Julien Raad, you’re the Logistics Manager and Purchasing Coordinator for this global event. What does that mean in terms of handling logistics and what part do you play?
Orange is the official telecommunications services provider of UEFA EURO 2016™. As Logistics Manager and Purchasing Coordinator, my job is to oversee the distribution of the network equipment needed to provide these services.
Altogether that means about 90 palettes of equipment that need to be handled on 11 different sites: the ten competition stadiums and the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), the hub for broadcasting matches across the world...
So there’s really no room for error! Every piece of equipment has its own exact destination and we have to plan down to the last detail. Just one missing or faulty piece of equipment could affect the broadcasting of a game or hamper the work of the organizers.
Of course every piece of equipment is carefully labelled, with its own exact code to tell us which stadium it’s headed for, and even what part of that stadium: the stands, the press room, and so on. But for 100 % reliable and accurate tracking, we have digitally tagged some of the equipment.
How does that work?
The most important pieces of equipment are given an NFC (Near Field Communication) tag. All we have to do is scan this device with a Smartphone to know what equipment the package contains, which stadium it’s headed for, and where it needs to be installed inside the stadium.
First of all, the tags are encoded in the Paris warehousing area, than once they’re sent out they can be scanned via Smartphone at every step along the logistical chain: at the local storage areas, on arrival at the stadiums, and again after installation in their proper place inside the stadium.
And as a logistics expert, what sort of feedback are you getting on this type of technology?
It makes things so much simpler and above all brings with it a completely new level of reliability. I can find out in real time if a piece of equipment has arrived at any of the 11 sites thanks to real-time updating a single database. This tool, which was developed by Orange Application for Business, combines a secure web application for central management and an Android application for all local operations.
Apart from tracking, it also allows communication and coordination between the local sites and central supervisors.
The tags even tell us that a given piece of equipment is operational or malfunctioning: as soon as a fault message comes through, replacement material is sent out right away!
Where else could this type of device be used, in terms of events?
This application could be used for any event with large-scale communication and broadcasting needs. In other words, we’re dealing with a real digital revolution where logistics management is concerned.