2010 saw the Cable industry take a major hit as they posted net subscriber losses in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. The cause has been a combination of poor economic conditions combined with a variety of competitive influences. Regardless of the reason, Cable MSOs must now make sure their cable customer premise equipment (CPE) is managed more effectively in 2011 to stay competitive.

2011 New Year’s Resolutions For More Effective CPE Management

You cannot change the past but you can do a better job of preparing for the New Year. Cable MSOs can help their warehouse operations be more efficient, manage cable contractors better and contribute to the bottom line by resolving to make the following resolutions for 2011:

Top 5 Cable Warehouse New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Treat your warehouse management software vendor as a partner. When your warehouse management system software vendor has many years experience in the cable industry their knowledge can benefit the Cable MSO in a variety of ways. Benefits include superior technical support, customization of cable warehouse management system software, and personalized attention. When treated as partners success is mutual.
  2. Perform regularly scheduled serialized reconciliations. A serialized reconciliation slashes inventory count time from days to a matter of hours. In addition, a serialized reconciliation will identify missing, lost and unaccounted for CPE. When using a warehouse management system specifically designed for cable, your CPE tracking is also integrated with the three major cable billing systems.
  3. Lower warehouse operational expense by increasing Cable warehouse automation, organizing processes, reducing overtime and streamlining operations. For example, by using mobile handheld devices, Cable MSOs can eliminate the need for paper trails and save precious dollars by scanning CPE at each staging area or location.
  4. Minimize theft both internally and from contractors using state-of-the-art warehouse management software. Cable MSOs will know where all their CPE is and track all CPE movement using barcodes throughout the warehouse, repair shops and contractors. Every dollar saved from CPE theft goes directly to the bottom line.
  5. Move toward a Cable hub and spoke distribution model. A hub and spoke distribution model lowers rent, capital expenditures, overhead and logistic expenses. In addition, testing, diagnostics, cleaning and repacking will all benefit from increased efficiencies.

2011 will usher in a new year of cost cutting initiatives as Cable MSOs struggle to balance the impact of lost subscribers, obtaining content, net neutrality litigation and mobile TV. However, cost cutting does not necessarily mean less headcount. It is a combination of working more efficiently, reducing CPE loss, effective distribution and better contractor management.