Outsourcing Integration Services to Increase Configuration Flexibility

  

integration-services-case-studyYou’ve built a successful company by providing in-demand solutions to your customers. You assemble some of your key solutions with systems products that you buy directly from a particular original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Those products are ideal for your solutions, but they are manufactured and shipped from international locations, which means long lead times. Since you need to place your orders months in advance before you can deliver finished solutions and bill your customers, these extended lead times have limited your ability to scale your business.

To complicate matters further, you have many configuration options, and you need to build and ship your solutions quickly. However, forecasting product needs and managing inventory has proven challenging. Finally, you rely on partners for all your manufacturing and integration work, and you need one who can deliver the best quality of services for your customers. Learn how one company found a partner who helped them overcome these challenges, optimize logistics and increase configuration flexibility.

Partnering to Source Products and Integrate Solutions

Quantum provides software, services and solutions that help companies manage and enrich their data so they can easily derive insights from it. Quantum used to have a direct relationship with a key systems product OEM but found themselves facing the aforementioned challenges.

In 2018, leading IT distributor and solutions aggregator Tech Data reached an agreement to build and distribute systems products from the OEM Quantum utilized, as the OEM would no longer sell those products directly. Instead, Tech Data became the sole source for those products. Soon, Tech Data’s services organization, Global Lifecycle Management (GLM), took over the OEM’s systems manufacturing and configuration business as part of the agreement. With more nimble processes as well as centralized and localized integration and logistics centers, Tech Data reduced assembly lead times dramatically — from three months to just a few days. This meant the company could deliver configured systems much faster than before to Quantum and its end customers. With Tech Data’s local facilities, shipments can be at the customer site in as little as three hours, so customers don’t have a long wait time for critical hardware. It’s also less expensive to ship locally than pay higher rates for fast delivery over longer distances.

Supply Chain and Logistics Optimization

Unexpected extended lead times for components and assemblies make it difficult to accurately forecast production and delivery schedules. An experienced services partner who understands the need for stability and reliability while maintaining agility in this rapidly changing environment can help optimize supply chain operations. Outsourcing integration and distribution allow manufacturers to focus on their core competencies while delivering a high level of customer service. Otherwise, the OEM team may spend time overcoming supply chain problems and face damaged credibility with end users.

As the single provider for the OEM’s systems products, Tech Data offered some key advantages to Quantum. For example, Tech Data has the physical space and the robust management systems to stock customer-owned inventory for Quantum, resulting in faster build and ship times.

“One of the immediate benefits we experienced was an optimized supply chain,” said Jeff Jeansonne, Senior Manager, Business and Commodity Management, Supply Chain at Quantum. “Tech Data began stocking all the systems products we use at their facility in Phoenix, Arizona. We no longer had to wait for product to ship from abroad, and we had product when we needed it.”

With the local warehouse, Tech Data utilizes the sales forecast from Quantum to pre-position inventory and even pre-build orders at the end of the quarter. When Quantum sends an order to Tech Data, the process of pulling a chassis and drive from inventory and then completing the final integration typically takes just two to four days.

Simplifying Business Operations and Expanding Product Offerings

Quantum streamlined operations, reduced business complexities and increased flexibility by working with Tech Data as its partner for the OEM’s systems, products, integration and related services

Building on its vast experience as a system integrator, Tech Data offers not only economies of scale but also expertise in design and production to improve performance and quality. For example, Tech Data can marshal its resources in procurement and logistics for improved services at competitive costs that might otherwise be unavailable to the company. Outsourcing these types of services reduces complexity while also supporting quality and customer service.

The partnership with Tech Data allowed Quantum to more easily expand its offerings. The number of configurations has grown, as Tech Data helped Quantum implement new products, configuration options and permutations. Offerings have grown to 300 bills of materials (BOMs) that Tech Data is able to ship. The agility in product offering means Quantum can meet customers’ specific requirements more quickly and efficiently.


“The Tech Data–Quantum relationship is a true testament to the value of a services partnership. What started as a distribution agreement expanded naturally into Tech Data also delivering key services for Quantum, which enabled Quantum to deliver its solutions and maintain a great customer experience more efficiently and effectively. No matter what type of product or solution a Tech Data customer provides, they can rest assured that Tech Data has the service capabilities to help them overcome challenges and achieve their long-term goals.”

—Maghen Hannigan, Vice President of Global Alliances and Integration, Tech Data

Learn more about the Tech Data–Quantum partnership and find out how your company can optimize logistics, simplify operations and scale configuration capabilities by outsourcing services such as integration to a trusted partner.

 

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About the Author

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BaLinda Nelson joined Tech Data in January 2017 via the Avnet Technology Solutions acquisition and serves as the Director of Global Integration and Alliances for Global Lifecycle Management (GLM). BaLinda has more than ten years of experience in the technology industry and is dedicated to providing operational oversight to GLM integration services.