Changing technology expense management (TEM) providers can be a difficult decision-making process. There’s much to consider. Many questions to be answered before you can take that step. Here are some of those questions to ask yourself:1. Are you feeling as important to your TEM provider as you felt at the beginning?
Your TEM provider is a business partner who helps you make sure you’re getting the most out of a major investment. If you don’t feel that important to them, it may be that your business isn’t either. The best TEM providers continue to provide an outstanding level of service, interaction, and attention at all times, not just during the “honeymoon.”2. Is your TEM provider also providing excellent consultative service?
Your TEM provider’s job goes beyond checking the invoices and getting them paid. A true business partner also provides high consultative value helping you make key decisions regarding technology. If yours is not, you’re being shortchanged.3. Is your TEM provider automating processes that you, or even they, once did manually?
One of the most profound ways in which TEM providers are improving their service is by automating more and more of their processes. How many decisions are being moved to “auto-approval” to eliminate the excessive delays that occur when a process must hold for a human to make a decision? The best TEM providers may even find processes internal to your own operations that would benefit from their available automation. If you’re feeling like everything is still so manual, start to question.4. Is your monthly invoice count continuing to grow with no end in sight?
As more services are added at various times you may find yourself faced with billing sprawl, an abundance of invoices every month, all of which come from the same vendor. If your TEM provider is not working to change this by consolidating all those invoices, start asking why!5. Is your TEM provider applying a holistic approach to your program?
The relationship between three pieces of information are paramount to a successful program and keeping technology savings at a maximum. I’ve heard it called the “Three-Legged Stool.” They help you ensure you’re billed for the correct items, at the correct amount, and are the pillars, or legs, your program should stand on. They are:
- Inventory – You need a properly built, and complete inventory for your estate.
- Invoice – You should only be billed for what you have in inventory, not more. Tying what you are billed to your inventory ensures you aren’t billed for more than you utilize.
- Contract – Your contract with your vendors has specific billing rates that need to be verified against the invoices.
It’s important for your TEM provider to be keeping up with the industry so you enjoy consistent coverage and information regarding all the investments in your connected estate.7. Is your TEM scaling to keep up with your growth?
Do you find them experiencing more delays and errors as you grow? It’s best to make a change while you’re on the way up instead of waiting until you get there!8. Do you find administrative burdens being lifted from you and handled by your TEM provider?
This is one of the primary reasons you use TEM in the first place, so your people can be freed up to perform more productive tasks. If this isn’t happening your problem is probably that you’re working with the wrong TEM provider.9. Are you regularly discovering errors in tracking moves, adds, changes, and deletions?
Another core reason for engaging a TEM provider is to assure that you have up-to-the-minute accuracy in terms of where everything is. If your reporting on that is incorrect it’s likely you need a better way to track your moves, adds, changes, and deletions (MACD) activity into inventory. A preferred TEM partner will have solutions to achieve that.10. Are you continuing to enjoy savings from errors in billing being caught, or superior discount programs being used, or better contract negotiations at renewal time, or any of the other ways your TEM should be benefiting your company?
That well can dry up if your TEM provider stops paying attention. It may be that they’ve done such a good job buttoning down your vendors that there’s nothing more to catch, but that will show up clearly in the reporting they provide you. The TEM who constantly keeps you completely informed is always your best choice.
If you want to see how Calero-MDSL stacks up against other providers, we invite you to reach out and contact our team.