28% Reduction in Trash Spend
Trimming expenses on waste management serves as the initial step in an organization’s sustainability journey. A prominent elevator company operating worldwide successfully slashed its monthly waste expenditure by 28%. Additionally, by securing a corporate contract, they paved the way for greater savings across their new locations, fortifying their commitment to sustainability.
Our client grappled with numerous challenges in its billing and services. Upon conducting an initial review, it became evident that over 40 locations had individually inked contracts with local waste haulers. Consequently, these contracts staggered in expiration, often incurring hefty early termination fees. This complexity rendered negotiating a unified corporate contract unfeasible within the initial twelve months of gaining contract and service visibility.
To tackle these issues, the organization teamed up with RadiusPoint. Collaborating on bill processing and payment services for their monthly waste invoices, RadiusPoint unearthed a route toward cost reduction during the standard optimization process.
RadiusPoint’s optimization process delved into scrutinizing services provided by the existing vendor, aiming to uncover contractual obligations and service specifics. Numerous locations had ordered services sporadically without considering contract terms, bin sizes, or pickup frequency. RadiusPoint conducted a comprehensive analysis across the organization, tailoring services to match the office types and specific service requirements to ensure an appropriate fit.
During our inventory and audit of the waste services, RadiusPoint:
- Obtained a copy of the vendor’s current contract.
- Validated the contract rates against the current invoice.
- Compared services across all sites for any anomalies.
- Identified overage charges or other charges beyond the normal pick-up charges.
- Identified better rates for those locations not under contract.
- Identified better rates and possible early termination penalties, if applicable, for those locations under contract
- Recommend service changes to eliminate overage charges.
- Provided consolidated report for Request for Proposal (RFP).
- Provided analysis once RFP is returned to show savings.
- Assisted with contract negotiations for each contract or global contract.
- Managed the transition project.
- Assisted with issues that arose at the location during the term of the agreement.
Partnering with RadiusPoint empowered the client to leverage our exclusive software, ExpenseLogic. This tool facilitated the seamless processing and payment of monthly invoices while concurrently conducting an audit to guarantee precise billing per contracted rates. This meticulous approach culminated in an impressive 28% decrease in monthly waste expenses. Embracing transparency in management paves the way for astute business choices, fostering cost-effectiveness, operational efficiency, and the achievement of sustainability objectives. Entrust RadiusPoint to guide you toward attaining your business savings targets, specifically with your waste services.
Reducing Telecom Expenses by 26% in Healthcare
RadiusPoint collaborated with an Assisted Living and Nursing Home organization to enhance their oversight of telecom, IT, and wireless expenses. Serving as their telecom expense management (TEM) partner, RadiusPoint offered comprehensive insight into their invoices and spending and the range of services and equipment deployed across each site. This detailed visibility enabled RadiusPoint to identify and deactivate over 700 dormant business lines at various locations leading to a 26% reduction of their annual spend or $475k once the lines were disconnected and removed from the invoices.
Given the healthcare industry’s focus on emergency preparedness, there’s a constant demand for reliable access to emergency personnel. Landlines play a critical role in ensuring immediate response in case of facility emergencies. Each location is mandated to have two copper lines for direct fire notification, with the option to add more lines for direct point-to-point access to the fire department. Safety for patients and staff is the top priority for this organization, necessitating RadiusPoint to meticulously validate vendor-provided information at every site.
The organization lacked previous inventory and audits of its telecom, IT, and wireless services. The service introduced detailed identification of each service type on vendor invoices, outlining all features, fees, taxes, and surcharges billed for each phone number. Various telecom vendors used different billing formats, with some providing only the total amount due without specific service descriptions or associated phone numbers. This limited visibility hindered effective decision-making regarding service removal or cost reduction through optimization.
As the costs of regular business lines escalated with vendors, the organization faced pressure to cut expenses. However, stringent regulations and safety protocols concerning patient well-being posed a challenge. Over the past two years, regular business line costs surged significantly, soaring from $50.00 to over $200.00 per line. Although newer, more cost-effective technology existed, regulatory restrictions prevented its use for regular business lines, prioritizing security measures.
RadiusPoint conducted an audit and inventory, yielding crucial information for eliminating unnecessary lines. This initiative validated services and phone lines across all sites, uncovering errors and overcharges in invoices. Some invoices continued to bill for services canceled years ago, obscured by invoice complexity or consolidation. RadiusPoint’s scrutiny pinpointed erroneous charges like features and taxes on phone lines canceled five years prior, prompting requests for credits from the vendor. In one case, even after an account was disconnected, circuits associated with it continued to bill due to a failed disconnection request.
The inventory and audit process began by verifying each phone line’s use through multiple calls and on-site visits for lines without responses. This process revealed over 700 unused regular business lines, some unconnected even in the phone rooms at various locations. Additionally, RadiusPoint offered recommendations to reduce line counts and optimize necessary lines. This enhanced visibility into remaining monthly expenses, enabling contract negotiations with vendors, and resulting in a further 10% cost reduction.
Now equipped with ExpenseLogic, RadiusPoint’s proprietary software, this organization possesses comprehensive visibility into its telecom invoices and a complete inventory management system. In the Site Manager section of ExpenseLogic, a single click grants their team access to detailed invoice images, individual phone lines, circuits, wireless numbers, service features, and monthly costs for each location. Their annual savings exceeding $500k, alongside the elimination of 700 unnecessary lines, have led to reduced costs, improved services, and heightened accuracy in their monthly telecom billing.
Streamlining Operations: The Role of Expense Management Software in Utility Expense Management
In today’s dynamic business environment, where every penny counts, efficient expense management is paramount. One often underestimated aspect of this financial jigsaw is Utility Expense Management (UEM). Fortunately, the advent of technology has given rise to powerful tools, with expense management software leading the charge. In this article, we explore the benefits of leveraging expense management software for UEM, shedding light on how these digital solutions can revolutionize the way businesses handle their utility expenses.
The Complexity of Utility Expense Management
Utility expenses pose a unique challenge for businesses. The dynamic nature of utility costs, fluctuating rates, and the need for meticulous tracking make UEM a complex task. Manually managing utility expenses not only consumes valuable time but is also prone to errors, making it imperative for businesses to seek more streamlined solutions.
Expense management software has evolved to become an indispensable tool for organizations looking to optimize their financial processes. When it comes to UEM, these digital solutions offer a range of features that simplify the entire utility expense management lifecycle.
Benefits of Expense Management Software in UEM
- Automated Data Capture: Expense management software automates the collection and recording of utility expense data. This reduces the likelihood of human error, ensuring that businesses have accurate and up-to-date information at their fingertips.
- Real-Time Monitoring and Reporting: With expense management software, businesses can monitor utility expenses in real-time. This capability provides a clear overview of usage patterns, allowing for quick identification of anomalies and the prompt implementation of cost-saving measures.
- Integration with Utility Providers: Many expense management software solutions offer integrations with utility providers. This facilitates seamless data exchange, enabling businesses to access billing information, track consumption, and reconcile invoices directly within the software.
- Policy Enforcement: Expense management software allows businesses to enforce spending policies related to utility expenses. This ensures that employees adhere to guidelines, preventing unnecessary expenses and promoting responsible resource usage.
- Customized Reporting and Analytics: Businesses can generate customized reports and analytics related to their utility expenses. This empowers decision-makers with valuable insights, helping them identify areas for improvement and make informed choices to optimize costs.
- Streamlined Approval Workflows: Automating approval workflows is a key feature of expense management software. This streamlines the process of approving utility-related expenses, reducing delays and ensuring that payments are made on time.
- Mobile Accessibility: Many expense management solutions offer mobile applications, allowing users to manage utility expenses on the go. This accessibility is especially beneficial for businesses with remote or traveling employees.
- Scalability: As businesses grow, so do their utility expenses. Expense management software is scalable, accommodating the evolving needs of organizations regardless of their size.
In the realm of Utility Expense Management, embracing technology is not just a choice; it’s a strategic imperative. Expense management software has emerged as a game-changer, offering a comprehensive solution to the challenges posed by utility expenses. By automating processes, providing real-time insights, and promoting responsible spending, these digital tools empower businesses to take control of their utility expenses, fostering financial health and operational efficiency in the ever-evolving landscape of modern business. As organizations strive for excellence in expense management, integrating software solutions into their UEM strategy is a step towards a more agile, informed, and cost-effective future.
Deep Dive Eliminates Telephone Overcharges – Creating Savings and Peace of Mind
Most organizations with multiple locations will have many telephone vendors that they must deal with daily. Each Telecom vendor will have different service offerings that will create confusion and ambiguous monthly invoices. How do you keep your organization from overpaying for your services or having the wrong ones in place at each location?
Organizations require telecom services at each location for several reasons:
- Regulatory – fire alarm and elevator lines
- Security – alarm lines for the security system
- Order Management – Point of Sale (POS) over data circuits
- Customer Access – Direct Lines to departments for customers
- Connectivity for location to corporate – Data circuits
- Long distance – Connecting the location to the outside world for long-distance calls
- Wireless Service – Wireless devices for employees
These services will be provided by multiple vendors, which means that there will be multiple invoices for each location, each month. Identifying the best vendor with the best rates is not the beginning of the quest to eliminate overcharges. The beginning is the deep dive that is required to identify what services are already in place and how those services are used.
Most organizations have specific telephone needs that require circuits and copper lines for each location. Keeping up with the circuit numbers, each copper line phone number, and what it is used for is a cumbersome task. For one retailer, not ensuring that services and equipment were properly cataloged and monitored created an embarrassing situation for the telecom and IT team and overcharges of over $62k paid needlessly by the retailer.
Retailers must have telephone numbers that allow a patron to call a specific department such as men’s shoes or children’s clothing. To have this type of service a retailer needs to have direct lines to each department. Keeping an inventory of the circuits and phone numbers may have identified that the services were not canceled when the location closed. The other issue that created this overcharge situation was the ambiguous invoice from the telephone vendor. The billing did not break down the services with enough detail to allow the telecom and IT team to realize that when they requested the services to be disconnected, not all services were disconnected. This oversight caused a 2 year overpayment period of $62k.
So, beyond the obvious of making sure your company is not overpaying for services, why is this deep dive needed?
In the Telecom industry, this deep dive is referred to as an inventory and audit of the telecom and IT services. This inventory and audit should create a baseline of service types, costs, contracts, and invoices. It should also validate what services you have, the location address, and the department or personnel using the services. Identifying errors, overcharges and inefficiencies in your environment will bring the entire process together to cut costs and increase efficiency. Having this information detailed by location would have saved this retailer over $60k because when the services were no longer needed and a disconnect request was made, it would have been quickly identified that the services continued to bill.
Identifying the right partner to work with to perform the inventory and audit is a must. There are many organizations that will “audit” your telephone invoices, some only charging for a portion of the savings however, defining exactly what will be audited and what the deliverables should be the first questions asked of your potential partner. If you need this deep dive to identify very detailed information about your current telecom environment, you will most likely not receive that with a contingency-based model as often these are quick looks at the services to identify the low-hanging fruit. The deep dive needed to specifically identify all services and their purpose will need to be performed by a project-based company that defines the deliverables with multiple steps and a very detailed work product.
Identifying the information that will be included in the inventory and audit is one of the first steps in gathering the information required and a timeline that will produce cost-saving results. One of the most frequent inventory and audits performed is for copper lines or Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) lines. These lines are often required for businesses for alarm or elevator lines. Several years ago, this was the best and most cost-effective solution, however, innovation has created new types of services that work better and are much more cost-effective. A business can transition over to these new services. However, if you do not have an inventory of all of your current services and phone lines, you run the risk of not disconnecting all of the POTS lines and you will keep paying for them.
A recent inventory and audit identified over 600 POTS phone lines that should have been canceled years before, however, the locations continued to pay for the lines because they had no idea the lines still existed. The services had moved to a more modern service at a much lower cost, but the telecom team performing the work did not realize that the lines continued to bill. This oversight cost this company over $30k per month.
How can your chosen partner prevent this type of oversight from occurring? Identifying all the current services is the best place to start by ensuring that you’re only paying for what you need. A successful project consists of a framework for managing fixed telecom environments that focuses on people, processes, and tools/technology. The inventory and audit establish a contract, invoice, service detail, and cost baseline. The visibility gained through the project supports technology selection, budgeting, contract negotiations, vendor relationships, change management, and other integral telecom activities.
What type of information is needed to complete an inventory and audit?
- Location address
- Service contracts
- Customer Service Records
- Organizational information
- Service ordering process
Identifying the services and lines or circuits is one of the most important areas of the project as this is where most of the hidden services are found. Ensuring that an organization is only paying for the services that they want, and need is an integral part of the process and can uncover thousands in savings. During an inventory and audit for an auto parts after-market organization, it was uncovered that there were 25 toll-free lines billing long-distance calls however the lines did not belong to them. The lines were billed through the long-distance carrier and were on an invoice that was billed monthly; however, the total invoice cost was over $500k monthly and was more than 1,000 pages in length. The only way this type of overcharge is identified is by calling each phone line to ask who the line belongs to. Once this occurred, the lines were moved from the organization’s account, saving them $10k per month.
Verifying ownership of the services is the first part of the process and once the services are verified as belonging to your organization, it is necessary to ensure that the monthly charges are accurate. Identifying where contracts exist for each location is time-consuming but a required part of performing the inventory and audit steps. A quick-service restaurant learned the hard way that obtaining a global contract does not mean that you can set it up and forget about it. For their 280 locations, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) set up services under contract, however, they set up an incorrect rate plan that caused this client to bill at a higher rate for each location’s Internet service. The higher rate cost them $16,000.00 for the year, something that they had not budgeted for, and the overage caused financial reporting issues for their locations.
With the various types of services telephone or landlines, wireless, internet, long distance, etc. the steps to complete the inventory and audit are different for each type of service. Ensuring that your partner is fully versed on each type of service and understanding what steps will be taken to audit each type of service will eliminate issues during the deliverable phase.
Upon completion of the project, you should have a set of these discoveries. It will also give you the baseline of information you need to effectively manage your environment on an ongoing basis, optimizing cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Completion of this project will provide key insights, revealing what services are installed, where services are installed, what services are invoiced, and how much services cost. This project will provide you with the comfort of a complete inventory of your telecom environment and will give you the baseline of information needed to manage your telecom environment in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
With the skyrocketing costs for telecom services and the need for fiscal responsibility in the face of inflation and possible recession, it is imperative that a business consistently monitors their telecom and IT invoices and services.
Unlocking Cost Savings: How Telecom Expense Management Can Benefit Your Business
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, optimizing costs is a top priority for organizations across industries. One area where significant cost savings can be unlocked is telecom expenses. However, managing telecom expenses efficiently can be a complex and time-consuming task for businesses of all sizes. This is where Telecom Expense Management (TEM) comes into play.
With TEM, businesses can streamline their telecom expenses, reduce unnecessary costs, and regain control over their telecom budget. By leveraging advanced software solutions, TEM provides businesses with real-time visibility into their telecom spend, helping them identify areas of inefficiency and take corrective actions.
By implementing a robust TEM strategy, businesses can benefit in multiple ways. From negotiating better contracts with telecom service providers to identifying and eliminating billing errors and unauthorized charges, TEM helps organizations optimize their telecom costs while ensuring compliance and improving overall efficiency.
In this article, we will delve into the key benefits of telecom expense management and explore how businesses can leverage it to unlock significant cost savings. So, buckle up and get ready to discover the power of effective telecom expense management.
The importance of managing telecom expenses
Telecom expenses are a significant part of an organization’s budget. With the rise of remote work and the need for constant connectivity, businesses are spending more on their telecom expenses than ever before. However, managing these expenses efficiently can be a daunting task, given the complexity of telecom billing and the number of service providers involved.
That’s where telecom expense management comes in. By implementing a TEM strategy, businesses can gain better visibility into their telecom expenses, identify areas of inefficiency, and take corrective actions to optimize their costs. TEM helps businesses streamline their telecom expenses, reduce unnecessary costs, and regain control over their telecom budget.
In today’s competitive business landscape, managing telecom expenses is more critical than ever before. Organizations that fail to optimize their telecom spending risk losing out on cost savings and falling behind their competitors.
Telecom expense management statistics
Telecom expense management is becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global telecom expense management market is expected to grow from $2.78 billion in 2020 to $5.99 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.6% during the forecast period. Another report by Gartner suggests that TEM can help organizations reduce their telecom expenses by up to 40%. Furthermore, a survey conducted by Aberdeen Group found that businesses that implement a TEM strategy can reduce their telecom spend by an average of 15% to 20%. These statistics highlight the significant cost savings that can be unlocked by implementing a robust TEM strategy.
Understanding the components of telecom expenses
Telecom expenses consist of various components, including voice, data, and mobile services. These services are provided by multiple service providers, making telecom billing complex and challenging to manage. Understanding the components of telecom expenses is crucial for businesses looking to optimize their telecom costs.
Voice services are typically provided by traditional landline providers or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers. Data services include internet connectivity and networking solutions, while mobile services include voice and data plans for mobile devices. Other components of telecom expenses include hardware, software, maintenance, and support services.
Without proper management, these components can quickly add up, resulting in unnecessary costs and inefficiencies. By implementing a TEM strategy, businesses can gain better visibility into their telecom expenses and identify areas of inefficiency to optimize their costs.
Benefits of implementing telecom expense management
Implementing a robust TEM strategy can benefit businesses in multiple ways. Here are some of the key advantages of telecom expense management:
- Cost Savings – One of the primary benefits of TEM is cost savings. By gaining better visibility into their telecom expenses, businesses can identify areas of inefficiency and take corrective actions to optimize their costs. TEM helps businesses negotiate better contracts with service providers, identify and eliminate billing errors and unauthorized charges, and optimize their telecom spending to maximize cost savings.
- Improved Operational Efficiency – TEM helps businesses streamline their telecom expenses, reducing the time and effort required to manage them. With real-time visibility into their telecom spend, businesses can identify areas of inefficiency and take corrective actions to improve their overall efficiency.
- Increased Visibility and Control – TEM provides businesses with real-time visibility into their telecom spend, enabling them to monitor their expenses and identify areas of inefficiency. This improved visibility and control help businesses regain control over their telecom budget and make informed decisions regarding their telecom expenses.
- Compliance – TEM helps businesses ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and internal policies. By monitoring their telecom expenses, businesses can identify and eliminate unauthorized charges and ensure that their telecom spend is in line with regulatory requirements and internal policies.
- Scalability – TEM solutions can be scaled to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. Whether a business has a few dozen or several thousand telecom devices, TEM can be tailored to meet their specific needs, providing them with the scalability they need to manage their telecom expenses effectively.
Steps to implement telecom expense management
Implementing a TEM strategy requires careful planning and execution. Here are some of the key steps involved in implementing a telecom expense management strategy:
- Conduct a Telecom Audit – The first step in implementing a TEM strategy is to conduct a telecom audit. This audit helps businesses gain better visibility into their telecom spend, identify areas of inefficiency, and develop a plan to optimize their costs.
- Develop a TEM Strategy – Based on the audit results, businesses can develop a TEM strategy that outlines their goals, objectives, and action plans. This strategy should include a plan to optimize their telecom spend, negotiate better contracts with service providers, and eliminate billing errors and unauthorized charges.
- Choose a TEM Solution – Choosing the right TEM solution is crucial for the success of a TEM strategy. Businesses should consider factors such as scalability, customization, and integration capabilities when choosing a TEM solution.
- Implement the TEM Solution – Once a TEM solution has been chosen, it’s time to implement it. This involves integrating the TEM solution with existing systems, training employees on its use, and developing processes to ensure its effective implementation.
- Monitor and Optimize – Finally, businesses should monitor their telecom expenses regularly and optimize their TEM strategy as needed. This involves identifying areas of inefficiency, taking corrective actions, and continuously monitoring their telecom spend to ensure compliance and cost savings.
Best practices for telecom expense management
Implementing a TEM strategy requires careful planning and execution. Here are some best practices to consider when implementing a telecom expense management strategy:
- Conduct Regular Audits – Regular audits help businesses gain better visibility into their telecom spend and identify areas of inefficiency. Conducting audits regularly can help businesses optimize their telecom costs and maximize cost savings.
- Implement Automated Systems – Automated systems can help businesses streamline their telecom expenses, reducing the time and effort required to manage them. By automating tasks such as invoice processing and payment, businesses can improve their overall efficiency and reduce the risk of errors.
- Establish Clear Policies and Procedures – Establishing clear policies and procedures for managing telecom expenses is crucial for ensuring compliance and cost savings. These policies should outline how telecom expenses are managed, who is responsible for managing them, and how disputes are resolved.
- Train Employees – Training employees on the use of TEM solutions and the company’s policies and procedures for managing telecom expenses is crucial for the success of a TEM strategy. Employees should be educated on the importance of managing telecom expenses and the role they play in optimizing costs.
- Continuously Monitor and Optimize – TEM is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and optimization. Businesses should regularly review their telecom expenses, identify areas of inefficiency, and take corrective actions to optimize their costs and ensure compliance.
Common challenges in telecom expense management and how to overcome them
Implementing a TEM strategy can be challenging, given the complexity of telecom billing and the number of service providers involved. Here are some common challenges in telecom expense management and how to overcome them:
- Complexity of Telecom Billing – Telecom billing is complex, involving multiple service providers and various components. This complexity can make it challenging to gain visibility into telecom expenses and optimize costs. To overcome this challenge, businesses should consider implementing a TEM solution that provides real-time visibility into their telecom spend.
- Disparate Systems and Processes – Managing telecom expenses can involve multiple systems and processes, making it challenging to streamline and optimize costs. To overcome this challenge, businesses should consider integrating their systems and processes and implementing an automated TEM solution.
- Lack of Resources – Managing telecom expenses can be time-consuming and require specialized knowledge and expertise. To overcome this challenge, businesses should consider outsourcing their TEM needs to a third-party provider that specializes in telecom expense management.
- Lack of Visibility – Without proper visibility into their telecom expenses, businesses cannot identify areas of inefficiency and take corrective actions. To overcome this challenge, businesses should consider implementing a TEM solution that provides real-time visibility into their telecom spend.
- Difficulty in Negotiating Contracts – Negotiating contracts with service providers can be challenging, given the complexity of telecom billing and the number of service providers involved. To overcome this challenge, businesses should consider leveraging the expertise of a TEM provider to negotiate better contracts and optimize their telecom spend.
Choosing the right TEM solution for your business
Choosing the right TEM solution is crucial for the success of a TEM strategy. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a TEM solution:
- Scalability – The TEM solution should be scalable and able to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes.
- Customization – The TEM solution should be customizable, allowing businesses to tailor it to their specific needs.
- Integration Capabilities – The TEM solution should be able to integrate with existing systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.
- Reporting Capabilities – The TEM solution should provide robust reporting capabilities, allowing businesses to gain real-time visibility into their telecom spend and identify areas of inefficiency.
- Support and Training – The TEM solution provider should offer comprehensive support and training to ensure the effective implementation and use of the solution.
Conclusion: Maximizing cost savings with telecom expense management
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, optimizing costs is a top priority for organizations across industries. Telecom expenses are a significant part of an organization’s budget, and managing them efficiently can be a complex and time-consuming task. However, by implementing a robust telecom expense management strategy, businesses can unlock significant cost savings, improve operational efficiency, and ensure compliance.
From negotiating better contracts with service providers to identifying and eliminating billing errors and unauthorized charges, TEM helps businesses optimize their telecom spend and regain control over their telecom budget. By following best practices and choosing the right TEM solution, businesses can maximize cost savings and gain a competitive edge in today’s business landscape. So, what are you waiting for? Unlock the power of effective telecom expense management and start optimizing your telecom costs today!
Many organizations have a workable Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan in place. However, Environmental Social Governance (ESG) will be the new benchmark going forward to ensure that both your organization and brand stay relevant and socially acceptable. How does your organization get ready and stay ready for this very intricate and detailed reporting that is required for electric, gas, and water consumption?
A nationwide retailer with over 1,600 locations has required reporting for the electric, gas and water consumption for each one of their locations. The information required must be gathered from the monthly invoices. The time to gather this information manually would have taken over 800 hours which would have involved someone reviewing each invoice for each month and contacting the vendor for the necessary information that was missing from the invoice.
Issues to Resolve
- Time constraints – the reporting is needed during the 1st quarter of the year for the previous year
- Personnel constraints – The Accounts Payable team did not have time which required temporary staff to be hired
- Knowledge Gap – the vendor’s invoices vary from vendor to vendor so being able to read an electric, gas, or water invoice was necessary to get the work completed timely
- Invoice Availability – the invoices for a portion of the required review had been moved off-site and had to be recalled for this review.
Identifying the requirements early in the relationship with RadiusPoint and this client created the perfect opportunity for this client to have the required reporting in advance of the need. RadiusPoint provides the monthly utility expense management services for each of the 1,600 locations from receipt of the invoice to the bill pay portion of the process. This utility expense management also involves energy expense management that identifies the usage in kWh, therms, and gallons to create more detailed reporting. Using the information that was already being gathered from the invoices and adding the additional required information, RadiusPoint was able to ensure that this client had the required reporting by location for each type of service.
The data usage that is needed from each invoice is compiled by the chosen ESG company that creates the client’s overall ESG report. Having this accurate data when it is needed was paramount to the client. The data is required during the first quarter of the next year for the previous year which puts a large burden on an already busy Accounts Payable department. RadiusPoint was able to pull together the reporting and provided an ongoing report solution so that the following year, the report would be completed by the last week of January for the entire previous year. This solution allows the RadiusPoint team to review the data and add any missing components on a monthly basis to ensure that all data is reported for the year by the beginning of the following year. This solution alone eliminated the normal delays of trying to identify who would be pulling together this information and when it would be provided.
Once the client looked at hiring temporary staff to pull the additional required data from the invoice, it was determined that this project would involve over 800 man-hours for the 1,600 locations. RadiusPoint’s solution provided most of the required usage data and the RadiusPoint team was able to go through and identify the missing information quickly to populate as required.
Utility invoices are not easily deciphered and having staff to read the invoices and gather the necessary data was a stumbling block for this client. Trying to find the staff that could perform this data gathering task that was knowledgeable about the electric, gas and water services was problematic. RadiusPoint’s team has an ESG department with knowledgeable personnel that easily filled this knowledge and personnel gap for the client.
Having the invoices on hand presented a problem for this client but it was one that was easily resolved by RadiusPoint. All invoices processed by RadiusPoint are electronically attached to the account number and the digital image is saved for up to seven (7) years. Reviewing past invoices was made easy with the information readily available at the click of a mouse.
Most ESG programs make provisions for reducing the cost of those services, but the “how” to achieve these cost reductions can be hard to predict. Measuring consumption is the first step in the right direction to reducing usage and monthly costs. The monthly ESG management services allow for the client to see the usage information on a monthly basis which in turn allows for necessary pivots that could result in a reduction of usage.
RadiusPoint’s monthly invoice processing and expense management services manage the utility invoice from receipt to payment of the invoice. Utility and telecom auditing are also important parts of the monthly service that allows RadiusPoint to fully manage the entire lifecycle of the utility or telecom invoice and service. This client saved over $48k and received their detailed and required ESG reporting on time.
The telecom expense management (TEM) industry has grown in size over the last few years, concurrent with the evolution of telecom technology, the demand for bandwidth, and the rising use of wireless devices and video conference services during the pandemic.
As a result of these trends, medium-sized and large corporations have resorted to using the services of 3rd-party providers specializing in the analysis of telecom vendor services and billing in order to curb the increasing weight of telecommunication services on their P&L.
As part of their mission, telecom expense management specialists like RadiusPoint audit the invoices issued by telecom and internet service providers, to detect cost-saving opportunities and erroneous charges driving up the cost of the lines.
A few definitions
To do their invoice analysis, telecom expense management specialists will have to gather specific data points from the client and the telecom operators billing the client. Here are 11 data points that always must be collected by the TEM specialist. The TEM specialist provides the 12th one in the following table to the client.
Some definitions are necessary:
|WHAT IT IS
|Service Address / Identifier
|The physical location or unique identification of the client’s telecom service
|The company that provides telecom services to the client
|Master Account Number
|The main account number associated with the client’s services from the service provider
|Secondary account numbers tied to the master account often used to track usage and costs for specific departments or locations
|A unique identifier for each circuit or line that connects the client’s service location to the service provider’s network
|The technology used for the circuit, such as T1, E1, DSL, MPLS, or Ethernet
|The bandwidth capacity of the port (measured in Mbps or Gbps) used to connect the client’s equipment to the service provider’s network
|PVC (Permanent Virtual Circuit)
|A virtual connection between two points on a network that simulates a dedicated physical connection
|DLCI (Data Link Connection Identifier)
|A unique number assigned to a PVC in a Frame Relay network, used to identify the virtual connection
|CIR (Committed Information Rate)
|The guaranteed minimum data transfer rate provided by the service provider for a particular circuit
|Un-Audited MRC (Monthly Recurring Charge)
|The monthly cost for the telecom service as billed by the service provider, before the audit
|The corrected or optimized monthly cost for the telecom service, identified during the audit process
Data points: how they are used for the audit
Each of the data points above has a role in the auditing process which will eventually lead to identifying potential savings or billing discrepancies. The table below summarizes the use of these data points.
|Auditing Purpose & Identifying Savings/Discrepancies
|Flagging Cost-Saving Opportunities or Billing Discrepancies
|Service Address / Identifier
|Verify service locations and validate service usage
|Service provider invoices, contracts, and client’s internal records
|Compare the service address with the client’s records to identify unused services or locations
|Ensure appropriate providers and services are being used
|Service provider invoices and contract
|Look for better rates or service options from alternative providers or negotiate with the current provider
|Master Account Number
|Verify account accuracy and organization
|Service provider invoices and contract
|Ensure charges are billed to the correct account and identify unauthorized charges
|Analyze costs and usage by department or location
|Service provider invoices and client’s internal records
|Identify high-usage areas, reallocate resources, or uncover billing errors
|Validate the circuits and their usage
|Service provider invoices, contract, and circuit inventory
|Compare circuit IDs with inventory to identify unused circuits or billing discrepancies
|Assess if the correct technology is being used
|Service provider invoices, contract, and client’s internal records
|Evaluate if a more cost-effective or efficient circuit type is available
|Check if the bandwidth capacity meets the client’s needs
|Service provider invoices, contract, and client’s internal records
|Identify underused ports or opportunities to upgrade/downgrade for cost savings
|Validate virtual connections between network points
|Service provider invoices, contract, and client’s internal records
|Ensure PVCs are correctly billed and identify unused or unnecessary virtual connections
|Confirm Frame Relay network connections
|Service provider invoices, contract, and client’s internal records
|Verify DLCIs match the client’s records and identify billing discrepancies
|Ensure the guaranteed data transfer rate is being met
|Service provider invoices, contract, and client’s internal records
|Monitor actual usage vs. CIR to identify opportunities for negotiation or cost savings
|Establish a baseline for monthly telecom expenses
|Service provider invoices
|Compare with audited MRC to determine cost-saving opportunities
|Identify optimized monthly telecom expenses after the audit
|Service provider invoices and audit findings
|Validate the effectiveness of the audit and track potential savings
Once the information has been collected, and the telecom operators‘ billing has been analyzed, the TEM specialist looks for specific types of cost-savings their client can make on their telecom bills.
Here are 10 types of cost-savings a TEM specialist would look for:
- Unused services: Discontinue services or circuits that are no longer in use, which helps reduce monthly costs.
- Negotiated rates: Renegotiate contracts with the service provider to obtain better rates or discounts on services.
- Service bundling: Combine multiple services or features into a bundled package to get discounted rates.
- Optimized service plans: Choose service plans that better match usage patterns, such as unlimited plans for high usage, or pay-as-you-go plans for variable usage.
- Technology upgrades: Replace outdated or inefficient circuits with newer, more cost-effective technologies.
- Volume discounts: Leverage the client’s purchasing power to negotiate volume discounts based on the number of lines or the total spending.
- Optimization of port sizes: Adjust port sizes to match the client’s bandwidth requirements more accurately, avoiding over- or under-provisioning.
- Resource reallocation: Identify high-usage areas and redistribute resources or services to better align with the organization’s needs.
- Tax and regulatory fee adjustments: Verify and correct taxes and regulatory fees, which can result in cost savings if errors are found.
- Alternative providers: Research and consider alternative service providers that can offer better rates or service options.
Typical telecom overcharging situations and billing errors
TEM specialists use proprietary SaaS platforms to automate the analysis and processing of telecom bills. These are complex systems that compare the client’s current telecom invoices with the vendor’s conditions, the line number, and the device ID when applicable.
The function of these SaaS platforms is to accelerate and systematize the processing of telecom invoices, which is a big organization with hundreds of retail locations and can quickly become a monthly nightmare for their Accounts Payable department. In fact, it is not uncommon for a large-size organization to have to process over a thousand telecom invoices in the course of a month. This represents a very large workload, and when reduced by automation, sizable soft-dollar savings for the organization.
The TEM specialist sets up the SaaS platform to flag out any inconsistency in telecom billing, and mismatch with known rates. Here is an example of 10 common overcharges and billing errors found in a telecom operator’s invoice:
- Double billing: Charges for the same service or feature appear multiple times on the same invoice.
- Incorrect rates: Charges that do not match the contracted rates or discounts agreed upon with the service provider.
- Unauthorized charges: Charges for services or features not requested or approved by the client.
- Misapplied taxes: Incorrect application of taxes or regulatory fees, resulting in overcharges.
- Billing for disconnected services: Charges for services that were previously disconnected or terminated.
- Incorrect usage charges: Overstated usage charges due to metering errors or incorrect data.
- Billing for non-existent locations: Charges for services at locations where the client does not have any telecom services.
- Incorrect service plan charges: Charges for a more expensive service plan than the one agreed upon or requested.
- Incorrect circuit charges: Charges for circuits that are not in the client’s inventory or have been assigned incorrect circuit IDs.
- Late payment fees and penalties: Unwarranted late payment fees or penalties that are not justified based on the client’s payment history or the terms of the contract.
The job of the TEM specialist can just be to flag these errors and let the Accounts Payable department deal with the vendors to recover credits and refunds.
But TEM specialists like RadiusPoint offer their clients to take over this part of the service, and recover credits and refunds themselves, as well as follow up with billing corrections so that the same errors don’t reappear in the next billing cycle.
By identifying cost-saving opportunities and billing discrepancies, and requesting refunds and credits from telecom operators, Telecom Expense Management specialists ensure their clients can curb the rising costs of telecommunications services, spend no more than what is necessary for their organization to operate, and offer their clients valuable business intelligence in regard to the utilization of their telecom assets and their allocation by cost centers. This enables an organization to make better-informed decisions in procurement, cost allocation, and technology.
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