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Discrete Manufacturing

Deploying Next-Generation Telecom Networks


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Published: March 21, 2023

The telecommunications industry is undergoing rapid transformation, with advancements in technology and an increasing demand for faster and more reliable networks. This requires a modern approach to the supply chain planning that can keep pace with the changing landscape. This guide will outline the steps telecommunications operators can take to deploy next-generation networks.

Step #1: Start with Demand

Combine orders with known BOMs, project types, and volumes to derive a component-level forecast. The key driving factors for the forecasting improvements include understanding the top-down number and types of sites and product life cycles while establishing real-time visibility of construction. Maintenance planning is another critical element, as repairing and replacing components adds to demand requirements.

Step #2: Define the Inventory Strategy

Inventory planning sets safety stock levels and identifies potential trade-offs versus service levels. It is essential to make those trade-off decisions at the executive level with visibility to units and dollars and the types of sites and building plans as inputs.

Step #3: Allocate Supply

Supply planning starts with the near-term inventory allocation to the sites to maximize service levels and coordinate orders to deliver the optimal allocation of components that maximize the number of buildable sites.

Step #4: Make the Purchase and Collaborate

Create the purchase requisitions for the next three to six months, then collaborate with suppliers. Directly integrate with ERP systems, share the purchase orders, share purchase forecasts, get commitments, and then use analytics to determine future vendor splits. As needed, execute intraday planning to manage exceptions and respond in a way that maximizes the deployment volume. 

Bringing these planning steps together is crucial to building telecommunications network infrastructure. With a single planning platform—a single source of truth—operators can execute them and make decisions based on the right level of granularity to create enterprise-wide value.

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