Alaska Communications Systems (ACS) is Alaska’s leading broadband and managed IT service provider. ACS had accumulated critical spares over its years of operation, and the truly critical could not be separated from the obsolete. Over time ACS’ inventory ballooned to an unsustainable level.

ACS needed help from a supplier to better understand and track its purchases, automate and manage its warehouse and over time, reduce inventory and wasteful spending habits. ACS entered into a partnership with North Coast Electric (NCE) and its Supply Solutions Division to streamline its supply chain, consolidate its vendor base, and ultimately save time and money.

NCE partnered with ACS to better report purchasing data and to automate as many transactions as possible. NCE provided a vending machine to ACS onsite, as well as utilized NCE’s Inventory Supply And Management (iSAM) program to keep consumable inventory stocked onsite. All pricing on this material was accepted in advance and locked in place, which helped the ACS purchasing department save time on sending out and analyzing quotes. NCE kitting consolidated parts for ACS and put necessary equipment in technician’s hands faster. Additionally, NCE used a Just-In-Time (JIT) program on typical inventory products that allowed ACS to utilize NCE’s extensive inventory as their own.

North Coast Electric removed 350 items from ACS’ inventory and put them into the iSAM program. This subsequently reduced ACS’ consumable inventory value from $92,000 to $47,000. The NCE vending machine automated roughly 1,150 transactions annually and saved ACS over $10,000/year. The NCE JIT program saved ACS over $15,000 in transaction costs alone and reduced lead times across the board. The program allowed ACS to meet its goals in inventory reductions, and create a more streamlined and effective supply chain.