Vertically Integrated Printing and Packaging Resources Drive Supply Chain | Telecom

8/15/2019 RRD

Vertically Integrated Printing and Packaging Resources Drive Supply Chain | Telecom

A study in success: Providing vertically integrated solutions to major telecoms manufacturer


A major global handset manufacturer — who sells to the majority of the North American wireless carriers — was looking to increase market share in a highly competitive sector, reduce costs and offer an improved service to their customers. 

Prior to the implementation of a new model, phones were produced, packaged and made retail-ready in Asia and then shipped to the U.S. for sale.

Managing multiple suppliers meant that there were both quality and consistency differences. Supporting reduced product life cycles of between six and 12 months was challenging. Launching new products in a timely manner where packing and printing suppliers were in a different geography added complexity.

Additionally, the manufacturer's commitment to the environment included an eagerness to re-design packaging and make improvements towards a more sustainable supply chain.


Leveraging RRD’s global platform and vertically integrated printing and packaging resources, a more flexible demand-driven solution was designed. This allowed the mobile phones to be kitted and packaged close to the point of consumption in North America.

The phones are shipped from Asia in bulk packaging to an RRD facility in North America. Once a demand signal is received, the phones are configured, tested, packaged and distributed to the carriers.

Supply chain management and configuration processes are then automated through the integration of both the client’s and RRD’s IT systems, providing a high level of control and visibility. A few key aspects of this solution included:

  • Structural and graphic design of all packaging
  • Procurement of materials in North America and Mexico using both the client’s and RRD’s approved vendor list (AVL)
  • Serial number/ESN tracking
  • Management of all warehousing and distribution activities


Through heightened adaptability and enhanced supply chain visibility, this new model provides the global handset manufacturer a platform for growth in the market. Improved sustainability was also achieved via packaging redesign and air-freight reduction

The new model has also enabled the client to increase responsiveness, reduce costs as well as time-to-market. The client now has the ability to offer its carriers increased levels of customization.


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