There are many reasons why enterprise operations and financial managers decide to hire telecom or technology expense management (TEM) providers. We have covered many of these reasons in multiple blogs such as A 4 Step Guide to Selecting a TEM Provider and 12 Reasons Why You May Need a TEM Provider.
Because hiring a TEM provider is essentially a technological and financial imperative today for enterprise expense management teams, it’s worth discussing in more detail some of the many reasons why there is tremendous upside in hiring a TEM provider that can deliver real value to its customers.
TEM Provider Value-Adds
At a high level, a highly competent TEM provider will help in three critical ways. They will (1) save time for the organization, (2) enhance network operational and financial visibility, and (3) provide key support for the internal expense management team.
A strong TEM provider adds value in these ways by bringing essential elements to the table that the internal TEM team does not possess. A TEM provider will have its own TEM technology platform, which is a necessity nowadays in terms of being able to properly house significant amounts of enterprise data and allow for proper parsing of said data. The TEM platform will also facilitate workflow and process automation, which is a must in today’s supersonic world.
Secondly, the competent TEM provider will possess an abundance of highly experienced and knowledgeable subject-matter-experts (SMEs). This “TEM talent” lives and breathes the expense management business daily so they are at the vanguard of what is transpiring in terms of the industry and best positioned to provide worthy counsel on their customers’ business.
Finally, because of the deep industry focus, the TEM provider is also attuned to expense management best practices and their importance with respect to the day-to-day management of enterprise service operations and effective asset and expense management practices.
It’s in all these important ways that a competent TEM provider/partner will not simply bolster but serve as a booster rocket to for an enterprise’s expense management program.
Let’s explore in more detail the value that a strong TEM provider/partner will deliver for your TEM program.
3 TEM Provider Benefits in Detail
1. Platform Automation & Time Savings
As noted, a strong TEM program is a must in today’s world. The TEM platform allows for the streamlined and automated processing of important expense management functions. For example, invoices can be electronically captured in the most efficient manner possible across a multitude of vendors with diverse practices and invoice formats. Automated bill payments can subsequently be easily set up and very granular data can be stored and manipulated to facilitate ongoing invoice auditing and dispute management efforts.
Cost allocations, which can be very complicated are made manageable through the TEM platform. For example, one customer may have a need for a complex allocation that splits the cost of one circuit out and across, say, 1,000 different cost codes. Doing this by hand is out of the question, but the right TEM platform makes such a task straightforward and doable.
2. Enhanced Visibility
A strong TEM platform will also possess robust reporting capabilities. If you can’t see and manipulate all pertinent enterprise service, expense, and asset data then you do not have full agency over your TEM program. A strong TEM provider knows this so it will take the time to ensure that its technology platform has highly configurable and very granular reporting capabilities. If the TEM providers you are reviewing do not meet this basic sniff test, then keep looking because this is critical. You can’t manage what you can’t measure and see clearly. This is essential for monitoring the enterprise’s inventory, network expenditures, and usage behavior across all network locations.
3. Improved Support
In today’s enterprise expense management environment, it’s almost a certainty that an enterprise with a strong TEM program will be partnering with a highly competent TEM provider/partner.
There are many reasons for this beyond strong technology and expertise. The TEM provider hyper-focus on critical expense management leverage points and business processes exponentially drives operational and financial fitness for the TEM program.
For example, consider operational continuity. A highly competent TEM that is leveraging a strong technology platform, an experienced team of subject-matter-experts, and employing a best practices methodology will be in the best position to eliminate typical TEM challenges such as billing related service disruptions, disconnections, and wasteful late fees.
The TEM provider’s focus on standardizing work and workflows, along with constant laser-focus on improving processes reduces errors, network management costs, and increases employee productivity.
Additionally, a strong TEM provider will never lose sight of always trying to maximize value in terms of sound network operations and financial decisions. This focus pushes them to make the most of all vendor products and services available. For example, how best to partner with a utility provider and any other potential vendor that can help facilitate the lowering of operating costs.
For enterprises today, certainly larger organizations within the Fortune 5000, selecting a TEM provider/partner is an important decision. It’s essentially mandatory because mid to larger enterprises simply have too much data and network complexity for internal expense management teams to manage effectively. And hiring more people and working on homegrown technology simply does not scale. It’s a non-starter.
Today’s enterprises simply do not have the right technology or TEM platform that they need, along with enough requisite expense management “know how” to do the job effectively, so they need some outside support from a TEM provider/partner. And this is okay.
Knowing this reality is more than half of the battle so if your organization is focused on the process of selecting a TEM provider/partner rather than deciding if they need one, they are on the right path. They have learned what they “didn’t know” and are in the process of shoring up the necessary support to build-out a well-balanced and healthy ongoing TEM program.
To learn more about our TEM program at Tellennium, please schedule a brief demo of our solution.
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