For the past 25 years, I have worked for and provided consulting to many large organisations of various sectors in Switzerland. During that time many projects were related to optimizing the telecom costs in various ways (RFP, cleanup, etc.) and in all these projects I have seen a common denominator to achieve cost reduction: Information is Power !
With the advent of TEM about 15 years ago, we have now a new way to leverage this power, especially for the mobile invoice. With TEM we have the ability to inform the enduser every month about his usage and costs with meaningful reports & graphs. The impact is tremendous, within a couple of months this simple measure reduces the invoice by 20% or more, I have even seen situations up to 40%.
When I tell this to prospects, many don’t believe it, or they don’t believe it can be that much. So I decided to verify this by analysing the costs of my existing TEM customers over several years, and see how the average monthly spend per mobile was affected after the customer started sending reports to employees. And here is how the typical graph looks like:
Some examples from real customers
The graphs hereafter are extracted from the following presentation
Some keys to read the following graphs
Some customers using reporting correctly
Some customers with special situations
Key ingredients for an effective reporting:
We analysed the real cases presented above, compared the situations where reporting brought the expected results versus situations where it didn’t, and came up with the following key ingredients:
Make sure the reporting initiative is supported by all levels of the hierarchy as a global approach to provide transparency and encourage cost reduction, otherwise your report may end in the trash because the managers don’t care.
It’s also important to tell the user that the intent is to encourage self-control and provide him with the information he needs to do that. This is true at all levels: the manager will receive the summary for his team so he can also control his budget.
Our customer Tamedia applied this in a very exhaustive manner, involving all levels of the hierarchy and sending custom designed report to each level every month, up to the CEO. This also contributed to the impressive 70% reduction of the mobile invoice.
The information (usage, costs) must be presented in a relevant manner. It is not sufficient to just give the list of calls and hope the user will see the needle in the haystack and understand what he should do.
Identify situations where costs could be reduced. eg: international calls using mobile during office hours
Define the action that the user should take. Eg: use fix phone instead of mobile
Tell that to the user, include a reminder in the report. Eg: please remember to use the fix phone for international calls when you are in the office.
Show them the consequence of their behaviour. Eg: here is a graph showing your international costs during office hours. So if the user follows our advice, he can see the consequence, somehow he gets the reward of his positive behaviour.
Users must receive their reports every month, it doesn’t work if you send reports from time to time.
One of our customer used to send reports and observed the costs going down. When he stopped sending reports, we could see the costs going up again.