This website does not support Internet Explorer. Please, switch to Edge, Chrome, or Firefox browser to view this page.

Learn about IE support
Trending

Maximizing Telecom ROI: Achieve a Faster, More Cost-Effective Network Rollout

Telecom blog header
Published: Reading time: 4 min
Patrick Lemoine VP Global Industry Solutions
Patrick LemoineVP Global Industry Solutions
Follow on LinkedIn
Published:

Maximizing Telecom ROI: Achieve a Faster, More Cost-Effective Network Rollout

With an increasing focus on profitability, infrastructure investments are receiving more and more scrutiny from telecom operators. For these operators (both incumbents and greenfield players alike), the network is seen as their most critical asset. The challenge lies in optimizing the return on investment in network infrastructure, which includes initial build-out costs and ongoing maintenance expenses. When performed correctly, telecom companies are afforded some important benefits:

  • Faster rollout than the competition, helping to achieve critical market share gains.
  • Less capital expenditure, despite the complexity of managing hundreds of sites and thousands of parts and suppliers.
  • High network uptime as expected from the industry, by striking the right tradeoff between parts inventory and service level.

Regardless of the specific project - a wireless upgrade (4G to 5G), a copper replacement program, or a greenfield fiber build-out - the fundamental supply chain capabilities required remain constant:

  • Forecasting future demand – Modern demand forecasting approaches and models can improve operators ability to predict network traffic. It is all about understanding and analyzing user categories and their specific use cases, and how their usage will evolve in the future.  How will the number of customers evolve? How will bandwidth demand grow? How is it driven by work-from-home, Netflix, TikTok, etc.? Leveraging the capabilities of AI and ML forecasting methods allow for more precise predictions of future demand, helping operators plan more effectively.
  • Translating customer demand to equipment demand: The next step is to accurately convert the rollout plan into a precise material plan. This involves determining the optimal bill of materials (BOM) or kit for each type of site. Is it a city rooftop or a rural site? And what is the most accurate and up-to-date equipment required for each of these site types? Modern tools can play a key role in selecting the appropriate BOM and can automatically update these to reflect the actual installations, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in deployment.
  • Generating the right supply plan: Poor demand forecasting, inaccurate BOMs, and insufficient visibility of existing parts inventory often lead to ordering incorrect parts. This not only delays construction but also results in excess inventory of unusable components. A best practice is to leverage the improved equipment forecast (see above) as the basis for the demand signal sent to the suppliers. Beyond this, the best operators are also able to:
    • Integrate up-to-date information about on-hand inventory, avoiding unnecessary purchases.
    • Collaborate with suppliers, providing them with advanced visibility in the form of a longer-term forecast while receiving up-to-date commits from them, as well as short-term updates on actual part availability.
    • Consider parts phase-in and phase-out information to adjust the procurement automatically and avoid part obsolescence, especially for electronic parts.
    • Integrate spare parts planning into the main planning activities, while still being able to differentiate what supply and inventory is tied to what demand.
  • Replanning quickly: In the telecom industry, operators frequently encounter issues like site approval delays, BOM modifications, supplier delays, and part shortages. It is crucial for operators to continuously evaluate the impact of these changes. This evaluation may involve a straightforward reshuffling of plans or more complex strategies requiring collaboration with suppliers and running various scenarios, to determine the best course of action moving forward. The most adept operators have transitioned from a fixed monthly planning cycle to flexible ad-hoc planning and re-planning in order to effectively respond to new developments.

These next-generation planning capabilities help to ensure that the right parts from the right suppliers will be available at the right sites for the network roll-out to proceed quickly, with minimal delays, and at the lowest inventory cost. 

To learn more about how operators such as T-Mobile, AT&T, and Comcast are leveraging o9’s planning platform for telecom operators, please check out our our whitepaper on "Building Critical Supply and Demand Capabilities for Telecom Network Operators".

O9 whitepaper industrial telecom mockup

Want to learn more about the Telecom industry?

View our collection of white papers regarding supply chain solutions, tailored to the Telecom industry.

About the author

Patrick Lemoine VP Global Industry Solutions

Patrick Lemoine

VP Global Industry Solutions

As Vice President, Industries at o9, Patrick Lemoine is responsible for driving o9’s go-to-market for the high-tech and telco sector. Patrick has more than 20 years of supply chain experience as well as deep knowledge of the high-tech, semiconductor, telco and automotive industries. He started his career as a consultant with McKinsey and Company. Passionate early on about deploying technology to help transform the way companies operate, he spent the past 20 years in the enterprise software space with companies such as i2 (now Blue Yonder), SAP, E2open, and Aera Technology. Patrick studied at HEC (Paris), MIT, and received his MBA from Stanford University.

Resources

View our related articles, white papers, use cases & videos

White Paper12 min

Building advanced supply and demand capabilities for Telecom network operators

O9 whitepaper industrial telecom mockup
article2 min

Reinventing supply chain planning for the telecommunications industry

by o9 Solutions
Telecom blog header
Industry POV50 min

Addressing planning challenges in the Telecom industry

O9 pov mockup telecom
Case Study

How T-Mobile transformed planning across its network

O9 use case telecom mockup
article2 min

Reinventing supply chain planning for the telecommunications industry

by o9 Solutions
Telecom blog header
Industry POV50 min

Addressing planning challenges in the Telecom industry

O9 pov mockup telecom
article3 min

Anticipate demands on telecom networks

by o9 Solutions
Placeholder image copy
White Paper12 min

Building advanced supply and demand capabilities for Telecom network operators

O9 whitepaper industrial telecom mockup
Case Study

How T-Mobile transformed planning across its network

O9 use case telecom mockup
video6 min

Pursuing a Career in Procurement

Pursuing a career in procurement thumbnail
video30 min

Planning Under Pressure for Discrete Manufacturers

Planning under pressure for discrete manufacturers thumbnail
video11 min

How to Improve Supplier Collaboration

How to improve supplier collaboration thumbnail