Leading Medical Supplier

Leading Medical Supplier Embraces M2M to Optimize Supply Chain Processes

Founded in 1996 by noted supply chain specialist Ken Tice, Advanced Logistics Consulting (ALC) remains focused on providing industry-leading consulting services to Oracle’s JD Edwards World and EnterpriseOne customers. Since that time, ALC has developed a reputation for delivering world-class solutions for our many domestic and international distribution and manufacturing clients across multiple industries.

Challenge

A multi-billion dollar leader in the healthcare market provides innovative medical products across a broad product line. To deliver these medical solutions to healthcare facilities all over the world, this company relies on an international supply chain with multiple distribution centers. But keeping up with sales orders through several distribution centers is complex and expensive.

To reduce costs, they needed to reorganize the supply chain and automate elements of the order picking process. This healthcare market leader implemented an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS), replacing four distribution centers with a single distribution hub that increases storage density to reduce handling and energy costs.

Implementing this complex warehouse structure was no easy task. To leverage the power of the AS/RS system and combat high costs in the supply chain required new automated processes that spanned existing software systems as well as machinery and mobile devices. That’s why this healthcare company chose DSI® and partner Advanced Logistics Consulting (ALC), to deploy a mobile supply chain solution to interface between Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, the AS/RS software and a newly deployed conveyor system.

Solution

For this company, the search for a solution started with DSI, as they’ve benefited from DSI’s robust data collection solutions for years. The company extended and enhanced its existing DSI solution to provide the critical integration points between the new software and machinery.

As a longstanding Oracle and DSI partner, ALC had the know-how to design and build the interfaces between EnterpriseOne and the AS/RS software. The interface provides for the seamless and automated flow of picking information between the two systems. ALC recommended changes in configuration and usage of the JDE EnterpriseOne WMS-driven solution to enable a higher volume of warehouse activity through the facility.

With successful M2M integration with the AS/RS and high-speed picking system, this life sciences company can now get more business through the same amount of square footage.

Through these integrations, warehouse workers use mobile apps and data capture solutions that leverage the DSI platform to interact with and update both systems for accurate high-speed receiving, putaway and picking. That’s because DSI’s solution is built on a platform with the openness to integrate to any enterprise system, database or module. For this medical supplier, workers can update EnterpriseOne and the AS/RS at the same time with pick confirmation of cartons. As a result, the company now automatically tracks inventory movement in and out of the distribution center.

In the life sciences industry, full visibility into serial number tracking and lot controlled products is crucial to regulatory compliance. The solution is tailored to support industry requirements of this life sciences leader, with a picking application developed by ALC’s experts to provide lot control, serial number tracking, lot/serial number picking and quality control. “This deployment was an opportunity for ALC to craft DSI-based solutions to address the functional shortfalls of the ERP environment,” said Mike Murphy, VP of Business Development, ALC. “By expanding the DSI footprint into their automated environment, we were able to meet the need for increased sales volumes in the distribution center.” And with ALC’s testing and validation, the solution was deployed smoothly.

Results

With the flexibility afforded by DSI’s platform and digital supply chain solutions, the company was able to interface to the conveyer system and AS/RS, as well as EnterpriseOne to increase sales volumes through the facility. The company expected a 30% increase in sales volume with the implementation of the conveyor system, but achieved an even higher increase in the volume of sales processed through the facility. The combination of technologies implemented to automate picking processes not only creates higher volume processes, but also allows for more accurate shipping with fewer people.

Industry

Life Sciences

Highlights

  • Improved shipping accuracy
  • Reduced shipping cost
  • Higher throughput
  • Improved utilization of existing facility
  • A reduction in warehouse overhead costs

“By expanding the DSI footprint into their automated environment, we were able to meet the need for increased sales volumes in the distribution center.” —Mike Murphy, VP of Business Development, ALC

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