Imagine you are running a supermarket chain...
...with ten thousand shops and 700 million customers all over China, not including franchises. What's more, the number continues to grow daily with inventory and supply chain management becoming a huge challenge. Imagine that the situation also becomes even more complicated if every customer starts to demand a slight change to each of your products before purchasing them.
Mobile phone companies in China have been facing similar challenges with SIM card issuance and subscriber management over the past decades. To enable fast mobile phone issuance at of the time of sale, each SIM card is often pre-programmed with an assigned mobile number and in China, a mobile number represents different services, tariff standards and the subscriber's specific home region within the country. And once a SIM card has been assigned a mobile number, changes to the phone service can only be made by the wireless provider located in the home region associated with that number.
So what if the customer requests a different service package? The simple answer is, "change you SIM card to one with a different pre-programmed service." And this is where inventory problems arise for wireless phone companies: one province's overstocked cards in that home region cannot be reused or transferred to another province due to different network services.
HID OMNIKEY readers have been deployed at the frontline of the two largest Chinese mobile phone companies, China Mobile and China Unicom, to perform a just-in-time personalization to address this issue. By connecting an OMNIKEY reader to the mobile phone company's operating system, the customer service staff can personalize a blank SIM card with a mobile number and other optional services on the spot, eliminating the need for the company to stock pre-programmed SIM cards that may never be purchased. Not only do the readers eliminate the hassle of mobile number configuration, China Unicom has reduced their SIM card inventory level and idle cards, with an estimated 8 to 10 million reduction in SIM card orders across the country per quarter. The solution also fuels the growth of mobile phone companies' personalized service by enabling popular applications to be embedded into the SIM menu during SIM card issuance.
Having emerged as a great tool for reducing inventory for mobile carriers, OMNIKEY readers also support the ever-increasing customer service standards for speedy frontline operations and personalized service. Read more about China Unicom's inventory solution using HID OMNIKEY Readers.