BancTec Targets Inventory Asset Management Improvements

Taps joint solution from System Design Advantage, Choice Logistics; Choice also teams with Vistant on service parts logistics solution

Taps joint solution from System Design Advantage, Choice Logistics; Choice also teams with Vistant on service parts logistics solution

New York — July 2, 2004 — The computer and network services division of information technology company BancTec is working to improve its service parts organization by tapping an inventory management solution offered jointly by System Design Advantage and Choice Logistics.

In other service parts news, Choice Logistics has teamed with inventory control specialist Vistant to offer a solution that combines Vistant's unmanned forward-stocking technology with Choice's real-time inventory control and visibility, reverse logistics and transportation services.

BancTec provides integrated support services to the information technology industry, with focused deployment and ongoing support solutions for the OEM, enterprise and retail marketplaces.

The company is using the joint Inventory Asset Management (IAM) solution offered by SDA and Choice Logistics to improve its service parts operations. BancTec's Computer & Network Services division currently utilizes over 30 locations in the SDA/Choice network to manage service parts for desktop systems, storage array and printer replacement parts for leading global companies such as IBM, HP and Dell.

"The SDA/Choice solution gives BancTec the ability to support our clients without having to purchase, position and manage inventory for mission-critical contracts with the global reach and flexibility we require," said Lee Micks, director of major accounts operations for BancTec. "These services provide an immediate ROI and removed flux in cash flow that is typically associated to new customer contracts. The bottom line is that BancTec is far more competitive in the enterprise service marketplace as a result of this solution."

According to SDA and Choice, key benefits of the solution include the fact that the SDA-owned parts inventory is strategically positioned for mission-critical deployment via Choice's same-day service logistics network, providing parts-on-demand round the clock without any infrastructure or inventory investments.

The joint solution also allows for global inventory visibility and accessibility, and variability and flexibility that increase cash flow and reduce investments associated with mission critical parts management.

SDA and Choice announced their strategic alliance in January, saying they would offer the industry's first integrated logistics and parts/repair solution. The Inventory Asset Management (IAM) services include central stock inventory, dedicated on-site inventory, field inventory, repair and replenishment in a one-source solution.

As mission-critical service contracts become the norm in today's high-tech environments, an increasingly high level of service in multiple geographical locations is required. Companies must look to lowering internal operation costs and increase flexibility to stay competitive.

The two providers say that their alliance has both expanded SDA's capabilities in the emerging market for virtual-managed inventory asset services, a subset of the $1.7 billion service parts market, and strategically positioned Choice as a leading provider of mission critical third-party logistics (3PL) services.

Choice, Vistant Form Alliance

Meanwhile, Choice Logistics also has partnered with Vistant, a provider of supply control and visibility solutions for industry, to bring together Vistant's unmanned forward-stocking technology solutions with Choice's real-time inventory control and visibility, reverse logistics and transportation services. The two companies have been providing services to both individual and joint clients for the past four months.

According to Brian Kestor, director of business development, Vistant's solution is intended to help companies establish visibility and control over inventory beyond an existing warehouse, depot or other location where spare parts are stored or stocked. The solution comprises an access control device and a proprietary mini-computer that work together to secure a space, typically using wireless technology. The solution collects data on inventory removal and deposit, giving companies access to information on that inventory.

The two providers said that the combination of Choice Logistics and Vistant's collection and real-time dissemination of service logistics information would give companies visibility and control over their logistics functions.

Stephanie Williams, senior director of marketing and alliances at Choice, said that the alliance with Vistant makes sense for Choice because it extends the provider's reach beyond its current network of 250-plus strategic stocking locations. "This extends our network closer to the customer, if not onsite at customer locations, where there is a need for faster than two- to four-hour delivery and availability," Williams said. "And because we have integrated our systems completely, we can provide complete visibility into inventory down to that onsite location."

Added John Miller, vice president of business development for Choice, "We have reduced the service parts response window to minutes, not hours, by streamlining the high tech service logistics landscape."

For Vistant, Kestor said the deal made sense because its clients were facing increasingly tight requirements for replenishment, and the deal with Choice allowed Vistant to help its customers meet these requirements while alleviating it of the need to get into the logistics service space. "We have a lot of clients that want a more responsive 3PL logistics approach, and Choice provides that," Kestor said.

Williams suggested that any of the companies that Choice currently is servicing could be interested in the joint offering in order to provide faster replenishment by keeping inventory closer to their own customers. "Some obvious industries are semiconductor and medical, where the environment prevents the kinds of deliveries that we might provide today," Williams said, adding that data storage, telecommunications and enterprise networking are also likely sectors that could benefit from the joint solution.