Telecom service providers looking to reduce Capex and Opex need to follow the old football adage: “the best offense is a good defense.” Being highly proactive in all planning and responses to consumer-impacting situations is crucial to reducing churn and increasing revenue assurance. Being pre-emptory against all potential threats to direct subscriber revenue takes logical planning.
The telecoms that experience the most successful churn reduction think proactively, and this extends into every piece of their operations. Maximizing workforce efficiency while minimizing overall expenditures is fundamental getting through each daily telecom cycle. This positively affects Capex and Opex management.
Here are a few proactive ideas that have proven to help service providers save time, money and expense directly related to Capex and Opex.
- Proactively Track Repeat Trucks Rolls: A single truck roll can cost hundreds or more depending on the service provider’s location. Unnecessary, repeat truck rolls can double and triple expenses and increase customer dissatisfaction. Are your service techs knowledgeable about all install or trouble-shooting resolutions? Are these customers getting a proper follow-up after each service call/truck roll? Are there recurring issues in the network affecting this trouble-ticket and wasting Opex?
- Take Frequent Inventory of your Hardware Infrastructure and Only Use What You Need: Network capacity is in constant flux, and network infrastructure to provide service is costly. For example, only use exactly the number of splitter cards and pigtails you need in a HUB cabinet to support 80% capacity. Any more and you could be wasting thousands of dollars in unnecessary field hardware per splitter card and per HUB. Do you proactively track the exact hardware and capacity in each HUB cabinet before dispatching field techs? We’ve all heard stories about unneeded, unused hardware in the field. That hardware can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars – increasing Capex spending when most of the needs are far below capacity.
- On Demand Device Reclamation: Are you tracking subscriber disconnects? What does a service tech do when they are missing hardware on their truck they need for a work order? It’s important to always be aware of unclaimed equipment and where it is in your service footprint. For example, a reusable ONT is worth a few hundred dollars and may be available on a service tech’s daily route without scheduling another, special pick-up. This should be a part of a daily process and is a big Opex reduction.
- Current Fiber Records: Are your fiber records current and up to date? Are you showing the latest drops and possible points of increased traffic in your network? Will the technicians know before they arrive at their service location if a fiber needs to be extended or deployed? Your Fiber Management System (FMS) needs to be kept in a present-day state so that every one that comes in contact with the network can proactively prepare for a new customer connection.
- Proactively Track Your Most Loyal Customers: You will never find a better marketing strategy than the positive feedback and stories that come from your long-term subscribers. Chances are high that customers that have a 3-year or more service history with you have allowed you a greater indirect margin with regards to Opex. You’ve proactively prepared to support them well, and you’ve spent fewer dollars in Capex infrastructure because of them. For example, giving them a promotional sign for their front yard helps to reduce the expense of your sales team trying to target their neighbors directly. Allow the customer to work for you, then reward them with special promos when they save you this expense.