The recent recession has forced many companies to reexamine their cost structures. Often, one of the most poorly managed expense items in companies is employee mobile phone usage. The mobile phone is becoming the primary way to communicate. Overlooking cellular phone habits could cost your company big bucks. There are a few simple and effective telecom management practices that can be easily implemented to minimize mobile-phone related expenses. Discover those telecom best practices now!
Best Practices to Optimize Your Company's Rate Plan and Reduce Your Mobile Phone Expenses
1. Turn off data roaming
Canada has been recognized as the country that pays the highest in data roaming charges globally. The average Canadian will accumulate data roaming charges at an average rate of $24 per megabyte. Roaming charges can quickly add up with data usage, often unintentionally. While travelling, significant roaming charges can occur. When the user actively uses data applications on their smart device, roaming charges follow. However, many applications access data automatically without prompting the user, the most prevalent being email. This is why it is important to inform employees to turn off data roaming on their smart device when travelling outside of the provider’s coverage area.
Different roaming rates apply in different zones and can become progressively more expensive while traveling to the USA and internationally. While planning travel arrangements for employees, roaming packages should also be considered. Contact your provider to determine what cost savings can be offered to lower employee roaming charges.
2. Use Wi-Fi hotspots when available
In Canada, Wi-Fi hotspots are growing annually at a rate of 25-50%. An increasing number of businesses and public spaces are providing free Wi-Fi zones. Potential cost savings for mobile usage can really add up. There are an array of smart-phone applications that allow you to utilize voice and text messaging over Wi-Fi. These applications can reduce the accumulation of airtime minutes and long-distance charges. Smart companies will adopt a policy that promotes Wi-Fi usage when accessible.
3. Consolidate carriers
Consolidating carriers can give your company leverage in contract negotiations. Carriers will offer greater flexibly and be prone to offer volume discounts when they are competing for your business. Consolidation can also minimize points-of-contact when dealing with carriers; therefore freeing up time spent on telecom expense management.
In addition, while simplifying carrier commitments it also makes sense to narrow down rate plan options to as few as possible, perhaps only 2 or 3. If you separate users into categories such as Hi-end users and low-end users; this can further reduce complexity and facilitate decision making.
4. Reduce personal usage
If your company is currently using an employee-liable mobile plan, you may want to consider a corporate-liable mobile plan. This can allow greater control over managing mobile phone usage charges. Developing a policy that prohibits employees from lending the company’s mobile devices to friends and relatives could further reduce expenses. Also, remind employees of the costs associated with excessive use of high bandwidth data such as streaming video. Personal long distance phone calls and SMS can quickly accumulate if left unsupervised.
5. Cancel or transfer plans when employees leave
Employees mobile phones should be tracked and identified by serial numbers, such as IMEI, an ESN or a SIN number. With a TEM Warehousing system in place that recognizes when employees leave the company; their handsets can easily be identified and the mobile account can either be cancelled or transferred.
Mobile phone expense management can be a significant way to reduce costs in an organization. The complexity of monitoring and managing mobile phone usage can be overwhelming without a system in place that is able to identify if results are aligning with management’s expectations. Telecom Expense Management (TEM) Software can make it easy to take control and increase productivity of managing your company’s mobile phone expenses.