JUNE 22, 2020
Why Now is the Time for temNOW
The U.S. economy has officially entered a recession, and companies across the country are re-examining their P&Ls, searching for ways to save money and maximize their budgets. As part of this analysis, now is an ideal time for organizations to re-evaluate their current technologies and ensure that they are still partnering with the right vendors to help their businesses meet this moment.
One area of technology that’s ripe for re-examining is technology expense management – or TEM. In the past few years, the most advanced TEM providers have dramatically advanced their capabilities. They’re including greater customization, they’re leveraging automation and AI and they’re using SMART technologies throughout their platforms – all of which adds up to increased client savings, better user experience and efficient no-touch processes. These advancements can also play a critical role in helping organizations meet the needs of today’s challenging business environment – allowing them to do more with less staff and fewer resources.
But despite these advancements, within many organizations TEM has become a stagnant practice, and as a result, organizations are missing out on the big benefits that cutting-edge TEM platforms can bring to their bottom line.
“TEM has become such a rote practice within many organizations that administrators…miss opportunities to improve operations.” – AOTMP 2019 TEM Market Guide
Is your TEM approach just going through the motions? Are you missing out on savings and the benefits of a streamlined TEM approach? If so, it might be time for your organization to make a TEM switch.
We’ve put together the top five questions you should ask your TEM provider to determine if they’re still the right solution for your organization, or if it’s time to move on to a new TEM platform that can help better position your organization for success during this recession and beyond:
Are they leveraging AI and SMART technologies?
The most advanced TEM solutions leverage cutting-edge AI and SMART technologies to automate many of expense management processes that would have traditionally been completed manually. This not only allows organizations to tighten their personnel budgets and reallocate employees to areas where the human interaction can’t be replicated by technology, but it also results in a much more accurate and rapid data entry and payment process. It also yields a more comprehensive view of organizational spending that can be audited to find hidden savings.
For example, through its proprietary, AI-powered upload engine, AMI Strategies’ temNOW platform is able to automate all invoice uploads – including digital, paper and small-vendor invoices. Additionally, once all client data is imported into the temNOW platform, its SmartAudit feature conducts 360-degree, SMART-technology-enabled review of each invoice and contract to find savings even if there aren’t rate changes. This capability goes far beyond what’s available with the standard TEM provider, and has saved AMI clients hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Can you customize the TEM solution to meet the needs/wants of your organization?
Not every organization needs the same thing from a TEM provider. For example, some clients:
- Allocate their invoices at the line item detail of the invoice and others at the summary level
- Desire a single approver of an invoice and others have multiple approvers with multiple parameters dictating the approver level in the organization,
- Want to see all global invoices in English and the US dollar where others prefer to see each invoice in the native language and native currency
The ability of a TEM provider to be agile and meet specific client needs – rather than providing a one-size-fits-all solution – can be a game-changer in terms of efficacy and user experience.
Can they track your technology inventory?
How does your TEM provider track technology assets? Maybe a better question might be: does your current TEM provider track technology assets at all? Many organizations will tell you that the answer to that question is a resounding “no.” Without the ability to track inventory, organizations are hamstrung – they can’t see the full landscape of their assets to understand how devices are contributing to organizational effectiveness. But more granularly than that, without tracking assets, organizations can’t:
- Predict when they’ll need to invest in new assets and determine what those “new” assets should be
- Optimize their technology/carrier contracts to find savings and meet the needs of end users
- Ensure that all devices are retired in a way that’s secure and fraud-free
Do they have a local customer service team?
There’s nothing more frustrating that trying to communicate with an outsourced TEM customer service team. There always seem to be availability issues, high turn over and almost zero consistency in terms of call reps and their familiarity with the TEM solution at hand. Language differences can also be a hindrance when customer service teams are located overseas. Having a local customer service team that can be available 24/7 and offer a seamless, user-friendly customer experience is a must have for a successful TEM partnership.
Can they demonstrate the value/ROI they are delivering?
Janet Jackson said it best: “What have you done for me lately?” A good TEM partner should be able to highlight exactly how much they have helped your company save over the course of your relationship. They should be able to pinpoint areas where they:
- Have identified previously missed opportunities for savings
- Have streamlined your expense management process – making your operations more automated and accurate
- Provided increased visibility into every data point on an invoice, organized in strategic ways through reporting so your team was able to make faster, more informed business decisions
If the answer to any of the questions above is “no,” it’s time to break up with your current TEM provider and move on to one that can better deliver on the wants and needs of your business. For more about how AMI has successfully migrated companies to our award-winning TEM solution and saved them thousands of dollars in the process, let’s connect.