Telecom procurement can be a challenging process at the best of times, but industry pressures and the impact of COVID-19 have made it even more difficult in recent months. For many enterprises, the pandemic has highlighted weaknesses in supply chains, lack of support for growing demand, and gaps in knowledge to effectively navigate market changes and contract negotiation.
As a result, enterprise procurement teams have had to focus on managing global supply chains, cash flow, and the demands of new ways of working. Pushing important processes such as optimizing telecom environments to the back seat.
However, enterprise businesses that overlook their telecom contracts stand to miss out on potential savings, telecom market expertise, and contract negotiation openings as we enter the new year.
The Challenges of Telecom Procurement in 2021
From managing strategic procurement objectives internally to maintaining vendor relationships, corporate telecom procurement has many key roles. As such, busy in-house teams can suffer from lack of time and resources to truly tackle growing procurement challenges.
These challenges include:
- Operational, workforce, and supply chain disruptions
- Significant spikes in telecom usage and traffic
- Economic uncertainty
- Ineffective supply chains
In 2021, organizations should take the opportunity to review their purchasing goals and ensure they maintain control of their telecom spend.
Here are our top telecoms procurement considerations for 2021.
1. Telecom Demand Will Grow
Network usage is skyrocketing. This is largely due to uptakes in remote working, reliance on cloud services, and increased networking requirements for dispersed customers.
For example, as national lockdowns and travel restrictions lift, data roaming traffic is predicted to grow by 93% in 2021, with an average annual growth of 40% over the next five years. Exceeding 1,600 petabytes by 2025.
Telecom services have also kept end-users connected during lockdown, and their usage will continue to boost purchasing volumes once it ends. For procurement teams, securing the best rates is now more crucial than ever, to reduce the risk of growing telecom costs.
Enterprises can benefit from partnering with a TEM provider to help navigate procurement in the coming year. An experienced partner can assist in-house teams with benchmarking, sourcing, and procurement support. This helps you achieve better visibility of data for processes such as industry benchmarking, helping internal teams find the best deals. With this insight, you can approach negotiations with confidence, even in light of economic uncertainty and mounting demand.
2. Market Changes
COVID-19 has caused major disruptions to the global market, affecting everything from supply chains and infrastructure to in-house teams and workloads. The pandemic has also affected 5G deployment plans and will potentially inhibit further spending and implementation until the economic impact of the pandemic is truly realized.
With this in mind, businesses need to evaluate their outlook on the current market, and plan their contract procurement and negotiations carefully for the coming year.
To be successful, businesses will need to:
- Improve financial reporting
- Revisit KPIs
- Rethink future investments (e.g 5G)
- Strengthen supply chain operations
A global telecom procurement partner is perfectly situated to offer the market expertise needed to achieve this, helping to secure the best rates for any future investment. A TEM partner is uniquely positioned to help you get the most out of your telecom contracts and can offer in-depth industry insights to help manage costs for the coming year.
Additionally, by working with a telecom procurement partner, you'll strengthen the relationships with your suppliers, giving you the ability to easily pivot when the need arises, which will be critical to success in 2021.
3. Supply Chain Management
COVID-19 and the subsequent global lockdowns have placed increased strain on supply chains. Disruptions in manufacturing locations have resulted in extended lead times to customers, negatively impacting serviceability and revenue. This has led to many businesses attempting to diversify and shorten their supply chains, favoring domestic sourcing rather than having a disparate and disconnected network.
The mounting uncertainty has highlighted the urgency to strengthen enterprise telecom supply chains. 93% of procurement and supply-chain leaders said they planned to increase the resilience of their supply chains. However, managing the entire telecom lifecycle on a global scale is difficult without considerable internal resources and time.
To overcome this, many businesses choose to leverage the services of a global TEM provider. A TEM provider works as an extension of your in-house teams to improve and optimize processes in your supply chain. This includes end-to-end telecom procurement support, helping free up valuable time for your internal departments. From initial request for proposal (RFP), tender processes, and negotiations to contract management – TEM providers have years of experience managing telecoms on a global scale.
By leveraging country-specific knowledge and established vendor relationships, a TEM provider can greatly improve the telecom procurement process and help manage an increasingly difficult global supply chain.
Partner with a TEM Provider for Procurement
Navigating 2021 will undoubtedly prove challenging. But with the right TEM provider for support, you'll gain valuable support and insight to guide all future telecom procurement operations and secure the best, long-lasting results.
For help on identifying the best vendor for your needs, download our free brochure.