Automated inventory refers to the use of technology and computer systems to monitor and manage a business’s inventory in an efficient and accurate manner. This approach largely eliminates the need to perform manual inventory counting and monitoring processes, allowing instead the use of advanced software solutions and automated identification technologies.
Laurențiu Baltaru, GIS Consultant within Realworld Eastern Europe, a company specialized in the provision of software services, believes that the obvious advantages of integrating automated inventory in the telecommunications industry can be deduced from the two terms. On the one hand, inventory – representing the digitalization of inventory: the real record of the elements on which the offered services are based, the availability of resources in order to diversify or allocate new services and the planning of resources as an indispensable action in the development of services. On the other hand, automated – representing the automation of inventory documentation and processes that depend on inventory data or interact directly or indirectly with this component.
The main advantages of the integration of such a system should be mentioned: the elimination of repetitive actions having as the first effect the relief of human resources from monotonous activities and double checks, the complete or partial automation of complex processes in which different departments and applications are involved, as well as inventory synchronization through correction or update processes from various data sources, whether we are talking about interaction with equipment management systems, import of network plans or orders from various processes (work planning, defects, service management)“, says Laurentiu Baltaru
An automated inventory solution (AIS) can have a significant business impact for a telecommunications operator, enjoying a lot of benefits.
• These include reducing operational costs, by reducing the time and costs required to maintain and update inventory, but also increasing operational efficiency, by optimizing the use of equipment and network resources.
• Also not to be neglected is improving the customer experience by identifying and fixing problems faster, which can reduce service downtime and increase customer satisfaction.
• Optimizing speed to market by identifying network investment and upgrade needs more quickly can enable the company to react nimbly to market changes and launch new services faster.
• Increasing network security and reducing the risk of human error or security issues is another important benefit.
“The goal of a successful business is to have happy customers, and this means that market analysis, resource planning, contract initiation and above all keeping the service active are processes that require absolute control, which can only be achieved by automating the processes that connect various systems and supported by a resource record system (inventory) as accurate as possible“, said Laurentiu Baltaru.
Inventory automation is a growing solution on the Romanian market, and the development potential is very high, including other industries outside of telecommunications.
“There is room for growth in Romania, especially in the field of telecommunications, but it is also valid for utility companies: water, gas, electricity. If there are still actions on the “automation” side (shy or not), network inventory is a sensitive and difficult topic, and even if there are solutions already implemented, either they have not been used or they have not been updated, the discrepancy between the field and the application being sometimes so large that extra validations or even auditing are needed,” says the representative of Realworld Eastern Europe.
The company, with headquarters worldwide and a top player in the profile market, proposes an automated inventory solution based on 3 components.
CROSS, used as network inventory because it is a platform built on top of modern technologies, designed to aggregate all network resources in a unique model, regardless of technology. It features a number of specific features and several important modules, including:
– SYNCHRO – synchronization mode with various data sources from new or legacy systems, allowing complete data migration (initial popularization or replacement of older platforms) or continuous synchronization with management systems on various technologies;
– CROSS API – REST interfaces that allow complete data control through external mechanisms;
– CROSS ALARMER – the mode whose role is to identify resources or services affected by incidents in the network, as well as finding the most likely cause (Service Impact Analysis and Root Cause Analysis).
DTS (Data Transit System) as an integrator system capable of ensuring secure access to data from various systems at the database level (tables, stored procedures, etc.), web-services or functionality at the application level (through dedicated libraries).
CORTEX as a business process orchestrator having two important roles: defining the “overall” business process and identifying the areas that can be optimized / automated, and implementing the end-to-end process, managing in an easy and unified way the logic behind the flows in terms of data direction, interaction between systems and reaction (notifications to the user or other systems).
“Realworld Systems has created an integrated and complex solution that includes several types of existing automated inventory tools and that adapts to the needs of each client. We focused on the development of the 3 automation systems, namely: the inventory system, which manages network resources geographically and topologically allowing automation, the integration system, which is the link between the inventory system and the orchestration system, responsible for defining and managing the flows of actions and data between applications as part of business processes”, concluded Laurentiu Baltaru.
Companies that want to implement such a solution should take into account a number of aspects that cannot be neglected, including: functionality, scalability, integration, support and assistance, costs and data security, but also the fact that automation involves an analysis of activities and existing, manual or semi-automatic, intra or inter-departmental processes and defining new optimized flows and the systems or resources involved.
Inventory automation represents a significant technological innovation in effective network management. By eliminating manual processes and adopting software solutions and advanced technologies, companies can benefit from increased precision, accuracy and efficiency in the inventory management process, automated inventory bringing numerous advantages that can contribute to the long-term success of a business.