In a sign of things to come for the B2B telecoms industry, KPMG has told hundreds of employees in the UK to hand back their work mobiles. In an internal memo leaked to the British press, the company said it would start collecting the phones in October (the first month of its new financial year). It is not the 603 partners, who are paid an average of £601,200 a year, that are being targetted, but junior staff in admin and non-client facing roles. This is the latest cost cutting round after the firm said it would make a third of its secretaries and PAs redundant, stating that partners should move with the times and perform more of these tasks themselves.
The firm acknowledges this is a cost-cutting move, saying that its cost base is far higher than rivals PwC, Deloitte and EY. But it also pointed out that it had invested in technology which made the need for a mobile unnecessary for homeworkers and office-based staff.
“Over the past year we have invested in a range of technologies to support our people, which enable them to work from home or the office with ease. As a result we have less need for mobile phones in certain areas of the business.” KPMG Spokesperson
This move indicates a new wave of telecoms expense management and the substitution of digital tools for traditional communications tools. It is a reminder that B2B service providers need to be proactive in helping businesses find the most appropriate and cost-effective solution to their communications needs, or risk being left high and dry.