The Telecom Supply Chain is unique in the sense that it needs to work as a perfectly synchronized orchestra across multiple functions. This is simply because of the ‘bundling’ process, which can spawn so many different products and services together proliferating SKUs.
As a result, in most Retail and Distribution models in Telcos, we have:
Each one could be an entirely independent set of operations and needs two vital Supply Chain Operations to happen: a) Convergence and b) Inventory Visibility. Telecom Product and Supply Chain managers grapple with these two issues almost every day, apart from looking into Replenishment and Distribution problems.
So what can this lead to? The potential showstopper could be ‘Inventory lying unaccounted’ for. As each of the above six stages requires constant value addition and movement of inventory, if there is no synchronization, the supply chain will struggle to converge and visibility may be poor. The need of the hour is to have a UNIFIED view of Demand and Supply together, and the ability to model quick-fire scenarios of Replenishment planning across the Distribution chain.
Wipro recently put together a novel concept of ‘Buy Anywhere, Activate Anywhere’ for a large $60 Billion Telecom Giant in the US, knitting together a vast array of Telecom Operations using Oracle Supply Chain Planning, namely Store Distribution Planning, Procurement Planning and Customer Inventory Planning. ‘Buffer Stock’ for replenishment was a key element of the planning, which was driven by how the distribution chains performed. The program was an end-to-end Business transformation moving into Application Implementation. Establishing a concept of ‘Centralized’ planning, bringing in a rigor of making a small group of Master Planners responsible for the entire network were some of the ‘Change Management’ issues which were taken onboard.
In the center of all this was the functionality of Oracle Supply Chain Planning cloud, with its ability to look at the Demand and Supply Workbenches side-by-side, which helped drive actions seamlessly, fixing ownership for actions and brining in a culture of collaborative working.
In the end, Unified Planning helped the customer in getting the ‘Right Product at the Right Time to the Right Customer for the Right Purpose’ – powered by Oracle Supply Chain Planning Cloud.