OSS Supply-chain Management

Supplying product to meet demand goes well beyond the question – Did we ship what the customer wanted today? It includes more strategic questions such as – How well do we work with our partners? Are we first to market with our new products? Do we embrace product variety or do we limit it because we can’t handle it? Are our sales promotions creating chaotic demand patterns that wreak havoc in our factories? Do we seek breakthrough business models based on supply-chain management that we can use to create strategic advantage?
Laura Ross Kopczak
and M. Eric Johnson in the “MIT Sloan Management Review.”

Two days ago we discussed the need for the OSS and telecommunication industries to create value rather than siphon it. We also discussed how structural shifts in the telecommunication industry required more clever, disruptive business models to benefit from opportunities that still exist.

Business model opportunities can often be derived through clever adjustments to supply chains. For example, if your CSP was able to find a way to sustainably deliver new services 10 days faster than other CSPs, they would hold a significant competitive advantage, especially amongst business customers. And depending on how far your OSS / BSS reaches within your organisation, it is quite likely that your suite of tools either monitors or manages most elements of the supply chain (or has the ability to if it’s not doing so already).

If you look at each of the questions in the quote above, you’ll be able to find ways that your OSS / BSS influences the answers:

  • How well do we work with our partners?
  • Are we first to market with our new products?
  • Do we embrace product variety or do we limit it because we can’t handle it?
  • Are our sales promotions creating chaotic demand patterns that wreak havoc in our factories (service activation factories in the case of CSPs)?
  • Do we seek breakthrough business models based on supply-chain management that we can use to create strategic advantage?

The same article quoted above poses six strategic shifts that we’ll look at from the perspective of OSS / BSS in coming days.

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