Funding employee cell phones costs companies thousands of dollars each year. As a result, a company may decide that the cost is too great. However, before making the decision of whether to provide cell phones to employees, a company should take into account the following benefits.

If a company owns the phone and the employee leaves the company, the company has the right and ability to recover the phone almost immediately. This right is especially important in a situation in which the employee is a salesperson who leaves the company to start a new company or to work for a competitor. The rule is: if you own the phone, you also own the number. Thus, if the company owns the phone, when the employee leaves, the company has the right to re-assign the same phone number to a new employee. As a result, the relationship between the company and its clients rarely suffers because there is continuity from one company salesperson to the next.

It is also not uncommon for a salesperson to use his or her personal cell phone for business. An employee that uses a personal cell phone has the right to keep the phone and the phone number upon leaving the company. As a result, the departing employee may continue to retain access to all text messages, emails, client contact information, and other company data. As a result, future sales opportunities may be lost if a customer only has the salesperson’s cell phone number, instead of the company’s office number.

Other important benefits to giving employees a company cell phone include allowing the company to use one cell phone platform (i.e., iOS, Android, etc.) in order to manage company data easier. It also allows the company to ensure that the data is password protected and meets various business and regulatory data protection requirements.

Last but certainly not the least, giving employees a cell phone may surprisingly allow a company to reduce costs. Business plans are typically lower than personal plans, so if a company already reimburses its employees’ personal cell phone costs, providing a company phone may actually reduce its cell phone expense.