Simpson Grierson outsources telco invoice costings

Law firm saves money and boosts reporting

Auckland-based law firm Simpson Grierson has rid itself of one major headache while boosting its analysis and reporting capabilities, through outsourcing the management and checking of the firm’s telecommunication bills.

Information services director Valerie Fogg says in her experience telco billing is not only complex but often inaccurate as well, including charges for services that weren’t used by the firm.

Managing that complexity and vetting the bills before payment was a headache, she says, so she outsourced that process to a specialist, TeleConsultants. Simpson Grierson is now in its second year using the service.

Fogg says this has provided reassurance that any contract changes are applied correctly to the bill. But it has also boosted reporting, she says.

“I get a monthly report summarising the spend and I told them what I want to see in the report,” she says.

The reports are an easy way to keep track of where spending is increasing or decreasing. She says from the start TeleConsultants was saving the firm significant amounts of money, but over time the reporting service emerged as the main value driver.

It allows the firm to track and analyse what spending is going up and down, the “changing landscape of spending”, as Fogg calls it.

Despite that “we still get stuff in the bill that does not belong to us”, she says.

TeleConsultants’ Les Whale says the service, called TelcoOptimiser, saves both money and time for those who use it. Managing telecommunication bills is not a core competency for most companies, he says.

For example, finding total mobile spending in an organisation can be a “hell of a job”, especially with phones now being used for other forms of transactions, such as paying for parking.

Such changes need to be recognised for what they are and budgeted for, he says.

Initially, TelcoOptimiser is a one-year programme that kicks off with an in-depth review of services, contracts and invoicing. This provides a baseline for ongoing reporting.

While telco billing has improved, it can still take up to a year for credits to appear. Whale says TeleConsultants can manage that and make it happen more quickly.

He says if TeleConsultants can’t find enough savings to cover the cost of the service, it will terminate the agreement and walk away. The service covers all bills, including fixed, mobile and data.

Typical savings are around 10 percent, he says, and return on investment can come in as little as three months. But clients also save time and resources that can be applied in other areas.

The service also goes deeper than just checking on the bill. Whale says checks can also be made at the exchange level to see if calls are not being received. That can have an impact on the revenue line.

He says the service won’t work for all businesses. Telecommunications spending of around $300,000 or more makes the service worthwhile.

TeleConsultants can also help with benchmarking telecommunication charges and during contract negotiations and renegotiations, he says.

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