SCApath and T-Mobile: Omni-Channel Supply Chain Capability

By Dominic Ellis
SCApath President and Managing Principal, explains how it is growing T-Mobile’s digital supply chain platform and supporting its 5G network expansion...

“There has never been a better time to be in supply chain technology. We have gone from the small print back pages to the front page of the Wall Street Journal. The industry is being driven by mobile, global, cloud, and continued acceleration in digital and e-commerce. 

We’ve been T-Mobile’s supply chain consulting partner for the last four years, working across multiple supply chain initiatives. The most well-known are the T-Mobile Sprint merger, and T-Mobile 5G network, which is extremely important to the development of IoT and really the supply chain of the future. 

Our team of supply chain experts have worked hard to deliver a seamless customer experience, so you can go into a T-Mobile store and buy or return Sprint inventory, and vice versa. We’ve also deployed a highly automated multi-channel distribution center solution for all US mobile devices and accessory fulfilment. We’re modernizing their 5G supply chain to drive their network nationwide.   

When I think about our continued partnership with T-Mobile, it’s really about two key strategic elements: supporting their business as they move to a fully digital supply chain platform – from customer experience and enterprise architecture perspectives – and developing their 5G network supply chain. It’s a perfect example of SCApath’s cross-discipline supply chain expertise, and value of bringing order management, fulfilment and transportation together. 

The IoT, enabled by 5G, will allow more real time track and trace, and increased visibility from the manufacturer to the end customer, enabling more agility than ever before. So, T-Mobile, indirectly, is going to be instrumental in supply chain innovation that we’re going to see in the next five to 10 years. 

There are three important trends which have accelerated during the pandemic, and we think they will continue: 1) pent-up customer demand caused by purchase postponement and emphasis on experiencing the ‘now’; 2) the accelerated shift to e-commerce; and 3) consumer goods’ companies building direct channels rather than selling through traditional retailers.

In today’s complex supply chain and technology environment, you must understand the trade-offs between speed, cost, quality and agility. It’s critical you understand those relationships to deliver an omni-channel supply chain capability – there are many interacting variables. We also need warehouse management systems that fill orders across many channels – which requires investment not only in warehouse management software, but also in advanced automation and robotics to fill orders reliably, at high volumes and during peak periods.

Companies have to look at existing distribution centers and re-tool them for higher volumes of e-commerce. In addition, BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) and curbside pickup have gone from nice-to-haves to must-haves, and critical to consumer goods’ strategies.

The ability to tie together supply chain operations and technology is not only what makes SCApath different but it’s also a necessity for future commerce – and that’s the reason why we’re so bullish and excited about the future.” 

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