Visible stock, visible benefits

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O2 UK, the mobile and broadband services provider, has cut its owned inventory with Liaison Technologies’ cloud-based data integration platform.

Giles Scrafton, IT application manager at O2, said: “If a customer comes into our store or goes online looking for a particular device and we don’t have it in stock, they can easily go elsewhere.  The need to forecast demand accurately, order the correct devices, dispatch them from the warehouse and get them to the customer on time is therefore critical.  To consistently achieve this requires slick, error-free inventory forecasting and management.”

Previously, sales, inventory and forecasting information was typically shared with O2’s suppliers via email. It was often out of date and inaccurate.  This made collaborative planning extremely difficult and often led to O2 having too much stock sitting in its distribution centre.

O2 operates Liaison’s cloud-based B2B Integration Platform, along with its monitoring application, Liaison Enterprise Navigation System (LENS). The LENS tool allows users to access up-to-the-minute metrics, performance statistics and trading partner information, and can also track the live status of all messages sent through the system.

The ease of use is aided by the Liaison’s cloud-based infrastructure which overcomes the need for additional software to be installed anywhere in the O2 IT environment.  As O2 suppliers can also access the portal, they are able to plan future inventory requirements more accurately. Scrafton views these cloud-based benefits as crucial to O2’s future agility and flexibility: “Allowing our suppliers to access the system is a great way to improve collaboration and keep up with changing stop requirements. It’s been a real game changer for us,” he said. 

The visibility Liaison delivers has enabled us to considerably improve our inventory management.  O2 UK leads the way globally in inventory management across Telefonica group.

“For O2, the integration capabilities that Liaison has delivered means that our product ordering is now more in touch with consumer demand, we have less capital tied up in excess stock and, as a result, are better placed to meet our customers’ needs.   Overall this has given us the intelligence to deliver successful campaigns that offer high availability and low risk, which makes a positive contribution to the bottom line and helps ensure that O2 retains its place as a market leader.”

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