If you’ve ever dedicated a portion of your work life to digging through your company’s monthly telephone or wireless bill (and I’ve got $10 that says if you’re reading this you have), you’ve said, “We can save money here.” Well, you’re right.
Back in the “olden” days when you went through this process with the phone bill, many of these cost overruns were unused lines, long distance charges, and the odd “hidden” fee. Finding these was child’s play, my friend.
In the world of wireless billing, there are so many more things to look for. Roaming charges, messaging overruns, too many minutes, data caps, etc. I quote Tommy Boy here, “Holy shnikes!” If you thought you were never going to get back the hours you spent looking at the landline bill, this is a whole new level of diligence.
A report compiled by Visage (not surprisingly a company that helps tackle these bills) reveals some facts that are very interesting – or alarming – depending on your proximity to the checkbook.
Their “Dirty Little Secrets” report reflects data gathered from some 450 companies using over 550,000 devices. The data spanned 21 different industries, and the companies ranged in size from 35 to nearly 35,000 employees. That worked out to an average of 700 wireless users per company. Of course, “your mileage may vary.”
Here’s what the company has uncovered (Warning: Some of these numbers are not for the faint of wallet)…
- The average company spends $851,880 per year on wireless bills.
- The average individual wireless employee costs a company $1,234.68 per year in wireless costs.
- Of that total, $107,352 is spent needlessly due to misallocated text, data, and voice plans, un-provisioned international roaming, unauthorized downloads, and more.
Go ahead, you can say it with me again, “Shnikes!” According to Visage, this “bad spend” is the result of the lack of resources to manage mobility resources. In addition, Bob Martens of National Wireless Consultants, a smaller shop working with businesses on mobile cost control, says, "Many employees look at the company mobile plan as a perk rather than an expense." He goes on to say, "Savings can be as simple as changing the employee perceptions through a mobile use policy."
As business owners or upper management, we’re no strangers to lack of resources or policies. However, there may be a genuine bottom line impact to indeed manage it.
The report goes on to do a bit of itemizing…
- Average annual cost for going over allotted voice plans: $9,444
- Average annual cost for going over allotted data plans: $8,724
- Average annual cost for going over allotted text-message plans: $14,568
- Average annual long-distance calling charges: $13,056
- Average annual cost of 411/Directory Assistance: $3,708
- Downloads cost an average $6,504 annually and of these downloads:
- 25% are navigation services
- 10% are text alerts with a monthly recurring cost (mostly horoscopes and fact-services)
- A shocking 10% are 'adult oriented' (Whaaaa?)
Martens writes, "While a lot of the numbers noted in this survey offer a chance to save some 10-15%, we've actually seen savings of 25% when the billing and mobile practices are addressed."
Depending on the size of your company, it would be wise to either dedicate part of a job description, enlist the services of a company like a Visage or National Wireless Consultants, or hire a full-time employee to wrangle these costs.
Additionally, if you’re developing a service or application, offering a meter or some way to track data usage will go along way in helping your employees or customers rein in expenses. And that’s never a bad thing.