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In This Case Study

Situation

Digital strategy and a sophisticated supply chain play an integral role in the increasingly complex operations of the U.S. Census 2020 Decennial count. 

To count 331 million people across the country, the U.S. Census Bureau needed a reliable IT infrastructure that could support Census field operations management at over 250 field sites and who were responsible for managing and supporting half a million newly-onboarded personnel without hiccup. 

WWT's supply chain capabilities -- with over 4 million square feet of logistics and integration space located centrally in the U.S. -- provided certainty in the clutch, helping SAIC and Census officials get the job done on time and at a fraction of the cost. 

illustration of centralized logistics

Solution

Decennial Census operations relied on the deployment of a national infrastructure -- networking equipment, computers, printers and peripherals -- that needed to be built and operational from scratch within a matter of months. 

WWT provided: 

  • A single point of contact that streamlined logistics operations.
  • Centralized hardware provisioning operations that scaled and flexed on demand.
  • Real-time updates for logistics and hardware provisioning that gave end-to-end visibility.
  • Fully configured equipment solutions that ensured on-site readiness.
  • Proactive risk management to mitigate supply chain threats.

By the numbers

Over 25 vendors managed: To streamline deployment by leveraging a single point of contact with transparency and accountability.

More than 250 field sites: Deployed to nationwide with pre-configured, ready-to-go solutions -- as many as 25 sites per week.

3,000 remote worker kits: Assembled, packaged and delivered to enable hundreds of thousands of field workers to count the population.

More than 200,000 assets shipped: To field sites, including over 12,000 monitors and more than 16,000 phones with 24-hour DOA replacement.

9 percent cost reduction: Our status with critical infrastructure and end point device OEMs ensured Census received the lowest cost and highest level technical support and innovations for the Decennial Field Offices.

100 percent on-time delivery: In partnership with SAIC, the prime contractor for Census Decennial field office management IT deployments, bulk equipment inventories were integrated into site packages and delivered on schedule.

Outcomes and benefits

Flexibility to accelerate time to market: Agile delivery methods allowed Census to tackle unprecedented challenges -- a global pandemic, wildfires, an active hurricane season and civil unrest across the country -- head on. When a flood forced Census to alter its deployment strategy, our supply chain quickly pivoted to reroute materials to new sites to avoid delays. 

Complete visibility and predictability: To avoid surprises and optimize operations, we created a solution that used FTP file transfer reports posted daily to feed a ServiceNow system that generated a full-picture dashboard of where hardware was, where it was going and when it would get there.

Modernized approach to optimize costs and user experience: Census opted for a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) strategy to enhance security and flexibility while giving users the same interface regardless of the device they used. The VDI implementation at the Paper Data Capture Centers (PDCC) enabled a redundancy in the questionnaire processing ensuring that the forms were captured accurately and on schedule. The latest technology in mail sorter and high speed scanning were implement to handle the over 40 million questionnaires that passed through the PDCCs. 

Secure and resilient to threats: Even the perception of vulnerability remains a major obstacle for the Census every year. Our understanding of the Census' unique needs and regulatory environment, paired with our supply chain risk management framework, helped stakeholders feel confident their supply chain was safe, secure and effective.

Areas of expertise

Transformation isn't simply a technology decision. Such undertakings demand the right mix of technology, people, capabilities and areas of expertise. 

Here's what the U.S. Census solution required:

  • Procurement and receiving
  • Asset tagging and management
  • Power on testing
  • Quality assurance (QA)
  • Imaging and configuration
  • Network consulting
  • Data and analytics
  • Kitting and repackaging
  • Flexible deployment
  • Security
  • Change management
  • Partner management
  • Logistics consulting
  • Enterprise and end-user IT

How we did it

With over 30 years of experience helping the world's largest companies and government entities, we've learned digital transformation and IT modernization thrive in the space between:  

strategy and execution; business and technology; physical and digital

 

Our deep domain expertise cuts across business and technology. And our ability to extensively test solutions and deploy them at scale allows us to both advise and execute to create new realities for our customers. Here's how we did it fir the U.S. Census:

We worked backwards from an outcome.

Census needed a robust IT hardware infrastructure to support the field operations management using a cost effective and reliable solution. We developed a roadmap -- from both a business, IT and supply chain perspective -- before working around the clock to deliver during circumstances never before experienced by Census Decennial Management.

We made it easy to change the plan.

Transformative undertakings such as the Census count are only as good as their supply chain. Whether flexing to keep pace with the Census' rolling deployment model, managing inventory to move fast when needed, or creating a custom product catalog for the prime contractor to order materials on the fly, we made it easy for stakeholders to pivot without missing a beat.

We led with digital-first mindset.

To enable an operation that relied on remote work to maximize responses to the Decennial count, we assembled and delivered more than 2,000 digital kits to Census Decennial Management and support techs at their homes, while also equipping two large Paper Data Capture Centers. Each kit had the IT components needed to set up a home office environment, including laptop, printer, projector and phone.

How can we help you? 

As companies embrace digital transformation, streamlined supply chain solutions become critical to enabling business success. But today's supply chains are increasingly complex and interdependent, especially as organizations invest in strategic focus areas that leave them reliant on multiple vendors, each with their own supply chain.

WWT simplifies the supply chain by acting as your single point of contact for designing, building, testing and deploying fully integrated systems on time and on budget.

  • Accelerate time to market to boost competitive advantage, capture new business and delight customers with accelerated product delivery.
  • Increase predictability and visibility of large, multisite rollouts to gain real-time insights and flexibility to level load demand when plans change.
  • Scale and streamline shipments of pre-configured, multi-vendor solutions.
  • Optimize costs and transform the supply chain into a revenue generating part of the business.