AT&T Inc. is the largest telecommunications company in the United States and one of the largest in the world. As a global leader in the telecommunications industry, AT&T offers a wide range of innovative services, including local and long-distance telephone service, wireless communications, paging, internet access and messaging, telecommunications equipment, directory advertising and publishing. AT&T is also making huge advances in the entertainment and communications industry.
The AT&T Supply Chain and Fleet Operations organization is responsible for negotiating and contracting for goods and services for the AT&T enterprise. In addition, AT&T procurement responsibilities include delivering goods and services in ways that guarantee quality and value to our clients throughout AT&T. The supply line is viewed as a strategic component of the business, and AT&T is constantly seeking out ways to improve its performance and reduce costs. Such improvements come from many sources, including leveraging volumes and standardizing products to reduce costs, partnering with suppliers to optimize performance and applying more sophisticated warehousing and distribution techniques to gain efficiencies.
AT&T purchases a substantial amount of products and services each year. Switching equipment, network facilities and supporting equipment and services comprise a major portion of these expenditures. AT&T generally purchases finished products from the manufacturer or through their authorized distributors and value-added resellers. Therefore, suppliers that sell telecommunications components or support services for these products, usually sell to the manufacturers or the distributors, not to AT&T.
For non-telecommunications equipment, AT&T purchases from a wide variety of suppliers. Here too, AT&T usually buys the finished product, not the components. For general services, AT&T works with contractors who are held responsible for the entire project or job. Companies that usually work in a subcontracting capacity should contact general contractors.
AT&T generally engages personnel to provide professional services such as programming, engineering, temporary personnel, through agencies or brokers. Professionals are engaged directly only if they clearly meet the requirement for independent contractors under state and federal rules and regulations
For most over-the-counter commodities, AT&T buys from local companies using purchase orders. However, items purchased in volume are usually competitively bid to obtain volume discounts.
AT&T's policy is to select suppliers that offer the best overall value. Price is only one component of overall value. Other factors considered include: the management strength of the company; ability to control overhead costs; emphasis on providing quality products and services; support services; technical depth and abilities; and minority, women, disabled veterans business enterprise participation.
AT&T is committed to providing minority-, women-, disabled veteran- and LGBT- owned businesses the maximum opportunity to compete for our business, whether directly with AT&T or subcontracting through our primary suppliers. AT&T vendors are asked to support our commitment to Supplier Diversity.
Most of AT&T purchases are from suppliers in the telecommunications industry. The opportunities for potential suppliers may be somewhat limited because AT&T already has contracts for many of our required products and services with terms of two to five years. The opportunity for a potential supplier to compete for our business may be infrequent. In addition, suppliers must meet AT&T's competitive bid invitation and selection criteria in order to be qualified as a supplier for potential business.