The Telecom Money Pit: A third-party audit offers a no-risk opportunity to drive savings and put money back into your budget to help fund telecom projects.
What Are the Biggest Telecommunications Problems for Businesses Today?
Analysts estimate that 10% to 20% of Telecom charges are billed in error. Depending on the size of your business, the financial impact can range from a few dollars to tens of thousands of dollars per month.
The overbilling of monthly services can truly run the gamut. Some of the common areas include charges for non-working or underutilized circuits, billing disputes, contractual issues, fraudulent charges, one-time charges and the application of improper rates, taxes and surcharges. These charges can appear on the invoice but more often, they are buried within the “bundled” services that comprise your monthly recurring charges, which you do not see on a monthly basis.
To a large extent, over-charges reflect the ambiguous complexity of Telecom agreements. While carriers don’t intentionally mismanage their invoices, they’ve done little to improve their billing and invoicing processes nor do they facilitate a customers’ ability to identify and recover costs. Indeed, customers who attempt to recover credits from overbillings and resolve billing anomalies face huge challenges.
At the same time, carriers have experienced significant turnover, and today lack account reps who have the expertise to navigate the vagaries of invoices and billing platforms. This has led to a buyer beware mentality, where customers increasingly bear the onus for ensuring that statements are accurate and that negotiated discounts and rates are actually applied.
Indeed, the combination of organizational and technological change within the industry along with carrier intransigence has wreaked havoc with Telecom charges. In this climate, customers are recognizing the need for vigilance and turning to thorough and systematic audits of Telecom statements to manage costs and support their network strategies.
How to use audits to find significant discrepancies and big savings?
Telecommunications audit work is often undervalued or ignored, but the fact is that the decision not to audit may be costing you or your business a lot of money. And the drip-drip-drip of an unaudited system will be felt more within large organizations than small ones. Telecommunication costs are fast becoming one of the largest expenses and most complex areas to challenge management for companies today. It’s no longer just a matter of adding more telephones and trying to get the lowest rate on minutes or data. If the telecommunications infrastructure is not adequate to meet the escalating demand placed on it, it will be an inhibitor of a company’s growth. A lack of control of the escalating costs can also negatively impact the yearly telecom budget. Conducting a telecommunications audit is necessary to ensure cost efficiency.
Extensive professional analysis by TRAK Communications helps any firm demystify Telecom and reduce unused services through several standard practices including:
1. Telecom Audit: includes contract compliance, tariff review, physical validation, network optimization and more.
2. Cost Savings Analysis: Services include contract negotiation, network optimization, and rate optimization.
3. Physical Validation: an on-site investigation to make sure you are only paying for services that are in place. TRAK is UNIQUE in that we send technicians to your site(s) and perform a physical inspection of your demarc (point of termination for your carriers):
- After conducting a non-invasive test of every line and circuit on site, we then compare these findings against your billing inventory that we compiled.
- Any lines or services that are found to be inoperable are issued as a dispute to the appropriate billing carrier and a refund is negotiated when possible.
- Lines or services that are found working but not used (no cross connects to equipment) are cost savings opportunities.
- The physical validation & inventory services result in 50% of the overall savings to TRAK clients. Developing an accurate inventory is integral to receiving the cost savings for your audit.
- At the end of the audit TRAK provides you with a complete inventory of your services at no extra cost – for you to manage going forward.
An audit can ensure that services being paid for are being utilized. It typically delivers refunds for over-billing situations and serves to optimize the billing environment to the best pricing options with current providers. Importantly, by providing visibility into overall telecom spending and contractual portfolios across the enterprise, an audit can support an improved overall network strategy regarding growth and transition to new technologies. For more information please click here