Managing wireless devices is particularly challenging in the utility industry because of the diversity of devices types (cell, telemetry and data cards), the importance of controlling the costs against specific cost center budgets and the importance of minimizing the cost incurred with the carriers. Also, because of the many field jobs requiring cellular devices, the population of devices is usually very large.
A major utility based in the Northeastern U.S. became concerned with their ability to control their cellular inventory (ownership and accounting string of the devices) and the carrier costs. They wanted to apply technology to this challenge and began interviewing wireless management solution providers. At the outset they had approximately 10,000 wireless devices and wanted technology tools and assistance from a vendor. They offered a request for proposal and after evaluation selected MobilSentry™ by MobilSense.
This company wanted an automated solution for wireless invoice payment, optimization of rate plans, cost allocation to their internal AP/GL system, usage management, fraud detection, synchronization to their asset system and validation that their carrier invoices were compliant with their carrier contracts. They had two major carriers and one minor carrier. They had a large population of telemetry devices that also needed to be managed.
MobilSense provided them a fully automated solution by setting up a data export from their asset system (that is updated daily by their HR system) that is automatically transferred to MobilSentry™. Upon loading the new month’s call detail from the carriers, the asset data is refreshed to update all organization, management and accounting hierarchy changes. The electronic bills for each carrier are reviewed for errors and any incorrect carrier billings and errors are short paid and cataloged. An electronic feed is prepared and applied against their automated payment and budget systems. This information updates their AP/GL system to correctly allocate all costs, including the MobilSentry™ costs per device allocated to the appropriate cost centers. Each month recommendations are prepared to optimize the rate plans for each of the carriers, fraud reports are prepared that highlight errors and a savings summary of year to date savings is delivered and reviewed.
The following benefits have been realized: significantly improved control over their cellular assets; increase in budget control with data that is adjusted for actual usage; greatly improved carrier error detection; momentous savings of over 35% that resulted in six figure savings during the first year alone; distributed access by cost center management that has produced much greater accuracy in their inventory and their budget allocation; and reduction in resources required for cellular management. A single carrier error was detected by MobilSentry™ that resulted in a credit of over $250,000 in airtime charges that were billed incorrectly by the carrier. In short they have been able to greatly improve the accuracy of budget allocations and have produced noteworthy savings to their bottom line.
Over 9 years, MobilSense has generated savings in excess of $1.2M/year on a device population that has grown to over 27,000 devices. The total savings to date exceeds $10.8M.