Managing telecommunications inventory for more than just a few locations has always been tedious work. Getting an accurate inventory is the first challenge. Traditionally, companies have paid technicians to visit each of their locations to tone, test and tag the different circuits. Not only is this method expensive (which runs counter to our objective of reducing the costs of telecommunications), but is becoming less and less accurate over time.With the advent of telecommunications competition, and carriers delivering a significant amount of services over T-1 lines, the ability for a technician to tone and test each line to develop an accurate telecommunications inventory is diminishing. Further, this telecommunications inventory process is disruptive. Lines have to be taken out of service and access needs to be coordinated with the building management. Frequently, the site personnel are not technical, so their ability to assist the technician in finding the variety of circuits that may be in use is limited.Fortunately, there are short-cuts that provide a significant comfort level that the inventory is captured “reasonably accurately”. Let’s face it, unless you have 50 lines coming into a location (and if you do, you should consider a more efficient service), using carrier records is a reasonable alternative. If your intention is to reduce your telecom expenses by reviewing your telecommunications inventory, what is important is what you are paying for.You can establish your telecommunications inventory fairly accurately from your billing information, and not spend anything to do it. What you then need is a system the help you keep that inventory up to date and a methodology to review the telecommunications inventory to find cost savings. Finding a web-based tool at little or no cost is the best approach to maintaining a telecommunications inventory over time. With a web-based telecom inventory, you can have individuals at each location manage their own information.