If anything, the current recession is pushing organisations to adopt smarter business practices to reduce capital and operational expenditure, maintain liquidity and, where possible, increase profitability.

So why not start by looking at your organisation's telecoms spend and follow CMA's five-step telecoms cost management survival guide? Telecoms cost management can typically deliver average savings of 15 per cent per annum.

1. Create and manage a telecoms inventory
A current, accurate inventory of all the products and services implemented across your organisation's telecoms estate enables clarification that correct bills have been issued, ensuring straightforward reconciliation against items recorded. It also provides a clear strategic view of current telecoms implementations that will help with any future decision-making.

2. Improve billing processes
Maintain control of billing processes and validate costs. Ensure that products and services supplied correlate with the order and are charged at the agreed price. Bills consolidation from single suppliers can reduce many complexities of telecoms cost management. Moving to electronic billing can also improve cross-referencing between items charged against the inventory, ensure accuracy and accelerate payment authorisation to meet invoice billing terms.

3. Reclaim overspends
Companies often receive incorrect bills, pay twice, or don't claim discounts to which they are entitled. Analysing and comparing multiple bills against the telecoms estate is complex and timely, but may just unearth payment discrepancies that can be reclaimed and help with cash flow.

4. Reduce energy consumption and reap additional savings
Use a programme to identify zero dial circuits that are not used for back-up or emergency services - there are no call charges, only a rental fee. Rental charges and associated energy costs required to maintain power to the line can both be reduced. A positive contribution to reducing your organisation's carbon footprint!

5. Monitor your spend patterns
Periodic tracking of your telecoms spend patterns could identify cost savings initiatives. For example, if mobile phone costs are rising or seem disproportionate to fixed line charges, an initiative to ensure employees use a landline when in the office could assist with reducing these costs. Calls to 0845 numbers can be more costly than national numbers; providing employees with those numbers that incur the lowest costs can assist in reducing spend in this area.

Act now and deliver positive results to your management team.