How one company regained visibility into its IT supply chain and saved nearly a million dollars

 In Case Studies, Data Center, Hardware, Solutions

A multinational conglomerate needed hardware fast. After deciding to spin off one of its businesses, it needed to build data centers to equip the new entity with servers and storage.

The spinoff was on a tight timeline, but that wasn’t the only need for a speedy rollout. The new data centers required tight security controls that ensured customers’ data – designs and other intellectual property – wasn’t at risk.


Unfortunately, the company’s current IT provider couldn’t handle the pace. The purchasing team would wait days for a quote on hardware, and when it did come, the price was always high. The equipment it did purchase was untraceable. Project managers had no idea when the new hardware would arrive or where it currently was.

With the clock ticking on the spinoff, the organization needed a partner that could deliver affordable hardware consistently and be transparent in both the cost and the shipping schedule, establishing a ready pipeline of equipment as it was needed.

The search for a pricing partner

The company faced seemingly simple problems: high costs, delays in communication, and unknown shipping statuses. Each threatened to delay the spinoff.

It required a partner capable of delivering Cisco products at a reasonable cost, and on time. SHI had a relationship with the conglomerate’s new procurement official, which led to discussions about the company’s hardware sourcing and the price it was paying.

SHI’s previous work with the purchasing agent proved its ability to supply Cisco hardware. SHI developed an aggressive, competitive proposal that saved the company almost a million dollars on hardware it would have purchased elsewhere.

But those cost savings weren’t the only aspect of pricing it needed; the company wanted a transparent, upfront pricing schedule as it researched specific hardware. In the past, the organization had to wait days, maybe even weeks, to get quotes on the servers and SANs it needed. But SHI was able to tap into its network of Cisco hardware experts and turn around pricing and quotes in a matter of minutes.

Taming the Wild West

There was another problem: Shipping was a Wild West, where no rules seemed to apply. Hardware was shipped on irregular schedules, and the delivery dates were unknown because the company never received the shipping information. This breakdown of communication was a major headache for the on-site project managers, who relied on timely deliveries of new hardware.

The company needed a streamlined and transparent shipping process that updated the firm on shipping schedules and estimated delivery dates. This was critical as it aimed to stay on schedule with the spinoff timeline.

As part of its coordination with Cisco, SHI was able to act as a conduit of shipping information from the hardware maker to the company. This pipeline ensured new hardware was being shipped on a timely schedule, and the firm could better plan its data center installation and setup – there would be no more waiting around for products to be delivered. Randomness was eliminated from the equation, and the company gained better oversight of shipping.

Developing the right pipelines

The conglomerate is now in cruise control with its data center projects.It knows that the hardware pricing is competitive and its ordered products will be shipped out quickly. It’s no longer plagued with pricing uncertainty and delays — all thanks to a strong partner.

SHI has acted as a conduit and pipeline for hardware pricing and delivery between Cisco and the customer, which now has more oversight of its data center planning and installation. Sales between the firm and Cisco have flourished in this transparent arrangement. With its hardware pipeline in place, the company is on pace to complete the spinoff on schedule, and greater clarity into the logistics of shipping has made planning easy.

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