Hard Disk Drive Supply Chain Success Story

August 15, 2019 RRD, RR Donnelley

A Study in Success:
Hard Disk Drive (HDD) - Streamlining the Supply Chain

The customer, one of the world’s largest technology companies, operates in over 170 countries. They provide an extensive range of technology services and solutions to both businesses and consumers. Its product portfolio includes printing, personal computing, software, IT services and infrastructure.

Before working with RRD, the customer had multiple Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM’s), each providing configuration, testing and distribution services from various locations across the United States, Europe and Asia.


The customer’s supply chain model was fragmented and created inefficiencies at different stages of the process. Different providers and touch points were involved in product configuration, leading to inconsistencies during manufacturing and in unit quality. Difficulties responding to market demand were causing high levels of volume fluctuation. The customer chose RRD to create an integrated and flexible supply chain solution.

The challenges in optimizing the client’s supply chain model included:

  • Improving ability to more accurately respond to demand
  • Standardizing the various global distribution processes
  • Increasing overall efficiency in the administration functions of the supply chain i.e. planning, purchasing and logistics
  • Simplifying existing data management and reporting processes in order to eliminate delays and errors in reporting
  • Consolidating the management of product inventory and distribution



RRD was selected as the global supply chain service provider. RRD’s team of engineering and supply chain experts designed a new solution which involved becoming the sole point of contact for the OEM’s and all suppliers. Utilizing state-of-the-art production facilities across North America, Europe, and Asia, RRD assumed responsibility for all configuration, testing, packaging and inventory activity for the customer’s hard drives and other storage components. RRD began shipping products to distributors, re-sellers, retailers, corporations and individual end users worldwide on behalf of the customer.

Key aspects of the solution included:

  • Outsourcing global control and management of the supply chain to a single supply chain
  • Establishing standardized kitting, testing, distribution and fulfillment processes
  • Incorporating high levels of flexibility into the new model to meet changing and unforeseen demand
  • Providing a fully integrated and automated data transfer system
  • Implementing engineering and process improvements to enhance product quality, testing and overall production efficiencies



In conceiving and implementing this new and more efficient solution, RRD has proved itself a flexible and innovative global supply chain provider. The client’s previously fragmented supply chain process has been replaced with a comprehensive and integrated global solution. Improved efficiencies have been realized at every stage of the supply chain process. Inventory requirements and costs have been greatly reduced.

Other supply chain improvements include:

  • New, single point of global control and management
  • Reduction in cycle-time to make new products available
  • Improved supply chain visibility, superior levels of consistency and control
  • Significant reduction in logistics management and product handling
  • Increased volume and speed of production
  • Considerable reduction in risk of volume fluctuation
  • Enhanced scale and project planning
  • Late stage configuration and postponement
  • Implementation of new global product tracking technology


Benefits of Working with RRD

RRD’s core competencies, strategic direction and vertically integrated services can help to create a unique competitive advantage with the following benefits:

  • Reduced time-to-market for products with a single interface and global reach
  • Reduced total supply chain cost from design through to final product delivery
  • Aid in revenue generation with attractive product packaging
  • Streamline global processes with enhanced planning and forecasting


Supply Chain Solutions

RRD Supply Chain Solutions is a recognized global supply chain and packaging provider that delivers value-add solutions to multiple sectors. As part of RRD (NYSE:RRD), a broad suite of capabilities is offered including packaging design and production, sourcing, kitting and fulfillment services. Solution design, systems, processes and precise project execution can help customers to constantly improve their market share, profits and speed-to-market.


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