It is a scenario Schooley Mitchell’s Geoff Poli has stumbled upon time and time again: A business owner doing their best to manage major expenses, only to be hindered by lack of time and resources. They suspect they are paying too much for basic services but can’t confirm it, resulting in thousands of dollars in overpayments.
“We prove every day you need to be vigilant, that you need to review this on a regular basis to make sure you’re not spending more than you should,” explained the St. Louis, Missouri-based consultant. “Many companies know this, but they often don’t have the time, or internal expertise, to perform regular reviews.”
Poli has plenty of experience auditing telecommunications and electronic payment processing for companies in his area. He considers himself not just a consultant, but an enabler – saving businesses money, which in turn allows them to reach financial goals they would otherwise find difficult to meet. Suddenly, purchasing new equipment or freeing up room in the budget for a new hire doesn’t seem so far out of reach.
“I can find money that companies don’t really think that they have so they can use it for more strategic purposes rather than overpaying carriers for their services,” Poli said.
The sad reality is that most businesses pay more than they should for basics like telephones, cell phones, fax lines, Internet and credit card processing. On average, Schooley Mitchell reduces these expenses by 28 per cent, while frequently uncovering billing errors that can lead to sizeable refunds when corrected.
He recalls an audit he undertook for a law firm. In his initial assessment of the firm’s wireless devices, Poli was able to find $35,000 in annual savings. Renegotiation of voice and data contracts led to approximately $125,000 in savings on those services over the next three years. The firm used the windfall to upgrade its phone system.
“We’re always going to do what we can to bring a client’s cost down,” he said, adding Schooley Mitchell’s expertise when it comes to providers and plans is an important part of the cost-saving equation.
Technology is ever-changing, and Poli has his eye on a few hot-button issues, such as the future of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs and the telecommuting trend. He expects to see an increase in companies using video in the workplace – both on desktop and mobile devices – which will impact bandwidth bottom lines.
“Carriers are going to want to capitalize on the fact they’re selling more bandwidth,” he said.
Passionate about his work, Poli is also passionate about family. He is a dedicated dad, spending as much time with his children as possible. He’s also a volunteer coach and has worked with basketball, baseball and soccer teams in his community for several years. Cooking is his form of relaxation and he can often be found in the kitchen, whipping up a new dish for family and friends.
Consistently one of the highest performing consultants within Schooley Mitchell, Poli is proud of his ability to recoup costs for his clients and save them significant sums down the road.
“It makes me feel really good, I enjoy being able to help,” he said. “I will bend over backwards to make sure that I have a client who is happy. I am always putting their interests first.”