The mission of Grand Rapids, MI-based CBI Telecommunications’ Consultants is to assist business clients in managing their telecommunication services and associated expenses. For 25 years, CBI’s success has been measured by value brought to clients through an optimized telecommunications infrastructure and the resulting cost reductions.
The telecom expense management firm works with companies to audit and optimize their phone and technology bills via a very methodical process. Tracey Booth of CBI said that the company takes a phone bill, for example, and backs it up against the client’s contract and customer service report. And if needed they will also pull PBX reports to verify usage.
“From that we can determine the short-term, the mid-term and the long-term savings,” she said.
Short-term savings are quick hits, like when you find you’re being charged $5 more per line than you should be, or a cell phone has the wrong plan. Once the audit is completed the client receives several reports and optimization suggestions.
“What we do differently is that when we identify these, we put in for the credit from the carrier. We wait for those credits to actually hit their bill, this allows us to verify the savings,” Booth, who has worked with CBI for 15 years, as a vendor prior to joining the company, said. “From end to end, we have it all.”
CBI works with clients to understand various telecommunications needs and priorities, using industry knowledge and experience on behalf of its clients to verify billing accuracy, identify optimization opportunities, and recommend a comprehensive telecommunications solution that meets clients’ needs while minimizing costs.
“What makes our company unique is almost all of us have come from a vendor—AT&T, Quest, large phone companies—and the benefit that gives to our clients is we know the processes of those companies,” Booth said. “So we’re really able to advocate for our clients because we understand the carriers’ processes. We know how to process those requests, and that’s an expertise level that you can’t get in most places.”
CBI is carrier-agnostic meaning that it does not partner with or receive payment from any carrier or telecommunications vendor.
“Our methodology instead is that vendors give our clients the best pricing. You really cannot be objective in this industry if you are receiving payment. Then you really are not a true telecom expense management company; you are an agent, a consultant,” Booth said.
Additionally, CBI assists clients with technical expertise, bill payment and management, contract negotiation network optimization and asset inventory, and provides services for wireline, wireless, utilities, transportation audit, carrier contract negotiation, along with software licensing negotiation and pricing optimization.
Many clients move into CBI’s software service platform, G-TEM through which CBI can further monitor everything.
“We put in every granular detail about their current services, such as cost allocation centers. It’s really about assisting large corporations with the ability to monitor all of their telecom and technology spend,” Booth said.
CBI currently is working on various bids for Fortune 500 companies, and in being a certified women-owned company, recently attended the Women’s Business Enterprise National Convention. Booth’s current focuses are building an indirect sales channel and partner programs.
“We’ve brought on board six really good partners, and I’m currently speaking to about 30 others,” she said. “Time flies when you’re having fun.”
Later this year CBI will merge with European-based company A&B Groep. By merging its experience and expertise, the company plans to become an even stronger international player. CBI currently is in the due diligence phase for the next 30 to 60 days, with the merger expected to be complete in September/October 2016. With the merger, the companies will be known as Global TEM and will continue to offer GTEM Solutions.
By Alyssa Stahr