Inventory management is a key pillar of a well-managed technology strategy
When investing in technology expense management software (TEM software), IT or vendor managers will typically look for a system that will streamline day-to-day activities of IT inventory and services management, including negotiating volume discounts, invoice processing and payment, reduction of late payment fees, and other transactional functions.
However, the real value of TEM software lies in the cost savings that can be found with inventory management. Why?
First, let’s understand what is inventory management: Inventory management refers the process of organizing wired, wireless, and cloud assets and services including connectivity, licenses, and hardware into an established system of record. It also refers to the process of associating those assets with a vendor and service contract.
Far from a transactional activity, inventory management is a strategic initiative that can help your organization recover cost savings on a recurring basis.
Let’s take a deeper look at how technology inventory management can benefit your organization:
Centralize inventory and rationalize spend
Before paying for services, it’s important to know what you have. By consolidating your enterprise inventory of wireline, wireless, and cloud assets and services into a system of record, you are in a better position to validate active inventory and contracts without having to chase down paper contracts or spreadsheet data.
At the same time, when assets, contracts and invoices are organized into the same central system, you can quickly match active inventory against invoices, dramatically improving your ability to spot and address billing discrepancies, and process payments accurately and on-time.
Facilitate cost allocation
P&L owners require accurate understanding of their investment in wired, wireless, and cloud assets and services.
If you’re not leveraging inventory management, it can take significant time and effort to organize and report on this information, proportionate to the size of your organization and the complexity of your technology footprint.
TEM software with inventory management helps technology managers classify assets and services according to business unit, cost center, department, employee, geography, or even project. It removes the friction of doing the work manually, reduces the amount of time it takes, and eliminates the inaccuracies that creep into the process.
When it comes time to report back to the business, costs are accurately allocated according to the organizational structure, giving executive management clear visibility into their actual spend, so they can make informed decisions.
Monitor inventory health and lifecycle to maximize usage
Working from home, services being added, new employees hired… these are some of the reasons for inventory expansion and climbing technology costs. At the same time, team restructuring may result in zero usage devices that continue to be billed.
Inventory management facilitates this process, giving you insight into asset health and lifecycle, so you can keep track of services that need to be upgraded, inventory that can be reassigned, and assets that are end-of-life. Automated workflows help ensure no rogue costs are being incurred with everything approved before services are acquired, while notifications alleviate the need for manual tracking.
The result? Being able to maximize usage of existing inventory and avoid the need to add incremental products and services when existing inventory can be leveraged.
Match services contracts with active inventory and consumption.
With an increase in inventory, comes an increase in service contracts and providers, and a decrease in efficiency.
Centralizing inventory and contracts into a single system of record gives you a single workflow to update, track, add, or remove products and services. At the same time, service contracts for multiple providers or different service types are just a click away, greatly facilitating the process of validating inventory against contracts.
Keep your eye on the day to day.
Every day there’s maintenance, contract renewals, services upgrades, device replacement, and more. With telecom inventory management, all the information to keep your wireline, mobility, and cloud services running is accessible, which dramatically simplifies the process of keeping on top of these ongoing changes.
Recurring cost savings
Many TEM software systems emphasize invoice management, making it easier to track and pay bills on time, without incurring late fees. However, TEM software that emphasizes inventory management offers a much more strategic approach, that will give way to true savings. Inventory management builds the foundation of what assets and services you have, giving you the confidence to know that all those invoices you’re processing, are in line with active consumption.
Inventory management is just one of the ways to curb your telecom spending and find real savings. Check out these additional articles and content to give you more ideas.
- Blog | Winning the battle against billing errors
- Blog | Top tips for negotiating better telecom contracts
- Ebook | TEM RFP questions you forgot to ask
And, if you’re looking into TEM software, consider Upland Cimpl telecom expense management software to manage inventory, vendors, contracts, and more to accelerate telecom costs savings for your business.