Corporations are under competitive pressure now, more than ever. In fact, only 40% of small and medium businesses are profitable, according to the US Chamber of Commerce. Yet, most ignore an obvious way to reach that goal: cut their telecommunications expenses. This is a straightforward process with the right telecommunications expense management (TEM) experts.
Competition has evolved from local to international. Every company now has the means to market their products not only to the locals, but also across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic increased the pressure by shaking up established markets and business processes. In markets like travel, auto sales, and consumer goods, well-known brands saw their revenue unexpectedly drop by 90% or more in a few weeks. They feel pressure, pressure, pressure; many corporations are in a daily struggle for survival. Somehow, they must make themselves more profitable.
Ineffective Ways Companies Manage Telecommunications Expenses
Paying Too Much
Telecommunications represent a significant portion of business expenses, and this is an area in which many overpay. Why? Corporations are not experts in telecommunications services. Rather than a well-thought-out plan, they often buy ad-hoc services, which create numerous inefficiencies. Many also lack the expertise or time for benchmarking or conducting in-depth evaluations. Consequently, they make decisions with incomplete information and opt for services that do not fit their business needs and sometimes include hidden costs that raise their expenses.
In other cases, services aren’t disconnected or aren’t completely disconnected, resulting in ongoing recurring charges. Software alone does not catch these missteps.
Billing Isn’t Streamlined
Some organizations simply aren’t aware of their inefficiencies. Since carriers have many different pricing plans, a company with different operating groups may qualify for a volume discount but not realize it because of the way their bills are generated. Instead of bills being bundled, each group has its own.
These billing inconsistencies add management burdens; the company ends up with multiple bills and accounts. Without expertise and software, support staff must bounce from system to system in order to piece together a complete picture of their spending, an onerous process that few organizations undertake.
Ongoing contract renewals are also often handled ineffectively. Corporations need expertise in negotiating these agreements in order to understand what terms and conditions are common practice. Some examples are term vs annual commitments, growth / downturn clauses, and service level agreements. Without this knowledge of what carriers will and won’t do, it’s nearly impossible to effectively negotiate these agreements.
The end result? Corporations pay more than they should or end up with contractual obligations that don’t provide the deliverables and flexibility they require.
Pay Your Fair Share of TEM
Work with a TEM Expert
How can you ensure that your telecommunications expenses are as low as they should be? Hire a TEM expert. These companies focus specifically on TEM, so they understand its ins and outs. They stay abreast of all of the latest trends and find the technology that fits best with your business, not just validate the accuracy of the bill.
TEM experts know how to dig deeply into carrier billing. They recognize both the listed as well as hidden charges that come with each carrier’s offering and match solutions that deliver the functions you need at the optimal cost.
Consolidate Your Billing Platforms
Sometimes, businesses move from traditional, cumbersome, legacy TEM solutions to modern cloud-based systems that offer services like automated expense management, invoice management, accounting, and analytics.
These cloud-based solutions deliver needed functionality and provide a clearer view of the entire TEM puzzle. Previously, you may have focused on individual pieces without seeing the big picture. But with a TEM provider, you get a central repository of all service invoices, so you can correlate information and gain numerous efficiencies. You no longer need to log into multiple carrier platforms or email them to obtain bills and reports; instead, you can access any provider, technology, and invoice through one system. With information now centralized, you have the ability to automate expense management and approval workflows, streamline approval workflows, and reduce manual processing and cycle times.
Take a Closer Look at Your Telecom Expenses
Now more than ever, businesses must respond to intense competitive pressure. Many are struggling to keep their doors open, which is a challenge that becomes greater every day. Taking a close look at your business’ telecom expenses can greatly improve your market position, increases margins, and enhances long-term viability.
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