Industry figures show that anywhere from 10% to 12% of telecommunications charges are incorrect. An estimated 85% of those errors are in the in the telecommunications carrier's favor. This means that most companies are overspending thousands or millions of dollars on their telecommunications expenses.
Common telecom expense problems include:
Any company that implements a process to get their telecommunications expenses under control can reap substantial cost savings. This article provides an overview of a means to get a grip on telecommunications expense management (TEM).
Collecting information. The first place for a company to start is to collect the information necessary to effectively manage telecommunications resources and expenses. The information that needs to be collected includes:
* Account numbers and details.
* A breakdown of service numbers, service types, and service locations.
* Location information including open and closed locations.
* Active and terminated employee information going back several years.
Information on accounts, service numbers, service types, and service locations may be obtained from a company's telecommunications vendors. Internal finance, human resources, and IT systems should be able to provide the rest.
Converting data to electronic format. The next major step in getting control of telecommunications expenses is to get all of the data into a manageable format. To do this, all collected data must be converted into electronic format and normalized into a database. A telecom expense management (TEM) software solution may be employed to facilitate this process (see here for a complete list of TEM software solutions).
Determine the source of the problem - internal vs. external. The next step is to identify problems and determine the source. When looking for problems, it is important to focus on locations, people, internal cost codes, and corporate projects and project codes. While carriers do make mistakes, any company will also find that it, too, is the source of some of the problems. This is especially true in the assignment of cost and project codes and accounting for active and terminated employees. It is important to identify problems as internal or external.
To fix internal problems entails either the enforcement of existing policies and procedures, or the creation of new processes to ensure that problems will not recur in the future.
Use the data to obtain credits from telecom carriers. For problems that are identified as external (the fault of the carrier), companies should submit their detailed findings to their carriers to obtain credits. When doing this, it is important to know the statute of limitations on issues. Some issues may simply be too old and there is no point wasting time on them. It is also important to have a tracking process in place to track credit requests and their disposition. Some problems may require escalation to obtain satisfactory review and redress.
Following this process will help any company to rectify internal problems that lead to increased telecommunications expenses. It will also identify inappropriate billing from telecom carriers, helping a company to obtain credits and substantially reducing its telecommunications expenses.