Regardless of the industry you may be in virtually any large organization faces ongoing initiatives to reduce cost and improve efficiency. Program costs are often targeted for reduction as well as headcount. In a regulated industry such as Energy and particularly the Utility segment, there is constant pressure to introduce cost savings programs and procedures.
A large regulated Utility with nearly 30,000 mobile devices and facing increasing cost pressures formulated a mandate to reduce mobile telecom costs by over $1M a year. An experienced mobile program manager was tasked with implementing a plan to meet the savings goal. In addition to needed reductions in spending, there were mounting pressures to reduce headcount as well. Further complicating this scenario was the fact that this company had just been through a merger of two entities with different accounting systems, traditions, and mobile management philosophies. MobilSense, which had been providing mobile automation and support to one of the entities was selected to assist in cost reduction and process automation for the new company.
Monthly Account Payable processing demanded a predictable and timely approach to ensure that the owner of each mobile device was identified, accurately reconciled to a carrier invoice, and allocated to the correct internal cost centers. Also, line management would require reporting and visibility of their monthly organization’s mobile utilization and allocated costs. The company further needed the assurance that carrier invoices were free of billing errors and regularly optimized. Employees also needed a process to secure new or upgraded mobile devices with necessary management approval, including next day availability. Finally, an accurate inventory of mobile devices would be necessary to avoid paying for devices no longer in use. All of this needed to be done while keeping devices from the two merging entities separated on different accounting systems until those systems could merge.
MobilSense had experience with one of the two merging companies and had established confidence with the telecom team in their ability to adapt and provide the maximum amount of automation. MobilSentryTM was adapted to maintain two sets of accounting codes for the two merged companies. HR information from both companies where provided on a frequent basis to merge with each monthly mobile invoice from three separate carriers. Online reporting was made available to line management in order to provide additional oversight in the reconciliation process. With upper management support, line management was encourage to log in monthly, after receiving an email reminder, to quickly peruse their monthly activity and device ownership for any errors or changing in employees. In addition, an online ordering portal for device and service change orders was implemented and training was provided so that any employee could initiate their orders online with appropriate management level workflow approval. MobilSense provided fulfillment for the approved orders. The final stage of the internal cost reduction involved the transition of an in-house help desk to MobilSense.
Close to 30,000 mobile devices are now being managed using only full-time internal resources by leveraging MobilSense automation, expertise and business processes. This was not just an approach to shift headcount from internal books to an external vendor but an overall effort to reduce and streamline and work by empowering both end users and company management. With this company’s program manager providing oversight, MobilSense delivered all the required tasks indicated above on a monthly basis while meeting all service level agreements and with high customer satisfaction marks. This effort was a multiyear project. In the three years of this evolution, this Utility saved $4.5M by lowering carrier invoices and transition from a multi-member team to one FTE for mobile support.