SCApath and T-Mobile: Omni-Channel Supply Chain Capability
“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.”
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”