Mobile Logistics Capabilities from Sprint

Telco rolls out solution to let wireless providers track inventory through their supply chain

New Orleans — March 17, 2003 — Telecoms company Sprint today unveiled new mobile logistics capabilities intended to allow wireless providers to track inventory at virtually any point in their supply chain or network.

Sprint North Supply, a supply chain solution provider serving network service providers, manufacturers and resellers throughout North America, is currently implementing a mobile logistics solution with Alamosa PCS, a wireless provider operating in the Western and Midwestern United States.

Over the past two years, Sprint North Supply has integrated a complement of supply chain management technology systems with the goal of providing service providers and manufacturers logistics outsourcing options currently enjoyed in other industries.

To bring supply chain visibility and control to the truck or technician level, Sprint North Supply provides the carrier's technical staff with Intermec pocket PCs. The units help bridge the gap between management and physical assets in the field by collecting and transmitting data on equipment at its current location.

"Providing truck- or cabinet-level inventory can reap significant cost savings by enabling network managers to make rapid, informed procurement decisions based on what equipment is currently in their network or inventory," said John Campanelli, vice president sales and client solutions at Sprint North Supply. "Information is power, and this is information carriers struggle to obtain."

Service providers who are either ramping up or gearing down from a deployment frequently find themselves strapped with excess, obsolete or missing equipment. Sprint said that by deploying a mobile logistics solution, the carrier would gain visibility to its installed base of equipment. High-value items can be systematically bar-coded, scanned and data-based so materials can be tracked to a specific physical location. This can include individual card locations within a remote site cabinet or even a particular rack within a switch facility.

"The financial impact becomes very apparent as soon as you consider the time skilled technicians or management are spending trying to manage a critical spare crisis or just keep track of upgrade materials," said Campanelli.

Over the past year, Sprint North Supply has developed solutions for Alamosa PCS intended to streamline and consolidate several logistics operations, add forecasting and visibility for a wide range of equipment, and reduce the carrier's inventory investment while maintaining high service levels. Future potential of the mobile solution includes workforce management capabilities, according to Sprint.