Technology Expense Problems

Five Common Technology Expense Problems for Businesses

In today’s post, we’ll look at five common technology expense problems our clients and many corporate infrastructure teams face and the steps you can take to tackle them.

1. Immense quantities of invoices

Technology Expense Problems

The average Fortune 1000 firm receives more than 15,000 IT/Telecom bills every year. The sheer quantity of invoices means that the potential for errors is enormous. Business must take on a monumental task in determining if all 15,000 bills are accurate and if so, paid. Slogging through all those bills could trigger late fees, service suspensions and more before your team is able to get a handle on them. If you can’t, the percentage in penalties paid can be as large as the cost of service. Worse still, the added costs of troubleshooting issues and restarting services after a suspension can wreak havoc on resources.

Obstacles with Large Quantities of Bills

  • Low visibility: Are your payments applied correctly and timely?
  • Uniformity: Are your terms and conditions mirrored across all vendors?
  • Scale: Avg 1,300 IT/Telecom bills per month in a large enterprise is taxing on resources.

Is there a better approach?

Having a managed payment solution can take thousands of IT/Telecom invoices and reduce them to a handful.

Optimizing and streamlining the invoice validation and payment process, making sure it is uniform and consistently applied, will provide a much stronger and more powerful business lifecycle, reaping rewards in dollars saved, reallocation of staff, avoiding suspensions and efficiency gains. Many organizations have seen improvements via an outsourced approach to technology expense management. Utilizing a team of experienced specialists with leading edge technology and industry insider knowledge can further enhance and streamline the receipt, review, distribution and payment for all invoices.

Benefits

  • Save money, through the reduction of late fees and reduced headcount.
  • Create continuity by eliminating service cutoffs for non-payment.
  • Identify errors quickly through increased visibility.
  • Reduce liability, onus is on the provider.
  • Optimize cash management.

2. Inventory accuracy

Did you know that just improving your inventory accuracy can account for 50% of the overall savings in any cost-reduction exercise?

There is great power in knowing exactly what you have, what you need and what you are using. We’re not just talking about devices. Inventory can mean software licenses, data etc. Technology inventory accuracy is vital for effective management, network transformation, and contract negotiations. The more accurate and quantifiable your data, the better you’re able to cut costs and minimize contractual liabilities.

Obstacles with Managing your Own Inventory

  • Knowing where services are located and who owns them.
  • Capturing the originating installation date of the service.
  • Determining if the services are under a term commitment.
  • Knowing if the service is actually being used.

Technology Expense Problems - AccuracyIs there a better approach?

Obviously, a deep dive validation of all devices, services, usage etc. is crucial. But effective asset management must also use a system that compiles client and vendor records together for a more in-depth and accurate inventory. This can create huge savings opportunities. Simply by moving the accuracy percentage a few points can resulting in significant savings – just five percent of a $1,000,000 monthly spend equates to an annual savings of $600,000.

Benefits

  • Stop payment for unused services.
  • Create standards for ever-changing services.
  • Control and other efficiency gains.
  • Have a single repository for all services (Voice, Data IOT, Cloud, & Mobility)

3. Dealing with too many vendors

Technology Expense Problems - too many vendorsMany organizations struggle with controlling the ever-growing array of IT/Telecom and Technology vendors. Organizations with numerous locations oftentimes still have those offices ordering devices and services outside of the company’s standard process, compounding the potential for errors and overpayment.

Obstacles to Vendor Consolidation

  • Having to Rip & Replace Services.
  • Limited Resources to project manage the transition.
  • Shoring up expenses to validate saving gains.
  • Managing disparate account teams and relationships.

Is there a better approach?

Consolidate your vendors. The immediate gain for any organization is hard and soft dollar savings achieved by reducing the number of vendors and disparate services. Over the longer term, consolidating means that in addition to managing fewer vendors and invoices, it will mean working with fewer teams on the MACD process, freeing up stressed internal resources as well as a vastly improved contract negotiating position.

Benefits

  • Fewer suppliers are easier to manage
  • Fewer suppliers mean better customer service.
  • Added visibility on your spending.
  • Improved hard and soft dollar savings.
  • May not require a Rip & Replace transition.

4. Frequent telecom and technology billing errors

Technology Expense Problems - billing errorsGartner reports that 85% of telecom invoices have errors and cost businesses upwards of 12-20% of over-spending every month. Most errors are not investigated at all and just paid in full. An in-depth IT/Telecom audit and optimization can eliminate all errors on your invoices and ensure verifiable savings. It is a highly detail-oriented and time-consuming process. If you do not have experienced staff and resources, it could pose a serious challenge to execute.

Obstacles with Auditing your Own Bills

  • Timing – Manual process tied to existing workload.
  • Network complexity on disparate services.
  • Staff turnover.
  • Understanding of vendor market intelligence.

Is there a better approach?

An outside IT/Telecom audit done by experience specialist. The process consists of taking a forensic analysis approach when reviewing telecom and technology environments. Identifying gaps in pricing against contracted rates, design reviews, and tax applications t0 uncover mistakes, opportunities, recover and reduce expenses, and optimize for efficiency gains. The 80/20 Rule – 80% of the savings comes from 20% of the issues – is something we know rings true for IT/Telecom audits based on our experience.

Benefits

  • Faster savings
  • Improve supplier relationships
  • Benchmarking and
  • Continuous monitoring and improvement

For more on this topic, check out our previous post: You are probably paying your vendor too much.

5. Order Management

Organizations are constantly upgrading bandwidth, smartphones, systems and devices. Many do this ad hoc, without a detailed plan or a protocol. That can create various and complex problems with costing, delivery, billing, and serviceability.

Obstacles with Order Management

  • Workforce productivity/labor management.
  • Ability to process more orders, faster.
  • Managing orders and order flow.
  • Inventory visibility across locations.
  • Complex order configuration and/or pricing and quoting.
  • Single view of all orders from all sources/vendors.

Is there a better approach?

Analyzing, and strategically standardizing your particular workflow will give you deep visibility into the ordering process, help build a more efficient supply chain, and ultimately, improve overall customer satisfaction. It is imperative to have a documented and strictly enforced workflow, supported by powerful software solutions and access to only “safe & approved” vendors.

Benefits

  • Increase in ROI and improved process efficiency.
  • Reduced order processing time delays.
  • Customization and seamless integration.
  • Improved communication and relationships with vendors.

Staying on top of these issues is never easy but with a detailed analysis and visibility into your business process lifecycle, you might find as much as 30% or more in annual savings or as much as $4.5 million annually with some help from Intelligent Bills. It’s worth noting that engaging a reliable, trusted, and expert partner can really make a difference when facing these challenges.

Let us tell you how.