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BT Drives Supply Chain Transformation and Network Optimization with AIMMS

British Telecom (BT) Logo

About BT

BT (British Telecom) is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. For the year ended 31 March 2019, BT Group’s reported revenue was £23,428m with reported profit before taxation of £2,666m.


BT has almost 30 million customers in the UK. Behind the scenes, BT Supply Chain has been the backbone of the company’s operations for 30 years. The division fulfills 40,000 individual customer orders every day, making sure that 32,000 engineers get the tools, parts and equipment they need to deliver support and services. In recent years, BT Supply Chain underwent a transformation to provide its services to other businesses. Part of this transformation involved significant investment in the company’s supply chain network. They were using a network design tool that would soon be retired by the vendor and ran on a local-based license, making collaboration and network analysis difficult. This compelled them to look for a better solution that would enable ongoing network modeling. In addition, they struggled to understand their cost-to-serve and, with their expansion into the business services market, they needed a strategic tool to answer questions around their network’s capacity and associated costs.


BT Supply Chain chose AIMMS Network Design to model and optimize its network. They use the App to map engineers to the right locations and dynamically optimize engineering resources. The application also helps them optimize their network of depots, tackling questions about depot locations, the number of depots and the implications of closing or opening them. The initial analysis led them to close a depot and avoid unnecessary costs. AIMMS’ Secondary Costing App is now the preferred tool BT Supply Chain uses to address questions about their cost-to-serve and have informed conversations with customers about their rate cards.

The company is also making use of a companion App, AIMMS Inventory Planning, to decide which kit rooms spare parts should be held at, and how many spares should be stored.


With AIMMS, BT has been able to cut costs and reduce engineer drive times while improving collaboration.

• 50% decrease in drive times
• Enabled network expansion while avoiding costs
• Improved collaboration and productivity

“We have modeled and migrated around 4,000 engineers using the outputs of AIMMS and this has been highly successful in driving engineering productivity.

By re-mapping engineers, we have cut drive times in half in some cases – going from over 30 minutes to under 15-minute drive times. This has been a big impact.

On the network optimization side, we were able to reduce a depot in our network and re-balance the workload on our other sites, reducing property and transport costs.

On a personal level, it’s allowing me to have a different type of conversation with sponsors around the business. A lot of network design decisions have cost implications. We can use AIMMS to get answers we can trust and believe in.”

– David Mackenzie, Transformation & Inventory Director at BT




Supply Chain Brief