News

2021: Time is right for telcos to outsource logistics

25 February 2021

Global logistics services for telecoms

by Ian Simmonds, Head of Logistics, Indigo Telecom Group

The 2020 KPMG Telecoms Industry survey revealed growing concern among CEOs about the equipment supply chain after a year when manufacturing was hit by the double whammy of Covid-19 and trade disputes. At a time of increasing demand from consumers and businesses, where the pressure is on operators to deliver 5G and more bandwidth, the time might be right for telcos to revisit the logistics side of their operations.

At Indigo, we are used to working with highly challenging supply chain environments. We have been developing our logistics and warehousing skills over the last decade to support a growing global presence that spans over 90 countries. Our competencies, specialist knowledge and expertise around importing/exporting, IOR/EOR, shipping, warehousing, compliance, licensing and global trade issues have become a major differentiator and an added value service for the clients we work with.

Indigo Telecom Group Engineer

Digging into detail

Effective logistics and trade compliance demand a rigorous grasp of contract law, payment processes, trade risk assessments and classification of goods. If you are in the business of shipping equipment to far corners of the world, you will need to be up to speed with documentation around shipping, duty and tax payments. Or you can talk to Indigo – we’ve put in the hard work so you don’t have to.

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We will, for example, identify any restrictions around imports and exports, know the licenses required and calculate duties and taxes that must be paid. We understand customs procedures and ensure assets are shipped with the correct documentation for clearance with the appropriate commodity codes.

Companies can be restricted from importing or exporting products if they are not registered as a legal entity in a country, which is where Indigo’s ‘importer/exporter of record’ service helps. We can provide the necessary in-country presence to ensure efficient customs clearance of assets, enabling our clients to accelerate global strategies and enter new markets more quickly.

Ways to engage

Telcos can leverage Indigo’s logistics expertise in a number of ways. The outsourcing mantra of freeing up internal resources to concentrate on core business applies to our end-to-end managed services proposition. Our clients save money and experience higher levels of service across the complete order fulfilment lifecycle, from pick-and-pack and inventory management to warehouse storage and final distribution.

We also offer consultation services, providing expert advice on logistics and trade compliance across different territories, or business analysis to identify best-fit strategies to maximise a telco’s international opportunities. Enabling both is our hard-earned knowledge of working in different countries and dealing with government bureaucracy.

When telcos ask us to manage and move their assets, we provide them with access to a secure web portal where they can make real-time decisions on what goes where, and the option of an inventory management system that identifies part movements for upgrades and repairs.

Man picking equipment in a warehouse

Warehousing and distribution

Aside from working with a partner who understands the telco business, the advantage of using Indigo is that it gives you instant access to a comprehensive warehouse and distribution network, comprised of over 70 distribution centres in 28 countries. We offer complete warehouse capabilities with tailored reports against agreed KPIs, ensuring supply chains are always optimised and continuously improving.

Flexibility is a fundamental part of what we do, whether its value-added services such as relabelling, repacking and processing or short-term warehousing of safety stocks. Now more than ever, our team is valued for its ability to respond to fast-changing restrictions and regulations. We like to think that our logistics services will bring some certainty and predictability for telcos in 2021, something that was notable by its absence throughout 2020.

If you want to learn more, get in touch today or visit our Logistics Services page.

 

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