Vodafone outsources handset distribution

In what is becoming a common occurrence among carriers Vodafone Australia has outsourced its handset distribution.

The telco said the move followed an "extensive review of its business operations".

Two distribution partners, Brightpoint and Cellnet will take over the servicing of Vodafone's retail stores and business partners across Australia.

Grahame Maher, managing director of Vodafone Australia, said: "We have reviewed all areas of our business over the last few months and identified several which could be improved, and the warehouse function was one of those areas.

"We have decided to externalise our distribution as specialist distribution companies are able to manage the supply chain more efficiently and cost effectively."

Computerworld pre-empted the move in an exclusive report into Vodafone's drastic plans to keep afloat (Computerworld, November 19 2001, p1). In a draft document outlining the company's revised business plan for 2001 obtained by Computerworld at that time, Grahame Maher, the then-COO of the telco, said the business was "extremely inefficient".

"To give an indication of the size of this problem, the costs of our business have to reduce in both OpEx and CapEx by at least 50 per cent. In comparison to other businesses of the same or similar size, we would appear to need to reduce staff levels by 50 per cent, as well," the document said.

In addition to the distribution arrangement, Vodafone will sub-lease the warehouse building and sell the assets contained within the building. The process is reportedly underway.

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