom services (such as cell phones), or you’re going to need to terminate those services. If your company isn’t staying on top of these changes, you could end up paying for services you’re not using, or your new hires could be wasting valuable time because they don’t have the services they need yet. Your TEM provider should be on top of all the employee changes within the company and how those telecom assets are managed with those changes.
If your TEM provider isn’t on top of your employee changes, there’s a good chance you’re wasting money.
Another aspect of telecom expense management that your provider should be taking care of is called benchmarking. Benchmarking is the collection and analyzing of data to better measure your company’s services, products, and processes and see how they can be improved. When it comes to telecom benchmarking, a good TEM provider will analyze your company’s telecom assets and performance and advise you how to cut costs while maintaining your performance.
Many good TEM providers (if they’re not an agent or carrier) will provide an initial benchmarking for free and advise you on a plan to fix areas that need improving. Once that analysis is made, they will give you a quote on what it’s going to cost to fix those problems and improve your company’s efficiency and bottom line.
Contract negation is another vital aspect to telecom expense management that your TEM provider should be providing you.
If you’ve ever purchased a cell phone, then you know how carriers love to lock you into lengthy contracts, and how those contracts are always more favorable to the carrier than they are to you. Well, the same is true in business. Your company will have to enter into many telecommunications contracts each year, and if you don’t have an experienced team negotiating those contracts, you can bet you’re going to be getting the short end of the stick.
A good TEM provider has the resources to negotiate rates and terms that are more favorable to your company, and they’ve got the resources to solicit business from multiple vendors without putting your company at risk.
Most companies don’t have the human resources to effectively negotiate these contracts or to solicit business from multiple vendors. If your TEM company isn’t going to bat for you, then you’re definitely losing money.
Another service your TEM provider should be able to perform is dispute management. Again, most companies don’t have the resources to deal with the major and minor disputes that arise with carriers, providers, and vendors — it’s a task best left to someone else. If you find that you or someone in your company has to waste their valuable time to hash out these disputes, then you need to ask yourself why your TEM provider isn’t doing that for you.
Do you have the ability to stay on top of all the technical problems that arise every day with equipment? Probably not, and that’s where a good TEM provider comes in. Your TEM provider should be making sure all of your equipment is working correctly, and they need to be on top of things when there’s a problem, with either a fix or a new piece of equipment as quickly as possible to eliminate downtime.
Often, these technical problems can take days to solve to someone who’s not familiar with the technology. Your TEM provider should have the experience to identify the issue quickly and get it resolved.
Lastly, your TEM provider needs to pay the bills and to pay attention to invoices to identify mistakes.
Companies lose thousands of dollars every year on late fees assigned to bills that go unpaid, and they lose thousands more by paying bills that are incorrect.
A good TEM provider makes sure that your bills are paid on time to avoid any late fees. Also, they scrutinize your invoices to make sure you’re not paying for a service you’re not using or for any mistakes that could cost you money.
These are just a few of the services that your TEM provider should be performing on a regular basis, and while there are more, these are the basics.
If you have a TEM software or are working with a TEM company, it may be time to scrutinize them to make sure they’re offering you the complete package.