Procurement & Supply Chain Live: Erik LaValle, T-Mobile

Taking to the Digital Stage, Erik LaValle, Digital Supply Chain & CX Technology Portfolio Leader, T-Mobile discussed supply chain digital transformation

Starting his keynote with an introduction of himself and his team, Erik LaValle explains that early in his career, more than 10 years ago, he started out in supply chain and procurement as an industry consultant. LaValle really considers this to be an integral part of his DNA that has translated into the role that he does today. 

“It really helped me at T-Mobile to think about what the business outcome is that we are trying to achieve and then in my capacity to leverage technologies particularly digital technologies in this day and age to achieve that,” said Digital Supply Chain and Customer Experience Technology Portfolio Leader.

Over the years, LaValle has passed this wisdom down to his team, leveraging digital technology to achieve T-Mobile’s business objectives. Adding a bit of levity to the discussion, LaValle explains that his team is called DISCO (Digital Supply Chain  Optimisation). 

Supply Chain at T-Mobile

LaValle continues his keynote by deep diving into the scope of T-Mobile’s broad supply chain. “In most retail environments you have planning as a component all the way through to getting products to consumers. At T-Mobile, we have everything from financial forecasting, and assortment planning, through to initial digital layouts of products, procurement, vendors, new product introduction, inventory management, storage, transportation and logistics, reverse logistics, and device lifecycle management.” 

Four and a half years of transformation 

LaValle moves on to discuss T-Mobile’s transformation journey over the last four and a half years, with the company having a very ‘non-digital legacy’ with a complex and convoluted process. 

During the company’s transformation, T-Mobile looked at what digital meant to them, defining a strategy whereby legacy and digital works together. LaValle explains the process of taking its core SAP functions at T-Mobile and enhancing it with new digital technologies, creating systems of aggregation around SAP. 

Born out of its transformation, LaValle details the success of T-Mobile’s seamless merger with Sprint, and the organisation’s ability to react quality and adapt to the effects of the pandemic that would not have been possible had it of not developed its digital foundations. 

LaValle rounds up his keynote with a list of lessons learned over the last four years including the importance of investing in the right talent, not expecting perfection the first time, planning for on-going investment, and the need for continuous education.

Watch LaValle’s full keynote speech below: 

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