An often overlooked but essential aspect of a company’s wireless device management is a centralized, automated wireless procurement strategy. We will call it an eProcurement solution. The wireless eProcurement solution is a web-based, managed service that automates the ordering, approval, tracking and execution of all your wireless assets.
- Basic cordless phones, smartphones, PDAs, Blackberries, Treos
- Provider-specific tablets (iPad / Samsung Galaxy tab)
- Tariff plans
- Wireless kits and accessories
5 great reasons why your company should use an eProcurement solution
1. Automation of wireless purchasing process:
The very best advanced configurable software combined with the best practices of a professional wireless procurement facilitator will improve the speed, accuracy and overall satisfaction of the end user / telecom procurement team. Likewise, automating these processes will reduce the labor hours your telecom team spends managing your business purchases, allowing them to focus on other core tasks and save your business the extra cost.
By using an eProcurement solution, you set up a single point of contact for all your wireless devices and accessories for your business. By doing this, you initiate centralized control as you increase visibility in your business wireless device environment. This will improve your management support of an increasingly complex portfolio of wireless devices.
3. Company approval
Only company-approved assets and end users are allowed in the wireless device inventory. It is one thing to quantify your wireless asset inventory, it is quite another to continuously maintain the integrity of this inventory. To keep it accurate, you must apply a repeatable Best Practice process to inventory only those company-approved devices that are first offered to end users in a company-approved eCatalog. This catalog is accessible through the web-based ordering portal and includes only company-approved carriers, devices, subscriptions (optional) and accessories. Once the end user agrees to your pre-determined company policy, the order is submitted to the appropriate company approver (s).
The approver (s) will review the answers given by the end user to the questions during the ordering process. Here are a few sample questions:
- How often do you expect to travel with your business responsibilities? Daily biweekly bimonthly
- Are you going to travel internationally? Yes No
- How many minutes per month do you expect to use each month? 500 or less 1,000 or less 1,000 or more
- Or another question that your company considers important to know the answers to. Such answers will advise the approver in making the right decision. The software must enable the approver (s) to approve or refuse all or only part of the submitted orders. I.E. Device approved while an accessory may be refused.
4. Real-time accounting of wireless inventory and tracking data for all purchases of wireless devices and accessories
Once the facilitator submits the end-user order, there are often questions about where the device is in the checkout process. A phone call to the purchasing facilitator / help desk or simply viewing the notes in the software gives the end user or responsible corporate agent all the real-time information they are likely to need.
5. Extensive historical reporting
If you don’t have access to accurate historical documentation of all of your company’s wireless purchases, how could you possibly account for your entire wireless inventory and further project your future wireless acquisitions? The eProcurement information integrated with a cost and asset management software tool is critical to the comprehensive optimization and lifecycle management of your wireless device inventory.
Let’s briefly describe what a Best in Class eProcurement solution works:
- The end user of the customer or POC (contact point) places an order via the eProcurement portal. The portal has web pages with a catalog of company-approved carriers, devices and accessories, shipping instructions and company policy acceptance, company-requested questions / answer page.
- The customer POC, end user and purchasing supervisor receives an automated e-mail that the order has been placed.
- The designated customer division approver will receive an automated email with detailed order information with links to click whether to approve, change and approve or decline the order.
- After approval by the customer’s designated company / division approver, the customer POC and procurement facilitator will receive an automated email detailing the approval along with detailed information about the approved, modified, approved, or declined order.
- The purchasing facilitator provides a final assessment and submits the order to the selected carrier.
- If additional information is required, the procurement facilitator will contact the submitter of the order to collect any additional information to complete the order.
- Once the facilitator has placed the order with the carrier, the facilitator records all tracking data and requests from end users in the Device Activity Report (DAR).
- The carrier is responsible for the delivery of the device within the service level.
- After receipt of the device, the end user contacts the facilitator / helpdesk to deliver the device.
The 5 great reasons why your company should seriously consider a Best in Class eProcurement solution provide both savings and time savings that you will not achieve through your company’s best manual efforts. If your company is interested in time and cost savings, investigate further which real savings are now available to you. Call me for more information.