Case Study

Cingular/AT&T

In 2000, AT&T Wireless was spun off from AT&T Corp in the world’s largest initial public offering at the time. Four years later, AT&T agreed to be acquired by Cingular Wireless: a merger that would form the largest wireless carrier in the United States.

Challenge

The merger was nearly finalized; Cingular and AT&T were about to unite. Given the impact on the roughly 80,000 employees of the soon-to-be-combined companies, Cingular and AT&T needed to prepare them for the multi-stage transition with internal communications and timelines specific to each employee’s role and responsibilities. This was essential to maintain a smooth transition for both companies, and a seamless experience for their customers.  

Just one problem: the US Justice Department prohibited the two companies from communicating directly with one another prior to FCC and FTC approval of the merger.  

AT&T and Cingular absolutely needed a way to coordinate and distribute their transition plan. They just couldn’t coordinate with each other.

Solution

All Points was chosen to act as intermediary between the two companies for purposes of executing the materials distribution plan. 

All Points built a dedicated website to serve as a coordination gateway, and established an email address to which distribution inquiries could be directed. 

Then All Points undertook the complete design and production of a Kickoff Box kit. Because kit components varied by employee role, multiple combinations, sizes and features were considered in packaging design, never losing sight of the kit’s purpose. Ultimately, a custom box with a sturdy plastic handle was developed, remembering that employees would carry materials from meeting to meeting.  

As the time to compile and ship Kickoff Box orders drew near, All Points temporarily became a distribution hub for FedEx, which placed fourteen employees on site to manage an unprecedented volume of outgoing packages. 

It was to be a monumental effort. And All Points was ready.

Impact

More than 22,000 packages were packed and shipped overnight to employees within twenty-four hours. That’s equivalent to FedEx’s weekly volume of overnight packages for the entire Atlanta metropolitan area.  

Despite the volume, nothing was sacrificed in accuracy or precision; quality control procedures caught and eliminated over five hundred potential packing errors, limiting actual shipping-related issues to just ten packages. 

All told, All Points provided a conduit for coordination, expertise in packaging design and shipping analysis, and tools to enable a time-sensitive, critical document distribution. And it was seen for the titanic feat it truly was: at the conclusion of the project, Theresa Childs, MS&L for the Cingular and AT&T Merger, attested: 

“All Points processed 22,059 overnight FedEx packages in 1 day for us…I witnessed one of the most amazing fulfillment projects that I have ever seen!”

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