Mobile device management – The hidden costs of self-management

Mobile corporate communications are part of everyday life in modern companies. At the latest since the Corona pandemic, in which almost 25% of companies had to transfer their employees to the home office, mobile communication has become indispensable. More than 10 million employees in Germany are currently in home offices and rely on mobile devices.

But how much effort is actually involved in independently managing a mobile fleet?
We show you the hidden costs, based on experience reports from more than 7 years and statistics.

The process

In this report we will simulate the acquisition of 100 mobile devices with you, based on the sample GmbH. Together we will look behind the curtain and show the limits of mobile self-management.

In our model, Muster GmbH is a medium-sized company with just under 150 employees, 100 of whom are equipped with mobile devices. In June 2021, the term of the current smartphone generation of Muster GmbH ends. Mobile phone contracts expire – have to be extended or renegotiated, the old hardware goes and new devices are purchased.

A process that sounds very simple at first glance and is often passed on to departments such as purchasing or corporate IT. In reality, these supposedly quickly solved tasks are real time and resource guzzlers. For this reason, let’s take a look at the extensive process of procurement.


The approach to smartphone procurement varies from company to company. Muster GmbH, however, decided to list its current smartphone inventory as a first step. After completing this count, often with the help of Excel spreadsheets, it was determined that a total of 112 devices belonged to the company fleet.

This corporate pool has some residual value. Dealing with current market prices, contacting various buyers and obtaining the best possible price in the future is usually costly and time consuming. Time that an IT manager often does not have.
So the equipment is assigned to a buyer in advance at reduced prices. In the course of repatriation, they are then delivered to this buyer. Resources and capital are lost.

After the Muster GmbH has calculated its capital and weighed your financial possibilities, the question arises which smartphones should it be and how do I procure them. An extensive examination of all devices and the possibilities of integrating them into the company costs time and again resources.

Muster GmbH decided on a total of 80 iPhone 11s with 128GB and an iPhone 12 Pro with 256GB for the executives and immediately began searching for the best price.
Again, Muster GmbH faces a long to-do list full of meetings with distributors and carriers. With all the offers they’ll have during this time, we’ll give you a hint:

You will never get the best possible price. With a purchase quantity of 100 devices, Muster GmbH has no impact on the carrier or the distributor of the devices and are only just below the list price.

In addition, availability is considered an often underestimated risk. In the current time it is challenging to trigger a bulk order of 100 Devices and to receive them at the desired target date. In our example, we assume that Muster GmbH was able to successfully overcome all procurement hurdles. What happens next?

The rollout

The effort involved in this sub-process of hardware integration is regularly underestimated. It is not a simple hardware replacement.

All smart devices already contain important contact and company data. Without appropriate guidance and DSGVO-compliant backup, important data will be lost. In addition, it is important to maintain corporate communication at all times, i.e. not to risk any downtime of devices.

  • 100 devices, to 100 different employees in different offices, home offices and other locations
  • Step-by-step instructions for replacing the old devices
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to install the new devices
  • DSGVO-compliant data deletion
  • Helpdesk for any queries and problems that may arise

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Onboarding and offboarding

In 2019, Statista published an overview of employee turnover broken down by economic sector. On average, 36% of employees thus left or rejoined a company.
In addition to the already challenging tasks of employee turnover and employee growth, Muster GmbH has to deal with numerous onboarding and offboarding processes related to employees and mobile devices every year.

The challenges around employee onboarding and offboarding are obvious

  • Returning old devices
  • Certified data erasure
  • Device preparation, staging and, if necessary, replacement
  • SIM card management and number exchange
  • Tariff adjustment
  • Onboarding of new employees and provision of devices

Employee onboarding and offboarding often present companies with hurdles that not only take up a department, but also become a cost driver and resource hog.


‎The expenses of managing a mobile fleet are enormous. In most cases, they do not represent a full-fledged position of a specialized employee, but are outsourced to various parts of the company. Thus, purchasers, IT managers, accounting and internal service management regularly find themselves confronted with challenging tasks. Resources are tied up and essential tasks as well as processes suffer.

Hiring a specialist for this is often not worthwhile. ‎The processes run up too irregularly and differ significantly in the amount of time and effort spent. For example, a repair including replacement can take a few hours, while employee onboarding and offboarding can develop into a complicated issue involving numerous departments.

Fixed costs are difficult to quantify in this way. But the most common cost drivers are staffing costs, overly expensive tariffs and high prices for hardware procurement.

Companies are wasting resources and incurring costs through complicated processes of independently managing their mobile fleet – costs that you can avoid.

The solution – TKD LifeCycle Management

With TKD managing a mobile fleet, these time and resource consuming tasks are solved. TKD provides you with a dedicated point of contact. Your day-to-day challenges are routed directly to TKD and only end up back with you once completed.

TKD LifeCycle Management is our transparent mobile communications concept. We handle all processes of your IT asset management – from procurement, distribution and management of mobile devices, employee onboarding and offboarding to buyback.

Just use. We care!

Would you like a no-obligation consultation on TKD LifeCycle Management? Your challenge – Our solution!

Contact us now!