Expired cellphone contracts which no longer attract the reduced subscription that made the contract a "good deal" in the first place; Monthly contract payments for mobile phone numbers no longer in use within a business; Contracts taken out many years previously which are far more expensive than more current packages - yet are allowed to roll over from month to month;Cellphone contracts assigned to staff members based on their status rather than business need...
These are just some of the most common issues identified by telecommunications solutions company Du Pont Telecom when conducting audits of mobile phone expenditure across a wide range of South African businesses.
According to Du Pont CEO Graeme Victor, Du Pont has found that the same money wasting practices occur in virtually every organisation it has audited, regardless of size.
The problem, he says, is that businesses tend to have a wide range of contracts in place, many of which were taken out on an ad hoc basis over several years. These contracts have never been monitored to determine their appropriateness for the specific user.
"So, for example, the executives who seldom leave the office and have constant access to their landline are assigned the highest value mobile packages - which they either don't fully utilise or use for personal calls after hours; while technicians or sales representatives who need their phones out in the field, are given lower value packages and end up costing the company more for out-of-bundle calls," he explains.
Businesses also seldom have the wherewithal to determine whether there is a more cost-effective or appropriate alternative for a specific user when his or her contract expires - one, for example, with lower call charges.
"Du Pont generally finds that most businesses simply opt for the standard bi-annual handset upgrade, and let the contract roll on for another two years. Even worse are instances where the business isn't aware that the contract has expired and allow it to continue on a month-to-month basis, sometimes at a higher monthly premium than the original contract. It's also not unusual to find that these contracts are for phones and numbers that are no longer in use," he adds.
Du Pont has found that conducting a full audit of an organisation's cellphone expenditure - linking contracts to individuals; establishing their actual usage; and determining which contracts are still in force - will highlight areas of significant wastage. Because Du Pont has the ability to actively compare all aspects of the different contract options provided by the network operators, Du Pont will then determine which contract is the most appropriate for every individual user within the organisation.
"We base our recommendation on what is really needed. Our customer service team does not qualify for commissions paid to retail store assistants for new contracts; nor are they driven to recommend particular contracts because of sales incentives on specific handsets. As soon as it is possible to migrate the user to the most cost-effective option - ie when contracts expire or can be bought out - Du Pont will ensure the change is implemented. Thanks to number portability technology, individuals get to keep their mobile numbers, even if they are migrated to a different network.
On average, we have found this type of exercise can save the business up to 35 percent on its monthly cellphone bill and because the networks continually update and upgrade their products, it's essential that this auditing exercise take place on an ongoing basis to ensure the business doesn't slip back into paying more for cellular calls than it should," says Victor.
About Du Pont Telecom
Du Pont Telecom provides voice communication solutions throughout South Africa and Africa by distributing a wide range of telecoms equipment along with comprehensive set of voice based telecommunications solutions, customised to deliver cost-effective results.
Founded in 1999, Du Pont provides business assessment, strategy revision, management training on all aspects of voice communication solutions and the implementation of business and management tools.
For further information, contact:
Graeme Victor, CEO, Du Pont Telecom (011) 919 5555