Development of an in-region postponement solution drives efficiencies across business' entire supply chain
This international mobile phone and consumer electronics business that designs, manufactures, markets, and sells mobile phones and consumer electronic products in partnership with global brands. The company holds global licenses from a number of well-known brands and has a growing portfolio of connected device products covering the rugged, lifestyle and outdoor categories.
The company imported their rugged phones direct from multiple Chinese original device manufacturers (ODMs), which created a number of difficulties including:
- Forecasting multiple country configurations to be made in China for delivery to EMEA resulted in high levels of stock with additional rework and expedite costs
- Limited flexibility to support unforecasted demand in the region resulted in lost sales
- Protracted ramp-up and ramp-down of products resulted in discounted pricing at the end of the product cycle
- Shipping fully packaged products straight from Asia into Europe meant there was a low density per pallet, which resulted in high logistics and storage costs
- Ordering finished goods from multiple ODMs in China, resulted in limited control of quality and branding of products
RRD analyzed the company’s supply network and developed an in-region postponement solution to drive efficiencies across the entire supply chain. This solution involved developing packaging to enable shipment of product in a high-density bulk configuration and leveraging RRD’s European platform of vertically integrated design, printing, packaging, and kitting resources to develop a more flexible demand-driven supply chain.
Once a demand signal is received, the phones are configured, tested, packaged, and distributed to the operators in-region. Key aspects of the solution included:
- Moving printing, packaging, and device configuration and assembly to a centralized European distribution center — eliminating the inefficiencies created by shipping finished goods for the European market direct from China
- Structural and graphic design of all packaging for production in Europe — reducing total cost and improving product quality
- Configuration and pack-out of the phones and firmware upload
- Serial number/ESN tracking and management of all warehousing and distribution activities
By working with RRD Supply Chain Solutions, the company was better positioned to support their customers in EMEA. RRD’s in-region postponement model allows the company’s rugged phones to be kitted and packaged close to the point of consumption in RRD’s Brno facility (Czech Republic).
The key benefits of the solution include:
- Significant reductions in a number of areas, including freight and storage costs, outbound transport distances, carbon footprint of the supply chain, device production costs (by sourcing from multiple product ODMs), and finished goods inventory
- Greater control over product branding and a higher standard of finished product screening before being shipped to end customers
- Enhanced supply chain visibility as well as increased responsiveness to in-region market demand
- Better positioning to support last-minute sales opportunities as well as offer operators increased levels of customization