Southwire Tracking System Improves Materials Management for Utilities

Southwire Cable-in-Conduit. Photo: Southwire.

Southwire Cable-in-Conduit. Photo: Southwire.

Southwire, one of North America’s largest wire and cable producers, now offers satellite-based tracking of its cable products. Unlike cellular-based beacons which operate at shorter ranges, the Southwire Automated Materials Management (SAMM) system features satellite-based trackers that work anywhere outdoors with a view of the sky. Trackers are pre-installed on cable reels to save utility companies the time and trouble of mounting them.

According to Southwire, the SAMM system offers a range of installation and financial advantages, including 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; and faster removal of and credit for returning empty steel reels.

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 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,” said Freddie Stewart, vice president of energy sales for Southwire. “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.”

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