Enterprise expense management teams have always struggled with the immense task of ensuring the proper mix of communications services and products for their employees and company network needs. Alongside the task of deciding on the most appropriate services for their network, management must optimize for the cost of said services and do so in an ongoing manner.
In the past, say, over 20 years ago, most services were wireline, i.e., fixed services. As of 2022, enterprise communications services continue to skew towards mobility services, for all the well-known reasons and longstanding trends that most of us are aware of such as:
Today, the discipline of Mobile Expense Management, A.K.A Wireless Expense Management (WEM), is focused on achieving the same aims that traditional Telecom Expense Management (TEM) has focused on: (1) Getting the right services and (2) getting these services at the right costs.
It’s really the same game, only with a mobility focus (e.g., BYOD plan vs. COPE etc.). It goes without saying, that to implement and manage a strong expense management program – whether wireline focused, or mobility focused – most enterprises will partner with a strong TEM provider.
Doing so facilitates scalability, leveraging the firm’s deep pool of subject-matter-experts (SMEs) and robust TEM platform, which facilitates inventory management. And a detailed and clean inventory is critical to key performance metrics and data tracking.
In this blog, we’ll also highlight five dashboards that are key to have for your mobile expense management program and mobile expense reporting needs.
5 Must Have Mobility Dashboards
1. High data user monitoring
This is a big one. Mobility data users that are outliers should be identified, especially the high data users. Is fraud involved? Or is the employee abusing their privileges?
If the activity is legitimate, is this employee aligned to the best plan and device available to them? Getting this right for all employees across the board makes an impact, especially over the term of an agreement.
2. Real time mobility usage
In the world of mobile expense management or wireless expense management, having access to real time usage behavior is important. The key takeaway here is to always monitor and evaluate employee behavior in the aggregate relative to marketplace services and plans available.
Each company and situation are different. This is something that should be continually monitored to ensure alignment to existing plans and services makes sense. If not, what has changed that needs to be accounted for?
With a myriad of carriers and communications services available today, there will always be options to make changes. (You can always talk and even renegotiate with relevant parties. Nothing is set in permanent stone even though it sometimes feels like it.)
It’s up to the Wireless Expense Management (WEM) mobility team to monitor and perform optimization analyses to ensure the organization is in a good spot and continuing to head in a good direction.
This is like hygiene and exercise: you need to do this continually to get desired results. If done right, this is a lifestyle, more than a destination.
3. Zero-usage devices
Why pay for devices not being used? Many organizations are surprised at just how painful zero-usage devices can be to an enterprise.
In large organizations, especially decentralized organizations with hundreds or thousands of locations across the U.S. or world, it’s easy for devices to go unused and continue to bill because the service / device was not properly monitored and managed.
It’s not uncommon to see zero-usage devices bill for years before being noticed. This is low-hanging fruit to go get so organizations that are being materially over-charged in this regard are really shooting themselves in the foot. (It’s more prevalent than you would believe. Make sure this does not happen to your organization.)
4. Contract and device eligibility
Contract management is often an area that “needs improvement” for most organizations. The best TEM programs know that almost fanatical organization around this key TEM area is a must.
Large enterprises with, say, thousands of employees will have large network spends in the millions annually. All these employees will align to specific carrier plans, services, and devices.
Presumably, the alignment made sense when initially implemented. Even if this is the case, this is a world in so much flux that things can go sideways quickly.
The takeaway here is that a strong WEM team will continuously monitor their employee mobility behavior against their current portfolio of carrier agreements / plans and services in use.
The goal is to always ensure that employee behavior is well-aligned to carrier plans and services that operationally make sense and are obtained at competitive costs. The idea is to never be satisfied with the status quo.
This is a real important area and one which we’ll devote an entire article to soon. Don’t be the organizations that steer-clear of this area because it feels overwhelming. It could cost you millions of dollars over a period of a few years.
5. Chargebacks Review
Ask your finance and accounting team. They will confirm that monitoring chargebacks to departments is important. Not having clean dashboarding visibility in place in this regard could cost your organization many more man hours than are needed, which dings both morale and company overhead.
Each organization will have its own rules for how chargebacks should be handled and applied. Having a dashboard that breaks this out cleanly is critical to this expense management effort.
The world of mobility will continue to proliferate exponentially for the foreseeable future. We recommend that enterprises embrace this fact while working to put in place a strong WEM program with strong dashboards and reporting capabilities.
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