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Accessories – A Growing Element of Equipment Charges

Practical Cost Reduction Ideas

Does your company have adequate checks and balances to catch employees who order every accessory available just because they were listed on your ordering portal? With all the challenges facing wireless administrators, monitoring the buying patterns of accessory purchases may not be high on their to-do list. Even in situations where management is approving accessory orders we find the steady influx of what seems like an insignificant cost compared to the cost of the primary device can add up to become a sizeable expense. While the cost of accessories in a single month may not raise flags, those costs when accumulated over a year can become large enough to justify attention.

It is important to view the accessory cost in its own context and not overlook these charges simply because they are dwarfed by an increasing cost of smartphones, iPhones and tablets. In a recent analysis we found that a company with reasonable set of corporate policies and order controls was still spending in excess of 20% of their monthly equipment budget on accessories alone. There are ways to effectively manage the accessory purchase process along with the cost of accessories. Below are steps to consider to bring about a reduction in accessory expenses:

Control the Offered Accessories – if you are using an internal ordering portal or utilizing one from an Enterprise Mobility Management vendor, you will want to exercise care by limiting the number and type of available accessories. It is not unreasonable to require employees to purchase accessories beyond staple items like chargers, batteries and protective cases. Whether you’ve adopted a cost sharing strategy with employees under BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) for handsets and data plans, accessories are a safe place to begin.

Ensure Visibility of Accessory Order Details – when management is part of the approval process, a clear delineation of the ordered accessories will be important to eliminating those that make it through the process just because they were a small portion of the overall approved cost. Your approval workflow processes should include the number and types of accessories ordered.

Carriers make big margins on accessories stemming from very little competition. When a buyer has selected a mobile device it’s convenient to also purchase the additional accessories one might need down the road but there’s a cost for that convenience. Estimates have shown as much as a 50% savings by using third-party vendors. It may be worth spending time to source a reliable accessory vendor who can provide easy ordering capability. Additionally, you will want accessory charges incorporated with your device Account Payable allocations. Most Enterprise Mobility Management solutions make accommodations allowing the appropriate assignment of charges for accessories outside of your carrier invoice.

A company with 2000 wireless devices who spends 5% – 10% monthly on equipment costs can translate into $12k – $15k a month. If 25% is accessory expense, it will cost around $50k/year. Saving $25k a year is worth the effort of enforcing an accessory policy and working with a third-party accessory vendor. Following these simple tips will result in sizeable mobile expense savings..