Okay, just kidding. It’s actually National Records and Information Management Month (and National Fresh Celery and National Pecan Month). While we couldn’t think of a connection between fresh celery and telecom expense management, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to Records and Information Management. The two go together like hot fudge and vanilla ice cream, or Elon Musk and publicity.
All kidding aside, records and information management is pretty important in the business world and in our personal lives. Good records equal good data, and they provide a range of benefits:
- Evidence of all transactions
- Transparency and accountability (the old “paper trail”)
- Documentation of business needs and requirements
- Support for better decision making, by showing what has and has not worked in the past
So how does this apply to the world of telecom and technology expense management?
The simple answer is without good management of records and information, it’s very hard to track telecom expenses and make sure that your business:
- Pays what you should – a competitive rate!
- Only pays for services you have and are using
- Doesn’t pay for items that you have cancelled or disconnected
- Has readily accessible data to make decisions on future telecom and technology investment decisions
Needless to say, a big part of this is how you manage information related to telecom expenses. Relying on emails, printed out invoices, or manually entering data into a spreadsheet is not cause for celebration. So, in the spirit of National Records and Information Management month, we offer a couple of recommendations that can save your business a lot of money:
Conduct A Strategic Audit of Your Telecom and Technology Spend and Inventory
Research shows that businesses pay an average of 20% more than necessary for telecom services. The longer you put off doing an audit, the worse it gets. A top-quality audit firm will have up-to-date competitive price benchmarks for popular telecom services, as well as a good understanding of wholesale telecom pricing (which is close to the true cost of telecom services). This information can ensure you are not overpaying for your telecom services. However, a strategic audit can do more than just benchmark pricing. It can also lead to better sourcing, i.e. procuring services from telecom vendors. Done well, sourcing can lead to substantial cost savings.
Finally, an audit will also take a critical look at your telecom and technology inventory, and confirm you are only paying for services you are actually using – and not for services you have disconnected. Ideally, they will also identify opportunities to optimize your telecom network so that (for example) you’re not paying to connect local offices when everyone is working from home. Many telecom audit firms operate on a success fee basis – so you really have no excuse to procrastinate.
Develop a Plan and Process for On-Going Expense Management
The strategic telecom audit is like the big trip to the dentist – after you’ve taken care of those cavities, you need regular check-ups. Depending on how big your business is, your process could be as simple as setting aside time each month to go through some basic telecom expense management checks.
For most medium and larger businesses, however, it is well worth the investment in a purpose-built telecom expense and inventory management software tool. Cloud Age Solution’s gpxcloud software platform is a great example: it provides automated telecom cost audit capabilities, complete telecom inventory management, and powerful reporting capabilities. It will definitely take your telecom records management to the next level.
Celery and pecans cost extra.
If you liked this blog post, download our new white paper: The Guide to Growing Your Telecom Expense Audit Business – Profitably
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Copyright Kyle Norberg | Dreamstime.com