Global supply strategy


A leading telecommunications equipment maker faced major challenges with its global manufacturing and distribution system. Business unit heads had become increasingly critical of supply chain performance, which had cost the company lost sales, unplanned costs and customer goodwill. We were asked to develop a global supply strategy, meeting segmented customer needs and leveraging contract manufacturer capabilities aligned with product complexity and regional demand profiles.


  • Developed a global manufacturing strategy and network design.
    • Built a “landed value” model, including bill of materials, manufacturing value added, transportation, warehousing and duties – as well as risk of expedited freight.
    • Set manufacturing strategy for products grouped by volume and demand variability.
    • Developed packages of key products for re-sourcing, to align global contract manufacturing footprint with optimal design.
    • Explored opportunities for new in-country manufacturing, for key import-served markets.
    • Prepared compelling business case.
  • Prepared an inbound component strategy (a key driver of product availability problems) and quantified impact.
    • Identified long lead-time components for key product types and impact on complete system orders.
    • Developed cascading set of component assurance strategies, focusing most expensive measures on limited set of high-impact items.
    • Made the business case for investment in component-level supply assurance strategies to drive finished goods availability at minimal inventory levels.
  • Redesigned global distribution network to improve customer service while reducing operating cost and working capital.
    • Built models to select optimal distribution center locations and stocking strategies.
    • Prepared business cases for changes affecting distribution in the US, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.


  • Business units bought in to major supply chain changes.
  • Successfully re-sourced manufacturing and implemented distribution system changes.
  • Helped deliver significant performance improvements:
    • On-time delivery to promise: 15 percentage-point improvement.
    • E to R ratio: 0.1 percentage-point improvement.
    • Inventory turns: 0.2 turns improvement.
    • Deferred revenue: $50M improvement.