Panalpina, the freight forwarding and logistics company that pioneered Logistics Manufacturing Services (LMS), has stepped into the telecoms installation market after signing an agreement in Mexico with a large global telecoms network infrastructure company. With this, Panalpina has extended its LMS offering to include the installation of hardware and software for mobile network antennas.
“The move into installations is a natural extension of our existing Logistics Manufacturing Services offering where we already manufacture and configure network equipment. Adding installation services was the next logical step to becoming a full-service provider in the telecoms industry,“ explains Mike Wilson, global head of Logistics and Manufacturing at Panalpina and Professor at Cardiff Business School, where the company maintains The Panalpina Centre for Manufacturing and Logistics Research.
As the telecoms infrastructure market grows exponentially across the world, particularly with the advent of 5G technology, Panalpina became aware that telecoms companies faced difficulties installing and upgrading new network components.
“Conversations with a number of customers showed us that they had to deal with multiple suppliers and multiple installers for mobile network antennas,” continues Wilson. “It was a real headache for them and virtually every time they wanted to replace or upgrade a site, the installation had to be postponed because of missing parts, equipment, team members or even due to the site not being prepared. Our research showed that on average 2.8 visits had to be made to a site before the installation could be successfully completed.”
“Because we are very customer-focused, we immediately tried to help by building a solution. As a logistics company, we were already delivering most of the components to the sites, and we suggested a way to make sure all the various components were corralled in one place and then delivered together. But that still didn’t get over the fact that there were multiple installers, which meant a very fragmented service,“ explains Wilson.
To overcome this situation, Panalpina created a team of fully qualified telecoms equipment installers in Mexico. Krasimir Banchev, global head of installations services management at Panalpina explains: “It was an intense few months. Our team had to go through various trainings, pass exams and get the right certification. We also had to develop the right commercial and legal frameworks that are very different to traditional 3PL arrangements.”
Panalpina is determined to continue to develop its LMS offering and sees the transition to 5G placing even more importance on the need to transform supply chains in the telecoms industry. “The network infrastructure companies have to adapt to the new market demands. Their customers, the providers of telecoms services for end-consumers, demand faster time to market, flexibility, inventory availability and quality service. This is what we are focused on delivering,” adds Banchev.
Panalpina’s technicians in Mexico have already carried out several hundred certified antenna installations across the country.
With the new teams now in place and fully functioning, Panalpina is looking to expand its role in the market. “We started this in Mexico for two core reasons,” says Wilson. “Firstly, because we have such good customer relationships there. Secondly, because we have an amazing talent pool in Mexico.”
Having demonstrated significant improvement in a service that was traditionally poor for the telecoms industry, Panalpina is already working on expanding its new installation services into other territories.
For more information about Panalpina’s Logistics Manufacturing Services, including installation services, go to: https://panalpina.com/www/global/en/home/products_solutions/logistics/lms.html
The Panalpina Group is one of the world's leading providers of supply chain solutions. The company combines its core products – Air Freight, Ocean Freight, and Logistics and Manufacturing – to deliver globally integrated, tailor-made end-to-end solutions for 12 core industries. Drawing on in-depth industry know-how and customized IT systems, Panalpina manages the needs of its customers' supply chains, no matter how demanding they might be. Project Solutions is a specialized service for the energy and capital projects sector. The Panalpina Group operates a global network with some 500 offices in around 70 countries, and it works with partner companies in another 100 countries. Panalpina employs approximately 14,500 people worldwide who deliver a comprehensive service to the highest quality standards – wherever and whenever.