So the question of which solution (TEM or Audit) will give you the best return is actually better asked as, “When should I employ either solution to provide me with the best possible return?”
Both TEM and Audits have a role to play in telecom expense management. Most people who engage in a discussion around TEM vs. Audit have a clear cut opinion on which they think is better, and why. And if you force yourself to pick one over the other, there are clearly pluses and minuses on both sides.
But what we’ve seen in most cases is that both services are actually needed in order for each to be fully utilized to their maximum capabilities.
TEM manages invoices but doesn’t really provide deeper understanding of your overall telecom services. Audits provide great understanding, but do not manage future spend. Audits will also identify future savings whereas TEM is more focused on identifying billing mistakes.
Audits are the precursors that allow TEM to be most effective. In other words, audits and TEM are complementary and not competitive.
The Value of an Audit
What is not up for debate is that if you are a small company, the cost of TEM is almost always too large of an investment (and the return too small) to justify implementing an entire software system.
An audit is always more thorough than TEM. An audit is going to find things in a line item analysis that no TEM will ever be able to find.
Audits are also much less intrusive than implementing an entire TEM solution. Audits are designed to be able to be performed off-site. Often the only thing your team must provide is a copy of your previous months’ invoices and a list of all of your current vendors’ account reps and their contact information. All other work can then be done by the auditor and your vendors with very limited involvement by your team.
The Value of Software
If you’re a company with a large monthly telecom spend and can see the value in implementing and managing TEM software internally, then you will reap the benefits of increased accuracy in expense tracking and reporting, making it possible for you to see an ongoing increase in efficiency.
The data and the reports that are generated from TEM can be reviewed on a continuous basis and new data continuously entered as prices are updated, new contracts are signed, vendors are changed, locations are added or closed, or existing services are added, disconnected, moved, or changed.
The caveat is that, in order for software to be a valuable tool, you need to be sure you enter the right information at the outset. Bad information in equals bad information out. And vice versa. So unless you’re going to devote a full time employee(s) to managing this software, you’re not going to achieve the ROI you envision.
In this way, audits reset the clock and TEM becomes a running clock moving forward.
So the question remains, “Is it time for you to reset the clock?”
[author_bio username=”Ken” name=”yes”]