Demystifying TEM: How to Find a Telecom Expense Management Solution That Actually Works

Telecom expense management (TEM) focuses on reducing expenses associated with telecommunications fees. Telecommunication expenses are any costs associated with mobile devices, television, internet services and cable. 

TEM companies can save you and your business time and money. However, choosing a provider can be a daunting process. Read on to discover the different types of TEM providers, what to look for when choosing one and what hiring a TEM vendor can mean for your business. 

What Are the Different Types of TEM Vendors? 

There are several types of TEM vendors you can choose from based on what is best for your business, including:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS providers give your business the software it needs to manage your telecommunication costs. This type of service is ideal if your company has the time, team members and resources to manage TEM independently. This vendor type might come with some issues for smaller teams or those still gaining experience. 
  • Software with services: With this option, a vendor provides both software and consulting services. While this option gives your business the flexibility to outsource some tasks, it’s still most effective for businesses with a dedicated IT team. 
  • Gain share: Rather than charging you up-front for their services, gain share companies conduct an audit on your business and charge a share of the savings. If you’re new to the ins and outs of TEM solutions, it can be challenging to see how much these vendors are keeping and if they are being entirely fair. 
  • Resellers/aggregates/wholesalers: These vendors offer TEM contracts with specific carriers only. While this option gives you centralized support, it may come with inflated prices. It can also result in signing with a carrier that isn’t the best fit for your business. Additionally, since you aren’t working directly with the TEM carrier, technical issues can take longer to resolve. 
  • Fully managed services: As the name implies, this option lets you relinquish expense management controls directly to the TEM vendor. Rather than employing people at your own company to deal with TEM, you can outsource all tasks to the vendor. The ideal TEM vendor will be completely transparent about their processes and will take care of everything, letting your business focus on making money and serving your clients. 

What to Consider When Choosing a TEM Vendor

The telecom expense management market is growing quickly, and experts expect it to reach a value of 1.7 billion by 2027. Choosing a TEM vendor can be a game-changing decision for saving your business time and money. Let the following questions guide you as you learn how to choose a TEM vendor. 

Can They Help You Meet Your Goals?

Before choosing a TEM vendor, it’s vital to sit down and outline your goals for saving on telecommunication. Specifically, note the areas you most want to save money and what services you consider dealbreakers. Having clear goals in mind when choosing a vendor will make you better equipped to choose someone who will help you meet those goals.

How Knowledgable Are They?

When choosing a TEM vendor, their experience should be at the top of your mind. The ideal TEM partner will be as committed to creating results for your business as you are to generating revenue. Taking their experience and knowledge of the field into consideration will help you choose the right provider for you and your business. 

What Are Their Capabilities and Pricing?

The objective of any TEM vendor should be to save you money. Explore different TEM vendors to compare and contrast what each offers for the price. To best find the vendor that fits your needs, you can also consider how easy their software is to use and understand. Even if you plan to outsource all your TEM solutions, understanding the software platform will help build transparency and trust. 

Are They Reliable and Effective? 

You want a results-driven TEM provider who will work with your needs. A TEM partner who’s always looking for ways to innovate will be more effective than one using the same methods regardless of changes in technology or the industry. Your TEM manager should always look to grow, just like you do with your business. 

It’s also essential to find a TEM provider you can rely on. If you’re facing a technical issue, will your provider respond to you promptly? Look for reviews from other clients to get a sense of how quickly a potential provider responds and how much you’ll be able to count on them.

Will They Take the Pressure off Your Employees?

When choosing a TEM vendor, consider whether they will make your life easier or more complicated. Choosing a full-service provider will let you leave everything to the professionals. Rather than delegating some of your team to figure out the intricacies of telecom, you can keep them focused on your company’s goals. 

Why Is Effective Telecom Expense Management Important?

Finding opportunities to save with TEM can be a complex process that presents unique challenges to your business. Maybe you’re still being charged for a discontinued online service, or missing out on certain benefits from your carrier. TEM companies can catch these issues and help you resolve them, letting you start saving money. 

Any mobile or online equipment you utilize for your business is an investment. Effective TEM can help you get the maximum return on investment for mobile devices. TEM solutions can help you reduce costs, ensuring that you get the most out of your online investments while improving your company’s overall communication efforts. 

Outsourcing your TEM solutions means bringing on a fully trained, knowledgeable team to start finding solutions right away. While they work, you can save money on hiring a new department and re-focus your employees to the mission of your business. 

CMG Can Assist You With All Your TEM Needs

Cost Management Group has been a leader in telecom expense management since 1998. We provide a centralized view of telecom from inventory to invoices and orders. Our process is based on AP Optimization, Expense Validation and Vendor Management. 

We want to make TEM more manageable for you and your business so you can focus entirely on your mission and goals. We work with small- to large-scale businesses in many industries across the U.S. For more information, contact us today!