If you are a small business owner (less than $50mm annual revenue), then no, you don’t need TEM sourcing support.
But if you lead an enterprise expense management team that is focused on managing and optimizing your organization’s communications network expenses – including communications services such as mobile devices, internet services, traditional fixed phone services, and other enterprise services (e.g., waste management, utilities) – then yes, you will greatly benefit from TEM sourcing support.
TEM sourcing performed properly will provide an effective process for analyzing network communication vendor spending, negotiating better rates and contracts with enterprise service providers, and ultimately help to better identify and resolve billing errors as well as contain network costs over the long term for your organization.
Let’s review in more detail below.
4 key areas to get started with TEM sourcing:
1. Evaluate your current TEM environment
Begin by working to understand your current TEM vendor contracts and services, including usage patterns, and all costs. For example, start with the basics and work progressively towards more and more clarity. Specifically, consider the following questions:
- How many vendors are we managing?
- How many contracts are involved with each?
- How many services?
- How many invoices?
- What are the costs by service category et cetera?
You need to know your starting place and destination; you can get going on location A (e.g., “you are here”) and your TEM partner can help you devise a strategy along with corresponding tactics to move towards your ultimate TEM destination of optimized services and costs.
2. Identify optimizable TEM areas
Review your current TEM environment to identify areas where you believe you can reduce TEM costs, such as negotiating better rates, eliminating unnecessary vendor services, or consolidating contracts. Again, this will help your TEM partner assist you and your organization when they begin providing TEM sourcing and procurement support.
3. Evaluate TEM solutions
There are various TEM providers available, and we recommend reviewing between 3 to 5. Take your time with this process because it is important. Most TEM sales teams will have similar TEM pitches but not all are created equal.
Some TEM providers will truly be able to deliver results while others will leave you regretting your partnership with them. Be careful because this is your most important sourcing decision with them. It’s imperative that you select a competent TEM, not simply a higher-profile TEM with bigger brand recognition.
4. Implement your TEM sourcing solution
Once you’ve chosen a TEM partner, work with them on implementing their suggested TEM sourcing program. For example, the way we go about TEM sourcing at Tellennium will be slightly different from other TEM vendors, but we are confident in our ability to deliver. Once you choose your TEM partner, let them lead the process and work to support the overall effort, as necessary. (So long as you pick a competent TEM partner, you should be okay.)
6 key areas for effective TEM sourcing
When it comes to TEM sourcing, there are items to keep top of mind to ensure a successful sourcing program:
1. Data Accuracy
Accurate data is key to TEM sourcing success, as almost all things with TEM. Ensure that your TEM platform accurately captures and reports all relevant data, such as usage, costs, and contract terms.
2. Cost Reduction
The main goal of TEM sourcing is to reduce enterprise telecom vendor expenses as well as other expenses (e.g., waste management and utilities are also common). Ensure that your TEM solution is configured to identify and prioritize cost-saving opportunities. The application should also be built to automate as much as possible. (You want your human talent focused on things that computers cannot handle well so let the computers handle more mundane tasks that are amenable to expense management automation.)
3. Contract Negotiations
Contract negotiations are a critical component of TEM sourcing. Ensure that the TEM platform and overall solution utilized have the necessary data and analytics to negotiate favorable terms with your telecom providers. The expertise of y our TEM partner will further drive results in this area but it’s imperative that the subject-matter-experts have accurate and penetrating visibility into the current TEM marketplace, so the TEM platform utilized will need to be highly capable in this regard.
4. Invoice Management
TEM sourcing should also set up your organization for the efficient management of invoices going forward, including the effective resolution of billing errors and discrepancies. Ensure that your TEM solution provides robust invoice management capabilities to support this TEM area of longer-term sustainability.
5. Reporting and Analytics
Accurate reporting and analytics are critical for measuring the success of your TEM sourcing efforts. Ensure that your TEM platform provides meaningful and actionable reports and insights into your telecom expenses and usage patterns.
6. Integration with Existing Systems
TEM sourcing activities must integrate with your existing systems, such as billing platforms and expense management tools, to ensure seamless and efficient operations.
By prioritizing these items, you can ensure that your TEM sourcing activities are successful and help you reduce telecom expenses and optimize your organization’s telecom environment.
Conclusion - 3 TEM sourcing takeaways
We have pressed the point that TEM sourcing is important for larger enterprises and their expense management teams, as opposed to small corner businesses. Let’s just reaffirm some key takeaways for why this is an important process for enterprise expense management teams.
- Improved cost savings: Strong TEM sourcing practices reduce telecom expenses initially (e.g., front-end procurement) and sustainably over time (e.g., proactive expense management operational reviews to get out front of future vendor contract negotiations).
An effective sourcing practice provides enterprise expense management organizations with the expertise, tools, and processes needed to effectively manage and optimize their telecom and other vendor expenditures.
- Improved data insights: TEM sourcing support provides valuable insights into an organization’s telecom expenses and usage patterns. These insights can help organizations make informed decisions about their telecom environment operations, identify cost-saving opportunities, and negotiate better contracts with enterprise service providers.
- Improved process efficiencies: TEM sourcing support can help streamline the management of telecom services and contracts by providing a centralized, automated system for tracking and analyzing expenses, negotiating rates, and resolving billing errors.
By focusing on improving your organization’s TEM sourcing capabilities, enterprises can realize the benefits of more proactive TEM vendor management and improve their enterprise expense management results over the longer term.
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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