Sun adopts new strategy for spare parts

Sun Microsystems has outsourced the management of its supply chain activities in a number of Middle East countries to logistics giant DHL.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  February 7, 2008

Sun Microsystems has outsourced the management of its supply chain activities in a number of Middle East countries to logistics giant DHL. The agreement means that DHL will take charge of the spare-and-repair logistics operations for Sun's network infrastructure in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Egypt.

It is thought that the move will allow Sun to reduce costs and ensure a faster turnaround of spare parts. In the UAE alone, DHL will be shipping all of Sun's urgent consignments, with a delivery time ranging between two and four hours. In addition, around 300 strategic parts in DHL's two UAE spare parts centres will be shipped as same-day orders to over 75 premium customers.

DHL boasts spare parts centres in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, Muscat, Dhahran, Kuwait City and these facilities will take shipment of all parts deliveries that arrive from Sun's main warehouse in the Netherlands.

Dirk van Doorn, product and business development manager at DHL, says the firm will act as a single supplier for all of Sun's supply chain requirements, including customs clearance. "The electronic products industry constitutes nearly 40% of all our business in the UAE and Middle East," he added. "With our world-wide network and demonstrated capabilities, Sun will be able to provide consistent, timely deliveries for customers in the region, due to the 24-hour, 365 days a year support from DHL."

The tie-up between Sun and DHL could pave the way for more such agreements between IT manufacturers and third party logistics providers. Speaking to Channel Middle East for a feature on the logistics channel last year, van Doorn claimed that vendors in the region were "waking up" to spare part logistics services.

He said DHL was actively touting its service of holding spare parts that technology vendors require in the Middle East. "We are able to dispatch a replacement from Dubai to anywhere in the Gulf within 24 hours, assuming the customer can make his own repair," he said at the time. "If they can't, we'll offer to go to the customer, collect that defective part and bring it back to Dubai where we have an engineer that is trained to the vendor's standards. He will repair it and ship it back to the customer."

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