Vodafone's Spend Manager has potential to cut mobile admin cost by 90 per cent

Vodafone has launched a new range of services, called Spend Manager, designed to address specific mobile billing requirements, such as identifying non-work call spend, subsidising phones for personal use and garnering staff loyalty through employee discounts.

The mobile giant's own research suggests that employees in a business with 500 handsets spend around 1,000 hours each month trying to manage, identify and recover costs associated with personal call charges.

Vodafone reckons this costs companies at least 64,000 each year, but could be avoided, according to the company, with its Split Bill solution, which it believes could cut administration costs by up to 90 per cent.

The online application gives employees the opportunity to clearly highlight which calls are business-related and which are not.

"In our experience many businesses are frustrated by the time it takes to manage hundreds of paper bills and the time it steals from employees who must sift through the bills and highlight personal and business calls," said Elaine Roberts, head of enterprise marketing at Vodafone UK.

"We estimate that on average 15 per cent of the calls made each month could be personal. Many employers have agreements in place with employees where they agree how personal calls made on a work mobile are paid for, but it can sometimes be a difficult process to manage. Split Bill eliminates all of the hassle and makes the administrative process easier to manage for everyone."

Vodafone has also partnered with Flexphone to offer Mobile Salary Saver, which enables businesses to offer their employees mobile phones for personal use in a tax efficient way.

This salary sacrifice option comes in the wake of the demise of the Government's Home Computing Initiative.

By using Flexphone, employees can shave up to 41 per cent from the cost of a Vodafone consumer package.

Under the third new Spend Manager offering, the Employee Discount Scheme, companies can give staff the option to buy discounted phones for themselves or their family and friends.

"Research shows that there are a number of critical factors that influence employee loyalty to a company. The Vodafone UK Working Nation report - entitled: 'Loyalty at Work: what does it mean today?' - established a strong link between the benefits employers give and employee loyalty," said Roberts.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.