Assured Revenues and Robust Supply Chains

Coronavirus has reminded everybody of the importance of global supply chains and the trouble that can be caused when they are obstructed. You do not need to be managing a multinational manufacturing business to appreciate this; you just need to have visited the supermarket only to discover there was no pasta or toilet paper on the shelves. Interruptions to supply can also mean interruptions to revenue, as reiterated by an excellent article in the Harvard Business Review. Most telecoms revenue assurance practitioners believe their work has no relationship with supply chain management, but there are many linkages, as became clear when I interviewed Nikhil Sehgal of Colt for the last season of RAG TV. Consider the conceptual connections to the following areas:

  • Telcos generate revenue by supplying handsets. Is everything being done to analyse and assure those revenues?
  • Telcos need to keep networks up and running. How optimal is their inventory of replacement equipment?
  • Telcos also buy capacity from other telcos. How well priced are their fallback options?

I dislike seeing revenue assurance teams that sit isolated in finance directorates with no connection to the wider management of risk because their pragmatic data analysis skills can also be applied to the management of different risks in other parts of the business. This also has implications for the spread of revenue assurance to other sectors, a subject that clearly matters to many readers of Commsrisk per the number of views for my recent article about it. Whilst I agree that revenue assurance gets it strength by marrying analytical and auditing skills to a deep understanding of how telcos work, it is also possible to have too narrow a focus on certain aspects of telco operations. Telcos do a lot more than providing a voice service measured by CDRs. RA professionals working for telcos can make themselves more attractive to other businesses by identifying and exploiting every opportunity to add value to their current employer.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.