Does your company have a ton of different telco bills? Consolidating them into just a few accounts often has profound benefits.
When Dog and Bone initially engages with a new client, one of the first things we do is obtain all the pertinent information we possibly can about their services, which includes all relevant telecommunications accounts. It’s amazing what we sometimes find. Organisations can literally have dozens of accounts for fixed lines and mobiles.
I’d have to ask around the office, but my personal record for a single client is 47 separate accounts, just for fixed lines and mobiles, across four different providers. I’m sure there are examples of companies with even more.
Of course, no organisation sets out to do this. The process by which accounts proliferate is usually far more haphazard, or, as we generously term it these days, ‘organic’. Businesses expand, and in doing so sometimes absorb similar business, and take over their legacy systems and accounts. Sometimes staff act unilaterally, and start up new accounts without checking to see if it is necessary. We have encountered examples where a company didn’t realise that different departments or sub-entities can co-exist on the one account, yet have their expenses listed separately via the establishment of ‘Cost Centres’. The point is, it happens. The problem is, it’s never a good thing.
Put simply, when you have lots and lots of different accounts, potentially across multiple carriers, it is very hard to know what you have. When you don’t know what you have, you generally won’t know what you need. There’s also a very good chance you’ll be paying more than you should be, often for stuff you didn’t even realise you had.
Now, it won't always be possible to combine all your accounts - sometimes different service types just have to have their own accounts - but it always pays to try. Consolidating your disparate accounts yields tangible benefits. The most prominent of these include:
- Increased spending power. As an organisation’s telco spend increases, it becomes eligible for increasingly competitive tiers of pricing. Rather than have several accounts on mediocre rates, combine the spend and get the best rates you can, thus leading to significant savings. Any telco will be far more interested in a bigger account, and far more likely to throw sweeteners your way.
- Fleet calls. By combining as many services as possible on the one account, you ensure that more of your services can take advantage of fleet provisions, and can thereby call each other for free. Some carriers even allow this between mobiles and fixed lines on the same account.
- Reduced administrative costs and time. Keeping track of multiple bills is always more work than keeping track of just a few. There comes a point when keeping track of everything is simply impossible, details slip through the cracks, and businesses end up paying for things they no longer use or need.
- Contractual certainty. Multiple accounts mean multiple contracts, and it is exceedingly unlikely that these are all going to expire at the same time. Generally this ensures your services remain perpetually in contract, making it far more difficult to make necessary changes.
- Planning for the Future. As mentioned above, it’s very hard to plan for what you need if you don’t know what you have. We’ve found that the act of consolidating accounts, especially in conjunction with implementation of an Asset Register and a clear Procurement Policy, enables organisations to make the best decisions for their telecommunications futures.