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Wireless communications expenses have been an issue for businesses for over a decade now. As reliance on smartphones and other mobile devices continues to grow, so do telecom expenses.

In fact, research firm Gartner Inc. projected that throughout 2014, about “80% of enterprises will overspend on their wireless costs by an average of 15%.” That was an alarming projection, but it proved true as companies monitored and studied their total expenses. One firm estimates that the average enterprise overspends as much as 38% on wireless costs. This only goes to show that not only has mobility grown among businesses, but managing both mobile voice and data expenses has also become more important than ever. 

One highly recommended solution to overspending is a company smartphone usage policy. This solution not only prevents the overspend, it likewise lowers monthly expenses. But to ensure the benefits of this approach, it’s critical to implement sound practices.

Rounded up below are five of the best practices for developing a company smartphone usage policy.

1. Conduct a wireless cost analysis.

It’s good to be armed with backable findings regarding the cost of smartphone use.  A wireless expense audit with the help of a telecom expenses management (TEM) system will provide evidence to the overspend.

An audit conducted with TEM software will thoroughly examine and evaluate the billing and mobile plans of the business. Such audits can determine if there are features or services that are superfluous and just pile on costs. At the same time, an audit will identify the returns your business gains from your telecom investments, such as the ability to establish a more positive, proactive approach to customer communications.

2. Use TEM software for the business.

TEM software is designed to effectively and efficiently manage the telecommunication resources of an enterprise. It consistently validates invoices and disputes questionable billing. Moreover, it can pinpoint weak spots in a company’s telecom infrastructure. The reports yielded by TEM software enable transparency of smartphone use. This transparency results in simpler development of smartphone usage policies and more accurate identification of employees who need to adjust their smartphone practices.

3.  Draw up rules and processes for responsible smartphone usage.

Create a document that your employees can easily refer to regarding the appropriate ways to use their company-issued smartphones and mobile data plans. Distribute these guidelines to all employees and post a few copies in strategic locations to serve as constant reminders.

4.  Include penalties for irresponsible smartphone usage.

Most people only understand how serious rules are when there are established consequences for disobedience. The company must determine the appropriate penalties for irresponsible smartphone usage to prevent it from happening.

It’s best to discuss this strategy with HR and then, through the appropriate channels, obtain the agreement of employees to the sanctions that will be imposed for non-compliance with the rules. This is the best way to stress the importance of a good work culture and to express to employees that appropriate smartphone usage is as mandatory, as it is crucial to the longevity of the company’s operations.

5. Present rewards and incentives.

Balance the smartphone usage policy by including rewards and incentives for adherence to it. These will motivate everyone to be more conscientious of smartphone usage.

Again, work with HR and your wireless service provider for the appropriate rewards and incentives to provide those who uphold the policy consistently. The program doesn’t need to employ expensive rewards; they can be anything from additional data for the smartphone user, an app of his or her choice, a phone upgrade, or an additional mobile device to use.

In today’s highly volatile business climate, every organization can benefit greatly from monitoring its operational expenses and finding opportunities to save on operational costs. Directing attention toward company smartphone usage and creating a policy for it is a vital, cost-cutting strategy you can implement now.

 

 Azhar Abulhamayel is the Head of Marketing – National Segment and High Value at Zain KSA.

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