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Past, Present, and Future: Inventory Management

Famed management thinker Peter Drucker told us that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

But what can’t be measured? The most certain answer is that you cannot measure what you don’t know exists, or what you’ve lost track of. If you don’t know about it you can’t measure it, so you can’t possibly manage it.

Those tasked with managing telecommunications services and related equipment are very familiar with this. The telecom industry has long been challenged by many factors which make it difficult if not impossible to keep track of all the equipment, services, contracts, and other elements that make up their area of responsibility.

Each of these easily becomes a hidden cost, invisible, unmeasured, ignored, and often very costly. They’re not being measured, so they cannot be managed.

Learn how inventory management has changed through the years and how you can prepare for the future. 

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Telecom Inventory Management

This is where the entire concept of Telecom Expense Management (TEM) began. Recognizing that they were losing track of many telecom investments, managers began tasking people and teams with auditing their holdings, in an effort to find the mistakes that had been made which caused units and services to disappear. 

Increasing Immediacy

Increasing the immediacy of the availability of data can often have a downside in that users may simply pull down datapoints themselves and consult them for quick, short answers without performing the analysis required to deliver the most value. Environments that used to require five full-time employees (FTE) to analyze their data could now get it all done with one. 

The Future

With the burden of data collection removed, the telecom analyst focuses more on how to make the network work better, delivering more value than ever before. Rightsizing service plans to each user provides incredibly granular cost control. Even more rapid identification of unused contracts, lines, services, and more leverages the time-value of money to increase savings dramatically.


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