A well-known proverb says “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” For enterprises, Telecom Expense Management (TEM) and Mobility Management Services (MMS) may fail based on their weakest areas. If an organization is implementing a TEM solution, or it has one in place, reviewing the current program to identify its weakest link can provide significant benefits.
Find Your Weakest TEM Link
Understanding the current processes and tools used to manage telecom expenses is critical to identify any weaknesses. Below are some questions that can help with the investigation.
How does your company manage service orders?
- Does the enterprise have a portal to manage mobile services and smartphone eligibility?
- Is there a common process to manage service orders or do offices, regions, or corporate divisions have different methods to manage and track this activity?
How does it manage telecom invoices?
- On average, how many days does it take to process and pay an invoice?
- What software and processes are used at each site, division or region to manage bills? (Hint: a unified approach with the same software and process is preferred)
- What systems/processes ensure that lost and missing telecom bills are identified?
How do you manage, validate and optimize telecom expenses?
- Are bills verified each month and claims submitted for billing errors?
- What claims were submitted over the past 12 months and what refunds were secured for the billing errors?
- How often is mobile usage compared to employees’ plans to avoid paying for unused or overages with voice minutes or data allotments?
How do you manage usage allocation charge-back?
- Does the system allocate expenses based on actual usage using call accounting and monitoring of call activity through the PBX or call detail from EDI bills?
- What is the current level of detail for expense allocation:
- Individual, department, region, business unit?
- Who has access to reports on telecom spending?
- Do the reports provide useful information for managers to associate usage of services with expenses?
Where are the bill payment bottlenecks?
- What systems ensure that lost and missing telecom bills are proactively identified?
- Where are the bottlenecks that prevent bills from being processed and paid on time?
- If a carrier threatens to disconnect services for failing to pay a bill, how difficult is it to identify when bills are paid?
These questions will guide the evaluation of TEM solutions to ensure that you select a solution that will provide better service and address the weakest link with your current approach. If you already have a program in place, they can provide a new perspective on ways of looking at your current program. The best programs find your weakest link(s) and replace them with strong processes that deliver better results.