New Southwire Tracking System Improves Materials Management for Utilities

August 31, 2017
Southwire, one of North America’s largest wire and cable producers, now offers satellite-based tracking of its cable products that provides significant materials management advantages to utilities.

The Southwire Automated Materials Management (SAMM) system features satellite-based trackers that work anywhere outdoors with a view of the sky, unlike the cellular-based beacons used by other providers, which rely on the availability of cell towers and operate at shorter ranges. Trackers are pre-installed on cable reels to save utility companies the time and trouble of mounting them.

Installation and financial advantages offered by the SAMM system include:

  • Real-time information on the location and delivery of costly and critical materials, which allows for better planning and staging for installation.
  • Accurate information on the location of spare and emergency reels to speed repairs.
  • Faster removal of and credit for returning empty steel reels.

“When you order cable and you know when it ships, you can more quickly mobilize forces to receive it, you can check your project schedule to make sure you’re ready for it, and you can have the resources available for installation,” said Freddie Stewart, vice president of Energy Sales for Southwire. “All of that saves time and money and helps projects run much more smoothly.”

Today, tracking reels is largely a manual process that typically relies on piecing together information from packing slips, shipping manifests and emails and entering it on spreadsheets. With the SAMM system, supply chain managers will be able to quickly and conveniently access tracking information via desktop computer and mobile app.

“Utility supply chain managers really don’t have any true visibility into the location of their materials at any given time,” Stewart said. “But if you order anything online you know where your purchase is every step of the way. With the SAMM system, we are creating that kind of visibility for transmission projects.”

Southwire clients involved in a two-year pilot program have given favorable feedback on the system, said Stewart. The SAMM system is now available to all interested clients, who can contact their company representatives for additional information.

For more news about how Southwire is improving our clients’ experiences, stay tuned to our blog.