Better mileage on mobile costs

With cell phone usage steadily climbing and service providers offering a confusing range of price plans, how can large corporations realize major savings on their wireless expenses?

Roger Yang, CEO of Toronto-based telecom expense management firm Avema, believes he has some answers. Here’s his list of ten ways to combat mobile costs in your business:

  • If you have multiple vendors, consolidate them to as few as possible. Having more volume with one vendor will get you better pricing.
  • Because there are many different price plans available for large organizations, investigate the various options available. This may include pooled plans where multiple users share a number of minutes, or individual price plans based on how much each user spends.
  • Arrange with your carriers to consolidate bills for wireless devices. In larger companies, it is helpful to get this billing electronically so that you can better analyze the data.
  • When an employee leaves a company, immediately cancel or transfer their company-provided cell phone package to avoid ongoing monthly charges.
  • Develop and adhere to firm policies. Allocate budgets according to the job functions of your employees, and expected usage.
  • Monitor these policies, and have a way to enforce them. Be particularly aware of excessive personal use.
  • Consider having employees reimburse the company for personal calls
  • Standardize ordering hardware and features so that you’re only paying for business functionality, not bells and whistles.
  • Watch out for frivolous new pay services like ring tones and games that can be downloaded by employees.
  • Make sure that employees and their supervisors see their wireless bills each month, so that they are aware of the costs.

“With the growing use of other wireless devices, including Personal Digital Assistants and mobile computing with full Internet access, companies risk losing control of these costs as well, unless spending and usage policies are put in place,” said Yang. “Larger companies can benefit from telecom cost reviews done by an independent third party and implementing software to manage these expenses.”

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