It’s a question often pondered by Procurement Managers or those tasked with negotiating their company’s mobile contracts. Too often they stick to the ‘tried and trusted’ route of going to the networks directly, surely that way they get the best prices and are ‘secure’ in the knowledge they are being looked after by the big player. Is this really, good practice? Let’s put it to the test.


“I’ll get better value going direct, why pay more for a broker to get involved?”

If you’re an SME with 50 connections, or even a corporate entity with hundreds, are you really going to be in a better negotiating position than a mobile phone broker who manages tens of thousands of connections for the network?

Just as importantly a good broker will give you choice, not just in terms of great advice on tariffs that will suit your business and usage profile but vitally in terms of network. Why be forced down one route because that is the only thing in the network’s portfolio? What happens when the CEO cannot get coverage at home on your chosen network and the Chairman wants a bespoke package on yet another network. Notwithstanding the time savings, choice is vital and nine times out of ten it will be at far better value than that offered by the network direct.

The perception that a broker, as an addition to the buying chain adds cost is just that, a perception. The truth is quite different. Not only can a good broker use their buying power to negotiate keen deals they are not encumbered with running giant service and sales departments with all the associated costs.

Always high on the requirement list is Service levels. Again, this is about choice. The choice between being a very small fish in the network’s huge ocean. Being reliant on a service from a faceless call centre with an ever-changing roster of Account Managers, Support teams and time spent in call queues hoping to get a simple answer to a straightforward question. Or you could choose to deal with an organisation who are personal, who know you and your business, who really care and are also backed up by a huge support engine at the networks they represent given the thousands of connections they manage.

Having a dedicated Account Manager, named Support staff, clear, and observed service levels that suit you as a customer are vital, enabling you to get on with running your business. From the MD down, the size and scale of a Broker, even the large ones, mean you as a customer matter and everyone in the organisation will care.

“Dealing direct means, I’m secure and they have all the right level of expertise to meet my needs”.

Really? Choose your partner carefully and you’ll reap huge rewards. A good broker, because of their size and scale, is not only an expert in their field – just check out the background of the team looking after you. You will find hundreds of years of experience in mobile communications in the few contact points you have with them be it in sales, account management, support, account director, operations or finance. Good brokers only employ people with vast industry and market experience. Compare that to the touchpoints at the networks in their call centres; ever changing field-based sales teams and the Account Manager who is more interested in managing their career rather than your account.

The adage of nobody ever got fired for buying …, is why BT has become so huge. It’s why IBM was massive in the 70’s and 80’s. Not anymore. The reason? You’ll be a very small fish in their ocean, but they’ll rely on your inertia to maintain their market dominance. The reality is the service wrap we get from the networks as a reseller managing thousands of connections worth millions is of a far higher standard than you will get direct. Channel sales account for the majority of sales of most of the big players so they will not bite the hand that feeds them, but their direct sales teams are unlikely to let you into that secret. Still not sure? Ask for referrals, check their finances – a good broker should be able to provide it all.

And remember with a poor broker you are probably on par with a poor network – but get a great broker, you get great financials, great advice and great account management and that old word “choice”.

ARO is one of very few UK mobile brokers / managed service providers who offer coverage on all three of the nation’s leading business mobile networks, giving its customers access to the most competitively priced tariffs and the latest devices on the market. ARO also offers more bespoke services such as mobile device management (MDM), in-building coverage and mobile security.