The old arrangements were “transactional” according to IT Operations Director Alan Webb.
When he took over management of the 4,000-user contract, he didn’t find it easy to understand what was driving costs. Mace employed an independent consultant to advise them.
Mace’s primary objectives were straightforward: a contract that wasn’t over-complicated, billing arrangements that enabled manageability and accountability for teams and individual users, and lower costs. Olive put a package together and supplied Mace with its billing manager software (known as Olive Business Manager, or OBM) that, says Webb, is both simple and useful.
OBM was so useful that it soon highlighted the people who were running up large charges on the bill. The tool, along with other elements of the package, such as free line rental, has enabled Mace to reduce its monthly bill by around 40% since July 2013 – and that’s with 179 more staff working at the company.
“Transparency is essential to establishing trust between us and our providers and to controlling our costs. Software can generate data, but the data has to be shared in order to enable the kind of active management that helps realise productivity gains and cost savings. My view is that managers within an organisation need to have and share information on mobile usage at the level of the individual, as well as the team, if they are to manage costs effectively.”
Managers have been able either to change staff behaviour to take account of what is and isn’t possible within their contract or arrange more appropriate packages that don’t incur unexpected charges. Webb describes the Mace-Olive deal as an “openbook arrangement”, where both parties see what they are achieving through the deal.
This reflects his general approach to supply chain development; an approach that sees him working with Olive and others in benchmarking exercises that help all parties understand where they stand in the market place and how they can improve in ways that add value throughout the supply chain.
The Mace-Olive relationship operates at three levels; at the strategic level through quarterly meetings, via weekly account management sessions, and through daily contact with the support team that deals with around 350 requests a month.