A Study in Success:
Providing Vertically Integrated Solutions to Major Telecoms Manufacturer

The customer is a major global handset manufacturer who sells to the majority of the North American wireless carriers. 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. RRD was also providing print solutions to the client in Asia.


The telecom industry is extremely competitive and the customer was looking to increase market share, reduce costs and offer an improved service to their customers. Managing multiple suppliers meant that there were both quality and consistency differences. Supporting reduced product lifecycles of between 6 and 12 months was challenging. Launching new products in a timely manner, in a highly competitive sector, where packing and printing suppliers were in a different geog raphy added complexity.

In addition, the customer’s commitment to the environment ensured an eagerness to re-design packaging and make improvements towards a more sustainable supply chain.

Comprehensive Solutions

The RRD solutions team studied the customer's end–to-end process and developed a comprehensive proposal to drive efficiencies across the entire supply chain. Leveraging RRD’s global platform and vertically integrated printing and packaging resources, a more flexible demand-driven solution was designed. This allows 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 one of RRD’s facilities 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 automated through the integration of both the customer’s and RRD’s IT systems, providing a high level of control and visibility.

Key aspects of the solution included:

  • Structural and graphic design of all packaging
  • Vertically integrated production of print and packaging materials
  • Procurement of materials in North America and Mexico using both the client’s and RRD’s AVL’s (Approved Vendor List)
  • Kitting and pack-out of the phones
  • Firmware upload
  • Serial number/ESN tracking
  • Management of all warehousing and distribution activities


By developing and implementing this new solution, RRD has demonstrated itself as an innovative and integrated supply chain partner. This new model provides a platform for growth by being more adaptable and flexible to the market.

Key benefits include:

  • Significant cost reduction
  • Increased responsiveness to market demand
  • Reduced time-to-market
  • Improved sustainability achieved via packaging redesign and air-freight reduction
  • Ability to offer carriers increased levels of customization
  • Enhanced supply chain visibility

The telecom industry is extremely competitive and the client was seeking ways to bring added-value and better service to their customers. Leveraging the strengths of RRD, not only makes the global customer a better supplier, but also aligns well with their commitments to environmental responsibility and to supporting the markets in which they do business.

Benefits of Working with RRD

RRD’s core competencies, strategic direction and vertically integrated services can help to create a unique competitive advantage with the following benefits:

  • Reduced time-to-market for products with a single interface and global reach
  • Reduced total supply chain cost from design through to final product delivery
  • Aid in revenue generation with attractive product packaging
  • Streamline global processes with enhanced planning and forecasting

Supply Chain & Packaging Solutions

RRD Supply Chain & Packaging Solutions is a recognized global supply chain and packaging provider that delivers value-add solutions to multiple sectors. As part of RRD (NYSE:RRD), a broad suite of capabilities is offered including packaging design and production, sourcing, kitting and fulfillment services. Solution design, systems, processes and precise project execution can help customers to constantly improve their market share, profits and speed-to-market.