There’s a lot of blurry vision in the USA. According to the non-profit Vision Council, there are 194 million American adults who use eyeglasses or contact lenses. Not being able to see properly hurts worker productivity, student achievement, causes headaches, and makes watching your favorite Netflix series a lot less fun.
If you have not already done so, get an eye exam soon.
And once you do that, consider whether there is more you can do to improve your “vision” when it comes to technology and telecom expense management. Here are a few suggestions.
Focus on Capturing Your Cost Data
To paraphrase an old business rule, you can’t manage what you can’t see. If you don’t have visibility on how much you are actually spending, reducing costs is almost impossible. In practice, this means getting all the relevant data from telecom invoices and other sources into a centralized database. When it comes to telecom and technology expenses, this can be more challenging than it sounds:
- Telecom invoices come in multiple formats (PDF, web, paper, EDI), which can make it hard to get data into a database;
- Telecom carriers use different terminology to describe similar services, which can make it hard to categorize costs correctly;
Related Post: Faster is Better: The Need to Automate Data Analysis
Learn the Basics of Good Data Visualization
Humans are visual creatures. We look at a picture or a graph first; then we read the explanation of the picture or graph. If you want to communicate key cost trends or flag potential issues, it’s important to know the basics of good data visualization, and then use them in a platform that has powerful and flexible visual tools.
Invest in an Expense Management Platform
Many businesses rely on spreadsheets as their de facto expense database, analysis, and visualization platform. That is fine if you have a relatively small business and things don’t change much month-to-month. However, for businesses that are growing and that are receiving a growing number of invoices from multiple vendors, spreadsheets don’t scale well. They require a lot of manual data entry, which can be slow and error-prone, and the information in them can be hard to share and update. As a result, they can become out-of-date pretty quickly.
The good news is that there are affordable SaaS platforms that can support your expense management requirements, even as they change and expand over time. For example, Cloud Age’ gpxcloud software is a secure, Cloud-Native solution that provides total visibility into the telecom and technology expenses and turns network and operational data into actionable business intelligence. Its capabilities include:
- Invoice Processing: Convert telecom invoices from PDF, EDI, etc. into a single, easy-to-analyze file format.
- Inventory Reconciliation: Automatically find and reconcile inventory and invoice mismatches; add invoice items to inventory with one click.
- Dashboards and Reporting: Create custom views or use gpxcloud’s gallery of standard reports. Track inventory and expenses by vendor, customer, or service type.
- Automated Audits and Analytics: Automate data analysis to find cost savings faster. Run pre-configured invoice audits, such as “charges not in inventory”, or “charges found for disconnected items”, or create customized audits to meet unique requirements.
- Cloud-Native SaaS Platform: Built on a cloud-native architecture using a state-of-the-art technology stack, gpxcloud delivers security, resilience, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.
So, take our advice: eat your carrots, don’t read in the dark, and get ready to pass your next “expense exam” with flying colors.
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Check out our podcast: “Three Telecom Expense Management Hacks That Can Generate Big Savings”