My business partner and I sat down this week to discuss how we can provide the best value for our clients in 2019.

This leads us straight to what we believe are the critical priorities for our clients to consider for telecommunications this year.

I’m going to start with the most important one: service and support

As telecommunications services get ever cheaper the victim is service and support. The leading providers are having their margins constantly squeezed. These are ongoing rounds for redundancies in the industry. The latest round of these is underway at Vodafone. These companies are dropping their headcounts at an alarming rate.

Our industry reports it is getting harder and harder to get good support and service. There are just not enough staff at these providers to provide a high level of support anymore.

We’ve found the best way to raise the chances of good support is to lock in regular meetings with your account manager and service delivery manager. This can be done by negotiating smart commercial terms and including these in any agreements.

We recommend a monthly meeting for more complex businesses and quarterly ones for others. This is what smart and focussed CIO’s such as Campbell Such does at Bidfood. The agenda at these meetings should include ongoing outstanding issues, and performance related to support.

You can also let the supplier know of future events that may require their help. We often attend these meetings to support our clients to discuss ongoing spending trends, review and contract compliance. This forms part of our ongoing telecommunications review service.

But, more importantly, these meetings have a very important additional effect. They can help build a strong relationship between you and supplier. In times of real need, you can leverage this to resolve issues and challenges in far less time and with less conflict. Because, ultimately, it’s the relationship and teamwork approach with key suppliers that deliver the best value to your business and to your bottom line – and isn’t that what really matters?

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