In today’s world where communication is vital for all businesses, and the cost for communication services is a large and often confusing expense, there is an obvious need for telecom expense management or TEM. For many companies trying to get a handle on their telecom expenses, the logical first step is a telecom audit. The audit can prove to be a valuable tool on many levels:
The Value of Hiring a Telecom Industry Expert to Perform an Audit
Many companies weigh the pros and cons of hiring a telecom industry expert to perform an audit versus attempting to self manage their telecom expenses. Maybe your company is considering adding the TEM responsibilities to someone in billing or IT. Though these employees may excel at their jobs, they are not telecom experts. If your company chooses DIY TEM (couldn’t resist the double acronym!) then you will be paying employees to learn about the field of telecom expense management. This will take time away from doing the jobs for which they were hired. Because the telecom expense management world is complex, you will be having amateurs, rather than experts, handling your company’s TEM. Though your employees may be diligent, they will not be able to perform the same quality work as a telecom expert performing an audit.
When your company decides to undergo a telecom audit, you can expect the auditor or team of auditors to work in a way that does not disrupt the work day, because much of the audit can be performed offsite. Your employees can continue to accomplish the daily tasks, with no time or profits lost due to disruptions. There is considerable value gained from hiring the experts.
What Can You Expect To Learn From A Telecom Audit?
The findings from the telecom audit will inform and educate you regarding your company’s current situation. Your comprehensive telecom audit will include a line by line review of each invoice. What knowledge can you expect to gain from a TEM audit?
A thorough comparison of charges to contract and billing tariffs: Your audit will provide an analysis of all telecom charges to see if the charges match the prices and services that you agreed upon when you signed the contracts.
Billing mistakes: 80% of all telecom bills contain errors. The service providers count on the complexities to hide these errors so that you will overlook them and unknowingly overpay.
Underused or unused services: Are you using every service that you are paying for? If not, then you are overspending. Your audit will help to see which services you don’t use, so that you can stop paying for them.
Credits or refunds: Often there are credits or refunds due from your carrier. Do you think your carrier will contact you to let you know that THEY owe YOU money? Of course not! Your audit will provide this valuable information.
A company wide inventory: Your audit will inventory all lines, circuits, wireless devices, and features from all carriers. Knowing what you have can help to determine what you actually need.
Contract terms: The audit will clarify your existing contracts, showing what commitments you have and when the contracts expire.
Your telecom audit will provide valuable information regarding the telecom services and expenses for your company. Much of this information will provide instant cost savings or refunds. In addition, it will allow you to create and implement a TEM strategy moving forward.
Developing a Strategic TEM Plan From Your Audit
Once your team of auditors has untangled the web of telecom and you can see the telecom facts clearly, the next step is to develop a plan based on the findings. Your team of auditors will analyze the results, and assist you in developing a contract strategy. Your telecom strategy will include future vendor accountability, and will negotiate new contracts with the best terms, conditions and prices. Your audit will also be the catalyst for developing a procurement plan. This plan should include policies for ordering and disconnecting services to ensure that you are purchasing services that your company needs, and not over purchasing or purchasing duplicate services.
A telecom audit proves to be a valuable service on many levels. Hiring an expert to perform your audit allows employees to continue with business as usual, so the audit doesn’t disrupt and cause profits to be lost. The audit provides a direct cost savings with the fact finding mission, followed by the longer term benefits of a TEM strategy. As you can see, the decision to undergo a telecom audit will provide value to your company immediately and for years to come.