What is one of the best ways to cut costs without cutting heads or disrupting you key business operations? One simple solution is to explore the adoption of a telecom expense management or TEM solutions.
Recently I had a chance to sit down with the team at Anchorpoint to learn just how they are helping companies cut costs in a painless fashion.
One of the biggest problems with how companies currently deal with phone bills is that they put highly skilled workers in charge of what is really a low skill job. In addition, the job of approving telecom bills is time sensitive as phones tend to stop working when bills aren’t paid. So as these highly skilled workers deal with the time sensitive job which they often feel is below their skill set they tend not to take the job very seriously and subsequently rubber stamp bills to get them through.
So companies are paying good salaries to people to do a job which doesn’t get done too well.
In my conversation at Anchorpoint’s headquarters in Massachusetts, we discussed how in some cases companies deploying TEM solutions can cut headcount but this usually pales in comparison to saving perhaps 10 % or more on a 10 million dollar bill.
So instead of focusing on a company’s ability to cut heads they explain that these high value workers could do more important things in the company.
Of course I brought up the $99 flat rate bill phenomenon being marketed by the wireless carriers and the team told me that the result of this new marketing approach is that companies now have a metric they must come below.
So a CFO may expect phone bills to be less than $99 and a compensation plan can even be assigned to a worker based on the percentage of savings over this amount.
We further went on to discuss how telecom cost management compares with travel management. In the case of travel, most every company has policies in place regarding types of hotels employees can use and whether they can fly coach, business class, etc.
Policies haven’t been as firmly developed in the wireless space however and that is why Anchorpoint thinks you first need to come up with the rules your company thinks make sense and then let the software and systems enforce them.
Anchorpoint sells primarily to North American companies with offices around the globe and their software generally replaces tab-laden spreadsheets.
One item that I haven’t touched on before is the concept of PBX call accounting. As companies move to VoIP they are able to get rid of multiple RS232 collection boxes and instead can centralize call accounting. This means an organization will likely roll out call accounting more deeply within an organization’s branch offices as the cost to do so is lower with VoIP solutions.
In fact the company tells me that some of their customers are using TEM as a reason to go to VoIP as there is immediate cost savings above and beyond the lower service costs associated with IP calling.
In all, it is fascinating to see how telecom expense management solutions are being adopted by companies far and wide. Moreover it is great to be able to deploy one technology like VoIP because you save somewhere else. In the end it seems obvious that companies with enormous phone bills really must explore TEM solutions for their companies for all the reasons listed above and more.