Better the Devil you know?
you’ve been a good manager of the department for some time now. You’ve run a tight ship. When possible, you’ve cut costs. But now an order has come down (from high enough above that you don’t have the liberty of debating its wisdom or feasibility) decreeing that you must find an additional 10%, 20%, or even 30% in administrative cost reductions, severance aside. You just don’t see how it can be done.
First Things First - Review all expenses
Collate all IT and Telecoms invoices for the previous 12 months or 2019. You cannot manage or change something which you do not track. We talk to a lot of companies where there current IT/Telecoms outsource provider invoice them monthly, quarterly and yearly for different items of the service(s) they deliver, but YOU only recall the monthly or "per user/machine" cost.Free Download - Better The Devil You Know
1) Check for unnecessary or confusing invoices
Many providers are only seen when you or your team call them or when they would like to sell you the new “shiny toy”. Then this is itemized within an invoice in technical language that you later do not understand or you question does this still fit into your business needs and so you are confused about the value this brings to the business. Then you question “do they understand our business” with a long-distance partnership and low-value relationship.
2) Pay a fixed monthly fee
Review all purchasing of services and major hardware. Do you pay yearly for Firewall Management, backup or Anti-Virus software etc? Work on spreading all early upfront capex costs into a fixed monthly cost. This will assist with cash flow throughout the business and spread risk. You will often also find this will include replacement of hardware when a refresh due to age or change of business needs occur.
3) Employee productivity
lost in a ticket reference, need help with an urgent email you cannot open or print meeting notes/agenda? How much of your teams time is wasted on simple issues that require a 15-minute quick fix? Could this mean the next urgent personnel hire into the team would not be needed if the partnership worked smart? Review your workflow with your provider and look at your actual response times you gain on average. The actual response time should be when the technical engineer is assisting in the resolution of the issue, not a ticket reference response.
Your team’s productivity becomes a priority for remote working – interested? read more
4) Office Expenses – Look up in the cloud
You may be able to save a lot of time and resources by adopting cloud computing. Employees can work remotely and use online collaboration tools to get the work done. For example, you could utilise Microsoft Teams to collaborate and share files, a cloud telephone system can enable working from anywhere or a secure cloud-hosted desktop/application can increase flexibility while creating a fixed monthly cost – review our recent blog here to read more in-depth on this item.
5) Have virtual meetings
Next time you have a meeting with your client in another city, request them for a Microsoft Teams or Zoom call. Using the latest technology, you can save a lot on travelling expenses. We push for a Teams call even when the meetings are within the same city. I understand that a first meeting is important and should be done face-to-face but all follow-up meetings can be done virtually.
At Focus Technology, we give a percentage of our strategic quarterly meetings online using Teams. During this meeting, we can give our clients access to our computer screen and walk them through our performance and our twelve-month strategic plan and budgets.
6) Reduce the number of landline phones
If you are one of those businesses that still using landlines, its time to think again. There was a time when landline phone was a necessity but it’s no longer the case. Cloud phone systems are a fixed cost and a dedicated call line per person (channel), so no longer an issue with only 4-6-12 channels meaning only this amount of calls can occur at any one time.
You can use cloud telephony system to route calls between mobile/laptop softphones or your mobile numbers creating flexibility and lower cost, as no desk phone required where it fits with your team’s workflow.
But keep secure
But at Focus Technology security always comes first, so with any cost-cutting always be sure to keep your business data as secure as possible with the right services, configurations and employee knowledge/training. The cost of a data breach could impact the business to a point of no return, so this cost cut is too high risk and so make sure you partner with the right provider before committing any changes.