As the outsourced TEM provider for Schnitzer Steel Industries, Ruby+Solberg digs into the details of each telecom bill, maintenance charge and service contract on the manufacturer’s behalf. With an initial telecom cost audit and monthly maintenance, Ruby+Solberg ensures the manufacturer’s services are uninterrupted and without errors. In short, they prevent that $.16 per minute charge from turning into a $50,000 mistake.
So your company received a telecom audit. Great. You learned you could be saving at least 20% on your telecom bills, maybe as much as 40%. Now what? How are you going to ensure that those savings occur month-over-month? How do you prevent yourself from slipping back into the black hole of overinflated telecom bills that are riddled with double charges and erroneous fees? The short answer is you have to work at it.
“An audit is like going to the dentist,” says Erin Fitch, Director of Operations at Ruby+Solberg. “They fix any issues you may have and send you out the door. Then it’s up to you to continue caring for your teeth. You wouldn’t go to the dentist and think everything is great, and then not brush your teeth, would you?”
In other words, telecom expense management (TEM) requires constant maintenance, despite the misconception that auditors are only needed once a year. Even companies that have undergone a one-time audit typically will suffer from subsequent expense creep that average more than 4% per year.
Often, telecom bills are properly assigned the month of the audit and through the next billing cycle; however, after three months, overcharges and errors arise again. It’s important to show the value of the TEM audit — the hard and soft savings — to your company’s executives and stakeholders directly following the audit. The goal is to get their buy-in for continual support.
“An audit illustrates the thousands of dollars, if not more, a company can save,” says Fitch. “But if you don’t have the personnel to continue to monitor and manage these bills, those fees are going to creep back up and the audit itself is rather useless. Contacting a company like Ruby+Solberg is really a natural transition.”
With executive buy-in, the IT department and accounts payable department can lay the groundwork for outsourced TEM services, because — let’s face it — your company probably doesn’t have the expertise or labor resources to do the job properly. With telecom bills properly managed, your company can utilize its internal resources to focus on the actual business.
Monthly Telecom Expense Management
At Ruby+Solberg, audits are executed hand-in-hand with Validated Telecom Billing (VTB®). The audit performs the essential function of pointing out all the errors. VTB® is the routine maintenance that ensures that the changes made in the audit process are upheld and new activity is closely monitored. With these services, clients’ average monthly ROI is 110%.
“After an audit, companies often think that their bills should be tied up neatly with a little bow on top, but they’re really not,” says Fitch. “There are a lot of different pieces at play, and the telecom industry is always changing. If you’re not keeping up with the changes, your initial audit findings may become obsolete.”
VTB® offers both a high-level overview of telecom bills and an in-depth review of the mundane details surrounding each fee, each vendor and each contract. Ongoing VTB® services review each invoice — line by line — to dispute charges, recover fees, provide custom weekly billing reports and even make payments on your behalf.
“VTB® picks up where the audit leaves off,” says Fitch. “It tracks and manages everything to ensure accounts and bills are running as they should.”