If the task of trying to decipher the multi-paged invoices your company receives for telecommunications services each month is akin to cleaning out that catch-all junk drawer, you’re not alone. It can be a dreaded job, but eventually it has to be done since it’s possible for a company to leak as much as 12% of revenue in uncontrolled telecom expenses.
You can’t lay the blame on your AP department. They’re already mystified by the telecom invoices they process every month. Lacking the technical expertise to translate the charges or the time to investigate and verify charges, they just pay them, month after month.
If like so many other businesses, this telecom lingo-filled maze of charges, surcharges, and fees is beyond anyone’s comprehension, it’s time to seek the help of someone who speaks the language of telecommunications expenses management (TEM). And just like the joy that comes with finding that long-forgotten photo at the bottom of that drawer, you may be delighted when you discover what benefits you reap from regularly reviewing your TEM.
Who Needs a TEM Review? Ask Yourself This …
- Are we confident that the bottom line amount on our monthly invoices is correct and that we are not being billed for services we no longer use?
- Are we absolutely certain that our telecom service vendors are crossing every t and dotting every i in meeting the terms set forth in our contract with them?
- Have we recently taken inventory of the telecom equipment we actually use and sorted through the excess in unused IT equipment, then lined it all up with the charges appearing on each page of the invoice?
If you shook your head no even once, join the crowd. Telecom is often one of the most poorly managed functions in most organizations. Unless you are certain that you’re not leaving money on the table each month, you should look into an audit of your telecom expense management; this goes double if your business has multiple sites and operates across state lines and time zones.
TEM Reviews Can Help Rein in Communications Costs
Reimbursement for Billing Errors
According to analysts 85% of telecom invoices received contain billing errors. Therefore it is paramount that you understand exactly what you are being billed for, that you are receiving the services the invoice says you are, and just as important, that you still need them.
According to a report issued by the Institute of Financial Operations, common errors appearing on invoices include:
- Failure to honor negotiated prices for specific services.
- Failure to apply negotiated volume discounts, credits, or free service provisions.
- Installation fee waivers do not appear and services identified as non-billable in the contract are being charged.
- Service disconnections are not honored and as a result charges for stopped services continue.
- City, state, and federal taxes, which can be very complex, are applied incorrectly.
Working with vendors to negotiate refunds for incorrect billing errors can be a long, arduous, and frustrating process. However a TEM professional possesses the wealth of knowledge gained from doing this regularly. Furthermore he or she has access to provider tariffs, and the negotiation skills necessary to recover money from carriers.
Telecom Inventory Management and Procurement Reconciliation
If your business locations and their array of voice, data, and wireless assets are disbursed across, not only geographic borders, but among different service providers, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to maintain a handle on telecom inventory and procurement. Common challenges include device tracking, ordering procedures and approvals, verification of services ordered and disconnected.
Having your TEM reviewed at least every other year can help you manage all your telecom assets, infrastructures, and services but can ensure they are accurately reflected in your monthly bills. TIE National LLC focuses on providing TEM reviews and inventory management solutions to multi-location businesses in all 50 states. Among the related services we provide are storage of excess IT equipment in one of our secured warehouses; refurbishing, deploying, and installing equipment to alternative sites; and liquidating assets through sales or green disposal.
Contact us so we can help you improve your company’s efficiency and regain control of your telecommunications expenses.