Hi-tech, Communications and Electronics: Telefonica O2 UK

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Once again the top company in this category emerged as the Overall Winner.
The competition was tough with good entries from British Sky Broadcasting, IBM Deutschland, Thomson and THQ. But in the end, it came down to two excellent supply chains, with Telefonica O2 UK battling it out with past Overall Winner, Cisco. The judges thought IBM wasn’t too far behind, but it didn’t have the scope of the other two. Cisco has been involved in a multi-faceted programme to improve service for customers, including improving the supply chain while adhering to fast-evolving environmental legislation, leveraging its supply chain in Europe to enter emerging markets, and driving down supply chain costs by centralising parts planning. The company has used Web 2.0 to drive down costs associated with their 3PL activity and transport. But in effect, this was a set programme of improvements – albeit very good ones.
However, it was Telefonica O2 UK’s complete redesign of its supply chain, on a global basis and across all businesses – involving people and processes in both forward and reverse supply chains – that just blew the judges away. “This supply chain transformation is leading the way in the Comms space, with its emphasis on customer service,” say the judges. By proactively managing the product portfolio and the end-to-end customer experience, Telefonica has reduced the cost of returns to the business, decreasing the average monthly cost by 16 per cent YTD 2009 versus 2008.
“The whole of their supply chain was designed around customer service,” say the judges. “They are leading the way in the Comms sector in reducing inventory, lead times and collaboration.” For the judges, this was a truly “excellent” supply chain transformation.

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