Benchmarking analysis is an area of telecom expense management (TEM) – also currently known as technology expense management – that is important for maintaining an overall operational and cost-effective TEM program.
This TEM service asks two key TEM program questions which serve as another analytical check monitoring the health of the overall TEM program :
1. TEM Operations: Do we have the right carriers, plans, and services in use to satisfy our communications network requirements and other vendor suppliers’ (e.g., utilities, waste management) needs?
2. TEM Pricing: Are these services presently priced competitively relative to the current marketplace, irrespective of our overhead expenses as per existing vendor agreements? (It’s important to review your existing agreements with telecom carriers and other vendors, especially those where you have a greater percentage of your TEM spend.)
Reevaluating service pricing is important because prior management may have consented to less competitive agreements in the past, which you and your team will want to better understand and remedy one way or another going forward.
Aerial View: TEM Benchmarking
A TEM network benchmark analysis informed by these two questions provides your TEM team with an aerial overview of your overall TEM program. helps TEM teams take a bigger picture view of their situation, detached from more “in-the-weeds” analyses, and can help them see the forest from the trees as the saying goes.
There are many aspects to a healthy TEM program, but a TEM benchmarking exercise helps you and your team step back and more soberly review your overall TEM landscape in the aggregate.
Let’s review a few reasons why a TEM benchmarking review can help your team keep your overall TEM program both operationally and cost-effective in the future.
4 Reasons Why TEM Benchmarking is Essential for Your TEM Program
1. Empowers your TEM vendor negotiations
The data and analytics that come from TEM vendor benchmarking comparisons facilitate your ability to negotiate more effectively with all your vendors. And this is especially the case for telecommunications vendors, which will comprise a significant portion of your TEM expenditures, both annually and throughout the entire term of a common 3-year TEM agreement.
You will be empowered by having a greater understanding of current marketplace industry pricing between carriers and their various communications services. Your team will be able to leverage this bargaining power and work toward obtaining the most competitive contract terms and rates moving forward.
And strong enterprise expense management is about proper management of the full communication lifecycle, which is an ongoing and organic endeavor; it never ends and there are no breaks here. When it’s done well, it’s about continual operational and expense management improvement in a proactive manner.
2. Increases ability to effectively manage industry standards and regulatory compliance
Attending to regulations – which are often onerous – and industry pressures to comply with current standards is not always the most fun to do. It cannot be avoided though, especially for larger modern-day enterprises (e.g., pick any big brand company) that gain the most benefit from a strong TEM partnership in assisting with challenging management areas such as this.
Very much like the benefit obtained via side-by-side comparisons in the benchmarking of contract term and rate comparisons, a penetrating review of your organization’s compliance with governmental regulatory directives and industry-standard expectations will help guide your TEM organization toward the right expense management decisions as you move forward in time.
GDPR data privacy is a good modern-day example within the world of TEM that falls within this category of regulatory compliance that cannot be avoided. It gained initial traction within Europe and is now a prominent issue within North America and most Westernized businesses as well.
3. Improved ability to manage key performance indicators (KPIs)
This will naturally help identify areas for improvement within your organization. Analyses around performance areas such as cost per service, cost per user, and device are all needed to help identify areas for network service and cost optimizations.
A strong TEM professional services team will place these types of service areas under a microscope to help identify areas for service optimization improvements, which are so critical to the proactive management of your full TEM communications lifecycle.
It sounds simple and it is: It’s about the right carriers, plans, and services at the right costs, now and into the future. The challenge is in the execution of the analyses and implementation of all these things and that’s where the value that a competent TEM can provide will demonstrate itself.
4. TEM benchmarking drives network expense savings opportunities
Identifying cost savings opportunities is always a big focus in the world of TEM. Typical areas that turn up under review are suspect usage related to fraud, excessive data usage, or unneeded features or services.
At the end of the day, the professional services TEM team assisting you and your internal team will always be highly attuned to improving all areas where waste can be reduced and shoring up the TEM network to the greatest extent possible.
Conclusion: TEM Support and Avoiding Late Payment Fees
Benchmarking is sometimes overlooked within the TEM industry because of an immediate focus on obtaining TEM software and support for more immediate perceived expense management needs. Examples of more day-to-day services such as invoice management and audit support come to mind.
Accurate benchmark intelligence not only helps your organization level set on your current TEM landscape but will set your TEM team up for better negotiating power over the horizon. Good benchmarking work eventually leads to the following positioning for your team:
• Helping to set carrier pricing expectations and requirements for upcoming negotiations.
• Facilitating the accurate and analytical push to set new rate precedents with vendors.
In the end, TEM is a symphony and therefore requires top-level conductor-type oversight to ensure that all the instruments are playing well together.
Strong and competent benchmarking is one of the bigger and more impactful instruments in your orchestra; it will serve the overall TEM program well in helping to fully optimize all your vendor services and their corresponding expenses.
If you’d like to consider Tellennium in your TEM vendor comparisons, contact us to schedule a brief demo of our solution.
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