There is a lot more to a wireless invoice than meets the eye. It’s not just about paying your monthly bill but, if you have the wherewithal to extract and analyze it, you will find a treasure trove of highly useful information. In fact, not only will you find transaction detail records that include play-by-play activity of your users, but with the right tools, you can take that activity and turn it into impressive savings. Unfortunately, because of many misconceptions about wireless contracts, the majority of businesses are not taking full advantage of the information available to them, thus losing out on nuggets of savings gold. That is why we wish to highlight and debunk the seven deadly sins of mobile management. If any one of these has you convinced that there is currently nothing you can do to generate additional savings then you are most certainly paying a price you need not pay.
While pooling devices is the right strategy, pools cannot be left unattended. Change in the world of wireless is too frequent to set it and forget it. Usage constantly fluctuates and carriers are frequently tweaking pool plan pricing. In the last 24 months the major carriers have made over 40 announcements reflecting new and changing pool capabilities. Additionally, it is important to have access to and understand the usage behaviors of your employees. Why? Just because you aren’t seeing overage charges doesn’t mean you’re on the most cost-effective pool configuration. Companies often choose overinflated pools to avoid overages but when the usage habits of its employees do not warrant it, you are paying more than you should. Understanding the usage behavior of your employees is the looking glass to keen insight allowing you to choose pool levels that best support your actual usage needs. Why pay for capacity you don’t need?
Spending time and effort to ensure the best contract terms is a critical step to keeping wireless costs in check but it is not the only cost savings activity worthy of focus. Making sure monthly plans match contract terms, along with consistent monthly plan optimization can actually yield more long term savings than negotiating a point or two extra on your discount. While your carrier business account manager may have the best intentions, the carrier’s systems are not designed to recommend plan changes. Your account manager is focused on increasing their commission, not reducing your costs. Nothing personal, but once the contract has been signed, it is clear sailing for them. How about you? Wouldn’t you like to know how you’re doing? Wouldn’t you like the opportunity to make changes that best support your company’s usage behavior?
Doesn’t part of my monthly payment to the carriers include them looking out for me? If that was the case, you would never have overage charges. The reality of carrier pricing is you’re expected to guess your usage in advance of actually using a device. This way the carrier wins if you overshoot through expensive overage fees and if you undershoot you simply leave money on the table. Unlike industries that simply charge you for the amount of product you consumed at the end of a billing cycle, in this case, the advantage goes to the vendor.
Isn’t my carrier now sending me alerts so I can avoid overages? Yes, alerts can be helpful but they focus on individual usage issues, not aggregate pool issues. The reality is you need an intelligent mechanism to filter out the many false positives you will receive from those with actual meaning, and you certainly won’t receive any alerts indicating you are paying for capacity you don’t need.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about mobile expenses. Just because your monthly invoice comes in at an expected cost level every month doesn’t mean your mobile cost is optimal. What it means is that your cost reflects the plans you have chosen and budgeted. What if, you have been consistently overpaying for years because you didn’t know any different? What if, instead, you were able to track your usage and adjust your plans accordingly?
Again, a big misconception. While a contract ensures your rates won’t go up, it doesn’t ensure you’re getting the best cost for your company’s usage or that your rates are adjusted to match your usage. Occasionally you may also find that off-the-shelf plans are better than your contracted rates because the carrier dropped prices and your contract hasn’t been revised to reflect these advantages. Unless you go over your invoice with a fine toothed comb and track your usage, you won’t know if you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Here is another common misconception that making rate plan changes resets the equipment contract clock. In the past, there have been rare instances whereby carriers tied equipment terms to new plan families but that is no longer the case. Today, equipment contract terms are tied exclusively to the equipment itself which means changing plans and features will have no effect on those terms. Carriers are now embracing a model where the equipment is no longer subsidized over time in the cost of the plan. In fact, in some cases you receive a discount on the rate plan for equipment out of contract. To set the record straight, there is no penalty to make changes to lower your cost.
Assigning people and paying them to manage your mobile expense is certainly a step toward an effective mobile management effort, however, unless you’re utilizing a tool with sophisticated algorithms that analyzes and optimizes there isn’t a guarantee you are paying the least amount. Without a tool, these folks are subject to doing a stare and compare which leaves room for a lot of misinterpretation and error. Keep in mind that it also may not be in their best personal interest for management to discover they haven’t been keeping invoice costs at a minimum.
The good news is if you have fallen prey to any of the above temptations, you can change it today. MobilSense provides multiple ways for you to find out exactly what you should be paying. We will load your data into MobilSentry™ and with our powerful algorithms, first, compare your current invoices to the industry average and, second, tell you exactly what you should be paying. For most, this reveals savings that can be used to either increase the strategic value of Mobility, or to invest in other strategic enterprise initiatives. Contact us today to find out your best option – the analysis is free.