Research shows that the SMB market as a whole is spending billions of dollars each year in telecommunications costs. In fact, telecommunications costs are not only the second largest indirect expense, but the third or fourth largest overall expense for a business. To make matters worse, nearly 7% to 12% of those costs are in error; from billing mistakes to disconnects that never took place, to charges for unused services.
With hundreds to thousands of pages of bills and numerous invoices covering separate expenses, where do you begin to identify these potential savings? A network audit is a great place to start. A thorough audit can evaluate unused or under-utilized services, identify and rectify billing mistakes, and pinpoint inconsistencies in usage and costs. Once you have a full understanding of your services and usage, you can optimize your existing lines and circuits, renegotiate plans and contracts, and even employ new technologies to reduce expenses.
Below are the top five areas for cost savings that should be addressed in a telecom audit:
- Un-used or under-used services: From paying for phone lines that are no longer in use to purchasing excess capacity, companies of every size can often uncover costs that simply don’t need to be there.
- Billing errors: Often, services that have been shut down can still appear on bills, or lower rates that you may have negotiated aren’t being delivered.
- Out-of-term contracts: If your carrier service contracts are month to month, there could have been a rate increase that you were unaware of, or you could be paying rates that are a few years old and have likely been reduced.
- Carrier/customer disparity: There are plenty of carriers that are willing to compete for your business, and likely some are a better fit for your particular needs than others. Finding the perfect match can be the most substantial opportunity to reduce telecom costs.
- Product/service disparity: Today, the telecom industry is on the cutting edge of technology, with products and services always advancing. The services you brought on a couple of years ago may not meet the needs of your business today. Simply adjusting your services can have a weighty effect on the bottom line.
If you are like most businesses, you probably do not have the time or manpower to conduct an audit on your own. Recruiting the help of a telecom professional will not only save you time and money, it will ensure that your telecommunications needs are fully understood and allow you to take advantage of a host of solutions to fit both your needs and your budget. For more information about Parallel’s complementary network audits, email email@example.com.